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::HISTORY::

The University of Tennessee's NEXUS conference was first established as a symposium organized by Brian Gempp in 2004. As president of UT's Graduate Students in English, Gempp started a lecture series that brought three speakers to campus. This lecture series morphed into a much larger project: the creation of NEXUS: An Interdisciplinary Conference. NEXUS was conceived as a biennial, graduate-student-run conference that would bring in senior scholars and practicing artists both as plenary and panel speakers. In 2004, Gempp involved faculty and students from the departments of Art, Sociology, Music, and English and brought in experimental filmmaker and composer Tony Conrad, who is also a professor at the State University of New York-Buffalo. Working with faculty advisors Amy Elias and Allen Dunn, Gempp was able to put together an impressive roster of symposium invitees. Other speakers at the first NEXUS included Joseph Tabbi from the University of Illinois-Chicago, Scott Herring from Indiana University, and a number of other scholars and arts practitioners, who presented papers at the one-day symposium.

The event was such as success that we were able to expand it two years later into a full-blown academic conference which featured both invited speakers and , run by Elaine Childs and Misty Krueger. In addition to being a success for the department, the 2006 event provided the template for future NEXUS conferences.

Past NEXUS Conferences:

2004Organizer: Brian Gempp (Dr. Amy Elias and Dr. Allen Dunn, faculty advisors)
Keynote Speakers: Tony Conrad, SUNY Buffalo; Daniel O’Hara, Temple University

2006Organizers: Elaine Childs, Misty Krueger (Dr. Amy Elias, faculty advisor)
Theme: Religion and Nation
Keynote Speakers: John D. Caputo, Syracuse University; Diane Glancy, Macalester College
Link: NEXUS 2006

2008Organizers: Matt Raese, Teresa Saxton (Dr. Amy Elias, faculty advisor)
Theme: Collected and Collective Identities
Keynote Speakers: Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University; Shelley Jackson
Link: NEXUS 2008

2010Organizers: Teresa Lopez, Dennis McGlothin (Dr. Jane Bellamy, faculty advisor)
Theme: Trauma and Testimony: New Perspectives
Keynote Speakers: Cathy Caruth, Emory University; Julia Levine
Link: NEXUS 2010
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