Rutgers English Department News
Critical AI 2.1 is a special issue, co-edited by Lauren M.E. Goodlad and Matthew Stone, collecting interdisciplinary essays and think pieces on a wide range of topics involving Large Language Models. Below, a sneak preview from the issue: Maurice Wallace and Matthew Peeler’s compelling “Harriet Tubman’s Deep Voice”
Early in 2021, MyHeritage, said to be “the world’s leading genealogy website,” partnered with D-ID, an Israeli platform for so-called generative AI, to launch a new feature called “Deep Nostalgia.” Deep Nostalgia™ focalizes and animates the faces of family members and other historical figures pictured in old photographs to create a live effect. Forebears long since departed smile, blink, look sidewise, and tilt or narrowly turn their heads.
Read the full article HERE
Below is an excerpt from Jorden Sanders' short essay for the Black Bibliography Project blog: "The Stories Books Tell":
How often do you think about the lives who have touched a book? We’re accustomed to thinking about the lives that books touch—the way their content moves hearts and changes minds unbounded by time—but do we consider how we interact with the material object itself? How many hands have held its weight or flipped through its pages? In a world where books are often imagined to be products of machine labor, purchased new, or read in digital formats, it is easy for the histories of the book itself to slip our minds.
Read the full article HERE
The CCA’s new journal, Critical AI, is now live on the Duke University Press website. The journal’s first issue, DATA WORLDS, is edited by Katherine Bode (ANU) and Lauren Goodlad (Rutgers).
Though some of the authors and topics will be new to colleagues in the humanities and social sciences, there will be familiar names as well including an introductory essay by Bode and Goodlad; an essay by Christopher J. Newfield calling for epistemic equality; a manifesto on scrapism by artist Sam Lavigne; a multidisciplinary interview with design justice theorist Sasha-Costanza-Chock edited by former Rutgers grad student Kristin Rose (Vanderbilt); and review essays by Heather Love (Penn), Seth Perlow (Georgetown), anthropologist France Winddance Twine (Santa Barbara).
Congratulations to Evie Shockley. Evie's book of poetry suddenly we made the shortlist for the National Book Award in Poetry. The winner will be announced on November 15th.
Rebecca Walkowitz's opinion piece, "Gutting Language Departments Would Be a Disaster" was published on September 19th in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article discusses the critical importance of basic and applied research, as well as teaching, in world language and literature disciplines
Rutgers Today wrote a moving tribute to Bridget Gellert Lyons, a former Rutgers English professor and Department Chair.
Dana Omirova has been chosen as the winner of the 2023 Fair Unknown Award for Best Graduate Paper on an Arthurian topic given at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. Dana's essay, “Mass Exploitation of Women in Romance: Chrétien, Malory, and the Case of the Weavers,” was selected from among a large number of excellent submissions. Dana will work with the journal's editors to revise and expand the paper to an article, and it will be published in issue 34.1, which comes out in early 2024. The committee was really pleased with Dana's essay and believes it is poised to be an important contribution to the field.
Congratulations to David Kurnick, recipient of a Presidential Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award. The award honors newly promoted full professors whose breadth of academic portfolios reflect outstanding research, scholarship, or creative work, as well as truly outstanding contributions to teaching along with extensive service to the Rutgers community and beyond.
WHEREAS, Faculty, Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, Post-Docs, and all other academic workers represented by the AAUP-AFT have been working without a contract since July 1, 2022;
whereas the quality of education, research, and public service at Rutgers depends on the quality of the working conditions of educators and researchers at Rutgers;
whereas these conditions have been undermined by salaries and stipends that have declined significantly in real terms, with inflation currently at 6.0%;
Evie Shockley has been named the winner of the 2023 Shelley Memorial Award. Established by the will of Mary P. Sears in 1930, The Shelley Memorial Award recognizes poetic genius and is bestowed upon one distinguished American poet each year.
Judges' Citation: Evie Shockley’s work is imbued with a particular kind of tenderness, for the world and for the self in the world. It’s a savvy tenderness wedded to a type of vigilance that continually tracks the lines of the political and the personal, documenting where they meet and where they later separate again. There is, as well, a keen recognition of how prosody can heighten the reader’s awareness of the fact that what is in front of them on the page has been curated so that the complexity of the presentation will echo the complexity of the human actions that make up the moral universe of the poem.
Read complete citation on the Poetry Society of America website.
Michelle Stevens, Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, and Professor of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies, is one of the four researchers highlighted by the Office of Researchers this month. To celebrate Black History Month, the Office for Research interviewed some of the many researchers from across Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey who are making an impact on the university and their field of study. The vital work being conducted represents the diversity of research within Rutgers, which is inclusive of STEM, arts, humanities and the social sciences. The faculty members featured in this Q&A story are not just leaders in their fields; they also represent the notions of diversity, equity, and inclusion that the university and the Office for Research strive to uphold.
Evie Shockley’s poem “The Blessings” was published in the February 13, 2023 issue of the The New Yorker. To read the poem online and to hear it read by Evie, click here.
The Introduction of consumer accessible AI technology has had no greater effect than in the classroom, where it is beginning to reshape the way we think about teaching and learning. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in this new and foreign educational landscape. Lauren Goodlad, a professor in the English Department and the chair of Critical AI, is quoted in the article Teaching in the Age of AI Means Getting Creative.
This Critical AI blog post by Anna Mills and Lauren Goodlad is also a good resource: Adapting College Writing for the Age of Large Language Models such as ChatGPT: Some Next Steps for Educators.
The Department of English at Rutgers University, which has a long history of scholarship and teaching in African American Literature and Literature of the African Diaspora, invites applications for two Cheryl A. Wall Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American and African Diaspora Literary Studies. We welcome applications from scholars pursuing research in these fields, broadly considered, and are especially interested in scholars engaged in black feminist critical approaches to literary and cultural study.
These Postdoctoral Associate fellowship positions have the possibility of renewal for a second year, and include an annual salary of $60,000, health benefits, as well as a $5,000 research stipend.
The recipients will each teach one course per academic year, serve as informal mentors to graduate students in the field, and participate in the intellectual life of the department.
Applicants must have the doctorate in hand by July 1st, 2023, and be no more than six years beyond the Ph.D.
Please submit a letter of interest, c.v., research proposal, and three letters of reference, through the Rutgers University application system (ROCS):https://jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/186241
Applications must be submitted by January 6, 2023. Interested parties may direct inquiries to Professor Carter Mathes at:
Congratulations to Aimee LaBrie, the 2022 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize Adult category winner with her short story collection, "Rage and Other Cages"! Judging the finalists, Nancy Pearl said, "Each one of these three finalists was a strong contender and choosing the winning entry was difficult. In the end, I went with the book that spoke to me most strongly."
Aimee teaches creative writing at Rutgers and is the Senior Program Administrator for Writers House. Several of the stories in this winning collection were written in the class she took with Joyce Carol Oates and in England while supervising students during the study abroad program. Aimee’s short stories have appeared in the Minnesota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, Cimarron Review, Pleiades, Beloit Fiction Journal, Permafrost Magazine, and others. In 2020, her short story “Rage” won first place in Solstice Literary Magazine’s Annual Literary Contest and her novel in progress won the Key West Literary Seminar Emerging Writer Award. In 2007, her short story collection, Wonderful Girl, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and published in a small print run (University of North Texas Press 2007). Her short fiction has been nominated four times for Pushcart Prizes. In 2012 she won first place in the Zoetrope: All-Story’s Short Fiction Competition.