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University of Tennessee Libraries to host Environmental Semester Film and Discussion Series

The University of Tennessee Libraries will host a FREE six-part viewing and discussion series as part of UT’s Environmental Semester. As part of its Documentaries in the Library series, this spring’s showings will focus on independently produced documentary films that offer a wide range of approaches and contributions to our understanding of nature, environmentalism, media literacy, and activism.

As part of UT’s Environmental Semester, Documentaries in the Library invites the university and Knoxville community to discuss and discover how filmmakers have contributed to the diversity of environmental discourses through the documentary form. The first film, CultureJam: Hijacking Commercial Culture, will be screened on Wednesday, February 23, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. in Hodges Library’s Lindsay Young Auditorium. This film looks at “culture jamming,” the practices and semiotic tactics aimed at disrupting the coherence and rhetoric of media messages.

Other showings will include Proteus: A Nineteenth Century Vision (3/2), a visually-rich meditation whose central figure, Ernst Haeckel, epitomized the troubled intersection of scientific and artistic vision; The Corporation (3/16) is a critical look at the modern corporation that reveals its inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures; Amazon Journal (3/30) looks at the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest, but argues that the real tragedies are to be found in our misunderstanding of the region’s indigenous peoples; Fed Up! Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture and Sustainable Alternatives (4/6) presents an overview of our current food production system and looks at sustainable alternatives. The final session (4/27) will be devoted to the screenings of the winners and selected entries of UT Libraries’ Recycled Video Contest. This festival will showcase the creativity of the UT community in “recycling” pubic domain video footage, much of the same footage presented in the series’ other documentaries. All films will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of Hodges Library on the UT Knoxville campus. Free and open to the public. For more information please visit or contact Troy Davis at 865-974-4726, and/or

Leading the discussions for this semester’s series are: Dr. Chris Holmlund, Professor of French, Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies (2/23); Dr. Neil Greenberg, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (3/2); Dr. John Nolt, Professor of Philosophy (3/16); Dr. Dawn Duke, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese (3/30); Dr. Donald Huisingh, Senior Scientist in Sustainable Development at UT’s Energy, Environment and Resources Center (4/6).

“Documentaries in the Library continues to build awareness of how independently-produced documentaries can comment on and contribute to the most important historical, artistic, social and scientific conversations of our time,” said Troy Davis, Media Services Librarian. “On the whole, these films challenge us to see the environment as something beyond ourselves, as something that’s worthy of explanation, but also admiration. Each of these compelling films also enriches our appreciation of the diversity of approaches documentary filmmakers take in their creative attempts to present and represent reality.”

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