At a research university like Rutgers, professors are expected to combine solid teaching with scholarly research and publication. The Scholar-Teacher Award honors those faculty members who form a vital link between their research and their work in the classroom, inspiring students to work at the edges of current understanding.
We are proud to announce that Rutgers English Department Chair Richard E. Miller received the Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award for 2006, making him the second Rutgers English professor to receive this honor since its inception in 2000. Professor Miller has achieved a national reputation for his work in the fields of pedagogy and composition studies, and for his critical work bridging personal experience and academic labor. He is also a past recipient of the FAS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, and the co-chair of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education’s Core Curriculum Committee. He is known throughout the Rutgers community for his longstanding commitment to intellectual rigor, and for pedagogical innovation in both graduate and undergraduate courses.
In As If Learning Mattered, his first book, Professor Miller explores the dynamics of reform in higher education, paying particular attention to the gap between official statements of educational commitments and actual classroom practices. With The New Humanities Reader, now in its second edition, Professor Miller and his co-editor, fellow Rutgers English Professor Kurt Spellmeyer, give entry-level students a selection of some of the most vibrant and compelling current nonfiction writing on a wide range of contemporary topics in many different fields. Over the past five years, The New Humanities Reader has become a standard text in first-year writing courses across the nation.
In his most recent book, Writing at the End of the World, Professor Miller considers the future of higher education and the allure of apocalypticism. Professor Miller unites discussions of current events with personal recollections, interpretations of literary texts, and responses to educational theory, all to explore the questions “Why go on writing in a world where no one reads? Why go on reading in a world awash with violence?” Writing at the End of the World reveals Professor Miller’s thoughts about the important role the humanities should play, providing both the intellectual tools and the resources for hope required to remain committed to building a better world.
In the classroom, Professor Miller’s confidence and ability to step back from his authoritative position create a learning environment where students always feel comfortable participating. Through a pedagogy based on “questioning and connecting,” Professor Miller combines the academic with the personal, encouraging students to develop their own intellectual values and commitments. Whether he is teaching the first-year writing course or a dissertation writing seminar for advanced graduate students, Professor Miller’s goal is to get students to write and to think at the edge, making it possible for students to transform their sense of themselves in the process.
The Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award is a testament to Professor Miller’s ability to bridge the intellectual gap between scholars and students, between academic professionals working to make the humanities matter and students who are trying to do the same thing, on a personal level, through their education. As he describes it in the conclusion to Writing at the End of the World: “The practice of the humanities, so defined, is not about admiration or greatness or appreciation or depth of knowledge or scholarly achievement; it’s about the movement between worlds, arms out, balancing; it’s about making the connections that count.”
The New Humanities Reader site
More about Writing at the End of the World
Our Award-Winning Faculty