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:: about NEXUS
:: NEXUS 2006
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On April 7-8, 2006, the University of Tennessee Graduate Students in English hosted its first conference, "NEXUS: Interdisciplinary Conference on Religion and Nation."
Because of a growing consensus that religion is an area of study to which scholars are increasingly turning their attention, the University of Tennessee Graduate Students in English and the 2006 NEXUS Interdisciplinary Conference Committee desired to extend the discussion of these conjoined notions of religion and nation as we called for papers that contributed to this burgeoning “center of intellectual energy” of which Stanley Fish speaks. Our ultimate goal in holding this conference was to make possible for rising scholars in the region, as well as graduate students from a variety of disciplines, the opportunity to witness firsthand this developing avenue of critical study and to foster interdisciplinarity on the University of Tennessee campus.
John Caputo was NEXUS 2006's keynote speaker. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities at Syracuse University who specializes in continental philosophy of religion and has recently written On Religion, which studies the status of the post-secular religious response. Caputo is also the author of Augustine and Postmodernism: Confessions and Circumfession and The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion.
In lieu of a second keynote address, NEXUS 2006 included a creative reading of selections from from Diane Glancy's latest work, Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea. Award-winning writer and professor, Diane Glancy, Professor of English at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, teaches Native American literature and writes about Native American storytelling in her own works of prose, poetry, and drama. Glancy is well known for her work, Pushing the Bear: The Trail of Tears, and Glancy has recently been awarded the distinction of Writer of the Year for Screenplays (2003-2004) by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. In 2003 she also received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the 2003 Juniper Poetry Prize from the University of Massachusetts Press for her work, Primer of the Obsolete.
As a part of the NEXUS series, the committee also organized a film showing, Theologians Under Hitler, which was introduced by one of the filmmakers, Andrew Sneed of the University of Tennessee.
The NEXUS conference included panels on such topics as religion and social change, nation-building, politics, pedagogy, and the visual arts, and included panelists from all over the country, and even the world. The conference was held at the University of Tennessee University Center, The Crowne Plaza Hotel, The Hodges Library Auditorium, and the University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery.
NEXUS received funding from the Hodges Better English Fund, Department of English, Creative Writing Program, Graduate Students in English, Graduate School, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Student Affairs, MARCO Program, Metropolitan Community Church, American Studies Program, School of Art, Women’s Studies Program, and Department of Religious Studies.
|Made possible by The Department of English and The University of Tennessee :: Site design by Devon Asdell|