Student Art in the Library — call for submissions

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Attention, artists: The library wants to display your work. The Student Art in the Library contest awards a First Prize of $300, Second Prize of $150, and Third Prize of $75. Submission deadline for the Spring 2013 contest is Feb. 10. If you create any particularly inspired works over the break, keep in the mind the Student Art in the Library contest. The library is looking for two-dimensional works (drawings, graphic design, prints, photography, ceramics, painting) to be displayed in our exhibit area in 135 Hodges Library throughout the spring semester. The contest is open to all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, from any discipline. More info at

Introducing the Database of the Smokies

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Dr. Aaron J. Sharp and Dr. Stanley Cain
taking field notes in the Smokies, circa 1935

Have you ever wished that there was a place to go when you wanted information on the Smokies — one site where you could research history, plants, animals and culture, and find links to online articles and digitized photographs? The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project at the University of Tennessee Libraries proudly announces the official release of the new Database of the Smokies (DOTS), a free online bibliography of Smoky Mountains material published since 1934, the date of the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

DOTS contains searchable records of books, scholarly and popular journal articles, government and scientific reports, theses and dissertations, maps, and digitized photographs, as well as travel and recreational guides. Wherever copyright restrictions permit, citations are linked to scanned copies of the published item. DOTS can be visited on the UT Libraries’ website at:

DOTS is intended to compliment Terra Incognita: An Annotated Bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains, 1544–1934, scheduled for publication by the University of Tennessee Press in the summer of 2013. With DOTS and Terra Incognita, researchers will have access to a wealth of published material documenting over 400 years of human activity in the Smokies and surrounding region.

Dr. L. R. Hesler at work in his laboratory,
circa 1950

DOTS currently contains about 2,000 citations, focused within the fields of biology and ecology, and includes the research publications of distinguished former University of Tennessee botanists Aaron Sharp, Stanley Cain, and L. R. Hesler. In addition to important early studies of Smokies biology, DOTS contains citations to published material from the areas of history, psychology, genealogy, archaeology, economics, tourism, environmental studies, geology, literature, cultural studies, and park management. In the future, the curators of DOTS will add links to digitized photographs from the UT Libraries’ online collections and to other content freely available on the internet. As the content expands, DOTS should become a comprehensive resource for “all things Smokies.”

The project team has been hard at work on DOTS since May 2011, building the database around Drupal, an open-source platform particularly suited for managing content. Drupal is both versatile and flexible. It affords not only easy-to-use search functions but also allows expansion of the bibliography through crowd-sourcing, an innovative collaborative web technique. Calling on the collective knowledge of a community of users, crowd-sourcing will allow users of DOTS to become contributors, as well, by identifying new publications and uploading citations.

The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project will continue to update the online database with new content. Together, Terra Incognita and the Database of the Smokies will be the most comprehensive bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains ever compiled.

Research expedition on Mount LeConte with Dr. L. R. Hesler (far left) and Stanley A. Cain (far right) in front row and Aaron J. Sharp in back row (far right), circa 1935

Anne Bridges, Co-Director, Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project, 865-974-0017,
Ken Wise, Co-Director, Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project, 865-974-2359,

“Through A Soldier’s Eye” Photographs at Hodges Library

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“Through a Soldier’s Eye,” a video slide show of photographs made by veterans, will be exhibited on the second floor of Hodges Library throughout the week of November 12-16.

Last year, art professor Baldwin Lee began collecting photographs made by active duty military and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. He established a website,, to which soldiers could upload their photos. As Lee notes on the website, “What may, in the eyes of a soldier, seem to be nothing more than snapshots of unimportant events and places can often be astonishing images when seen by an audience with no knowledge of what it is like to be a soldier. Taken by insiders, these pictures provide a clearer and more accurate description of life in combat as opposed to the clichéd photographs made by outsiders for the media.”

The idea for the project originated when one of Lee’s students, Trent Frazor, asked for help making prints from digital photographs he had made while serving in Iraq. “The photographs he made in Iraq were totally unanticipated, not because they showed the horrific side of combat, but rather they showed a grace and dignity of everyday life as a Marine in Iraq,” Lee says. “When the genre of war photographs is cited, there is the automatic assumption that the photographs will describe dread and terror of battle. Instead, Trent’s photographs described an aspect of life in the military that is largely unknown and unseen by the public. His photographs showed how his world was enlarged and changed by the experiences to which he had been subjected. If photographs such as these can be seen by a broad audience, not only will the understanding of the life of a soldier be increased but also our appreciation for what they have done.”

Lee is sharing the soldiers’ photographs through exhibitions, web publication, and possibly a book. The project was sponsored by the University of Tennessee School of Art, the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy, and the Center for the Study of War and Society.

Lee’s commitment to the project stems partly from his appreciation of his father’s war experiences. “Due to private reasons, among which is modesty, many soldiers do not ascribe a great deal of value to the pictures they have made. My father, a veteran of World War II, served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He was an army engineer who took part in the Normandy landing on D-Day and also in the Battle of Okinawa. As is the case with many who have served, he underplayed his participation in the military. He thought that it was what he was supposed to do.”

Baldwin Lee is a photographer who received his bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his master’s degree from Yale University. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of the City of New York, Haverford College, University of Michigan Art Museum and University of Kentucky Art Museum. He has taught in UT’s School of Art since 1982.

The community is invited to drop by the Hodges Library to experience Iraq and Afghanistan through the eyes of our veterans.

Commons South Reopens

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Commons South reopened today! The space filled with students minutes after the yellow “Caution” tape came down.

The new Commons South houses dozens and dozens of computer workstations. Commons South is also a center for group work, with eleven new and spacious group study rooms and five work areas featuring media:scape™ furnishings that allow students to walk up, plug in their own laptops, and confer on group projects. Black-and-white, color, and wireless printing are all available in Commons South.

With both Commons North and Commons South now open, all computing services are conveniently located along a north-south axis, clearly visible from the east end of the second floor galleria. On the north end of the axis are the OIT Help Desk (Net IDs & passwords, email, MYUTK), Computer Support (internet access, viruses & spyware) and Lab Services. Commons South hosts Desktop Support (computer and printing issues), the Studio (media production), and — as of 7 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) — equipment checkout.

And . . . a hallway that bisects the line of service desks leads directly from Commons South into Starbucks!


Honoring Our Veterans

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Sunday, November 11, is Veterans Day, the day our country honors and thanks all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The University of Tennessee will continue to honor our veterans with several events throughout the month.

Now through November 9

    Sign the board — Faculty, staff and students who are also military veterans are invited to drop by 209 Student Services Building anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to sign a board commemorating Veterans Day. The board will be displayed on campus during the National Day of Remembrance on November 12 and at other times throughout the year. The project is a joint effort of Veterans at UTK, the student group for veterans; the Center for the Study of War and Society; and the UT Office of Veterans Affairs, part of the Office of the University Registrar. For more information, contact Regina Lewellyn at 865-974-1500 or

November 12-16

    “Through a Soldier’s Eye,” a video slide show of photographs collected from veterans, will be exhibited on the second floor of Hodges Library. Professor Baldwin Lee, working with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Center for the Study of War and Society, has been collecting photos from soldiers and assembling them into an exhibit. The photos also may be published as a book.

    Volunteers Say Thank You — Faculty, staff and students will be given red, white and blue sticky notes to write a “thank you” message to veterans. Those notes will be posted to a six-foot, two-dimensional model of the word “Volunteer” located on the second floor of Hodges Library. Messages honoring veterans also can be tweeted using the hashtag #ThanksUTVeterans.

November 12

    National Day of Remembrance, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., South Lawn Ayers Hall. The Veterans at UTK student group is in charge of this event, in which the names of veterans who have given their life in military service will read.

    Moment of Silence and “Taps,” noon — A moment of silence will be held and the Ayers Hall chimes will play “Taps.” This is the first year for this commemoration.

November 14

    Medal of Honor Speaker, 10:00 a.m., Carolyn P. Brown University Center Ballroom. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Col. Bruce Crandall will share his story of heroism. He flew 900 combat missions in Vietnam and helped evacuate many wounded troopers before he was severely wounded himself.

    The Things They Carried discussion at the Common Ground Book Club ” 11:30 a.m., in the Commons on the second floor of Hodges Library. The book, written by Tim O’Brien, is a series of stories about a platoon of American soldiers in Vietnam.

November 30

    Sixth annual Native American Heritage Night, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event will pay tribute to veterans with an emphasis on the involvement of Native Americans in the past and present. It will feature two speakers, Tom Holm from the University of Arizona and Richard Allen of the Cherokee Nation. Both are Vietnam veterans. The event also will include musical performances from the Eastern Band Cherokee Northern Drum Group, Awohali, and a traditional Cherokee dinner provided by the Calhoun family of Cherokee, North Carolina. $20 per person; $10 for veterans and free for students.

David Madden at UT’s Writers in the Library, Nov. 12

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Madden_smallDavid Madden will be the featured author at UT’s Writers in the Library on Monday, November 12th, 7 p.m. in the Hodges Library auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

A novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, and critic, Madden is a prolific writer in all genres. His novels include Cassandra Singing, Bijou, The Suicide’s Wife, Abducted by Circumstance, and Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War. His latest book, London Bridge in Plague and Fire, brings to life the Old London Bridge, which began construction in 1176 and was eventually dismantled in 1834. In the novel, a young poet who lives on the bridge uses his imagination to resurrect the bridge’s architect and the life of the bridge itself, which was one of the wonders of the world.

Madden has compiled and edited numerous collections of stories and is the author of academic volumes on James M. Cain, James Agee, and Carson McCullers. His stories have been reprinted in college textbooks and twice in Best American Short Stories. His best-known novel, The Suicide’s Wife, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and made into a CBS movie. He may also be familiar to students of creative writing for his Pocketful series on fiction, poetry, drama, and essays.

David Madden is a Knoxville native and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He earned an M.A. at San Francisco State and attended Yale Drama School on a John Golden Fellowship. Writer-in-residence at Louisiana State University from 1968 to 1992, Director of the Creative Writing Program 1992-1994, Founding Director of the United States Civil War Center 1992-1999, he is now LSU Robert Penn Warren Professor of Creative Writing, Emeritus.

The author will also hold an informal Q&A session for all interested students, 3-4 p.m., Monday, November 12th, in 115 Humanities and Social Sciences Building.

Read a review of London Bridge in Plague and Fire at Chapter 16: a community of Tennessee writers, readers and passersby (brought to you by Humanities Tennessee).

Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (, or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (

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