- Richard E. Miller
- Professor of English
- At Rutgers Since: 1993
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- Office: 43 (Historic) Mine Street, Room 101, College Ave Campus
- Office Hours:
By appointment: Via Zoom.
- Primary Areas of Specialization: Reading in Slow Motion; Creative Nonfiction; 21st Century Literatures
- Field of Interest: Creative Writing Studies, Pedagogy, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century, Writing
Professor Miller is the co-author, with Ann Jurecic, of Habits of the Creative Mind (2019, 2nd edition). This collection of essays works with the idea that writing is a technology for thinking new thoughts and that one learns to use writing for this purpose through practice. Composed with the reflective teacher in mind, Habits promotes an approach to writing that keeps open and alive the questions that are central to our humanity.
Professor Miller's most recent work, On the End of Privacy: Learning to Read, Write, and Think in the 21st Century (UPitt, 2019) looks at the personal, educational, and cultural consequences of the shift from a paper-based to a screen-centric world. He is in the early stages of a project on the untold stories of the institutionalized. Both projects are centrally concerned with curiosity and archival exploration.
Professor Miller is also the author of Writing at the End of the World (2005) and of As if Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education (1998). He has delivered over one hundred invited talks across the country and abroad on a range of topics related to literacy, technology, and higher education. Professor Miller published exclusively on his blog, text2cloud.com, from 2008-2016, pursuing a project he called, "An Experiment in Learning in Public." During this time, he wrote extensively about "the end of privacy" and how education is being changed as a result of the proliferation of hand-held devices that enable instant publication and global distribution of anything that can be seen or heard. He focused on news coverage of Tyler Clementi's suicide, campus violence, and evolving forms of literacy in the digital age. He also composed a graphic narrative following the misadventures of Professor Pawn, erstwhile expert in Exlification.
Professor Miller started his career as a writing teacher, spent time as an administrator, returned to the classroom as a Gen Ed teacher specializing in large lecture courses, and now focuses on teaching creative thinking and imaginative reading. In recognition of his success in these areas over the 29 years he has been teaching at Rutgers, he received the Chancellor-Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2022, which honors a member of the New Brunswick faculty "whose teaching contributions resulted in an extraordinary impact on the institution, students’ experiences, and public engagement."
- Undergraduate Courses Taught:
- Reading in Slow Motion
- Intro to 21st Century Literatures
- Creative Nonfiction
- Graduate Courses Taught:
I haven't taught in the graduate program in two decades. When I did, I taught the required writing pedagogy course and a course that explored business practices in higher education. I've directed four dissertations and have provided teacher training to advanced graduate students who have assisted me in running my two Signature courses.
Awards for Scholarship
James N. Britton Award, which recognizes Exemplary Studies Published by English Language Arts Teachers, for Writing at the End of the World. Conference on English Education of the National Council of Teachers of English. Nov 2006.
James L. Kinneavy Award for Best Essay Published in JAC, A Journal of Advanced Composition, for “What Does It Mean to Learn?: William Bennett, the Educational Testing Service, and a Praxis of the Sublime.” JAC 16 (1996): 41-60.
Awards for Teaching
Chancellor-Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching, which honors a faculty member "whose teaching contributions resulted in an extraordinary impact on the institution, students’ experiences, and public engagement." (Selected from 1100 eligible tenured faculty on the NB campus), Rutgers University. May 2022.
Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award, which honors tenured professors who make exceptional connections between their academic research and their teaching. Board of Governors, Rutgers University. May 2006.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education Rutgers University. May 1998.
External Grants/Solicited Gifts to Enhance the Curriculum ($3,231,500):
Principle Investigator, “Grounded in Tradition, Preparing for the Future,” 1M grant from the Mellon Foundation for a four-year project to improve advanced study in the humanities through the recruitment of senior scholars and the provision of summer writing stipends and summer research funds for graduate students. Summer 2004.
Co-author with Susan Forman and Isabella Nazzaro of the John and Joan Bildner Foundation’s Diversity Initiative Grant, “Rutgers Intercultural Initiative,” $225,000. Grant established a summer Intercultural Institute for faculty development across all three Rutgers’ campuses. Spring 2002.
Principal Investigator, “Reaching Other Audiences: Web Authorship for Humanities Graduate Students,” $6,500 Woodrow Wilson Innovation Grant, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Fall 2002.
Collaborated with Joseph Stampe and Barry Qualls on “The Jules and Jane Plangere Center for Speaking and Writing,” a proposal that attracted a commitment of $2 million to endow the College Avenue Writing Center, part of a $3 million gift to Rutgers College. Spring 1999.
Internal Grants to Enhance the Curriculum ($44,010):
Organizer, “The New Humanities Lecture Series for Undergraduates.” Awarded $1,600 grant from The Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes to launch the inaugural lecture. Spring 2004.
Principal Investigator, $5,000 Teaching and Curriculum Evaluation Grant, “Tracking the Use of Instructional Technology.” Fall 2000.
Principal Investigator, $3,000 Rutgers Dialogue Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Getting Students and Teachers On-Line.” Fall 1997.
Co-recipient with Godfrey Roberts, $3,000 Rutgers Dialogue Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Improving the Reading and Writing Skills of Students in the Health Professions.” Fall 1997.
Co-recipient with Alexander Librarians, Ellen Gilbert and Boyd Collins, of a $5,410 Rutgers Dialogue Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Teaching Research Skills to Undergraduates.” Fall 1997.
Principal Investigator, $16,000 Teaching Excellence Center Grant to Upgrade the Writing Centers, “Revising the Culture of Undergraduate Research at Rutgers University: A Collaborative Project between the Writing Program and the Rutgers Libraries for Promoting Excellence in Writing Across the Disciplines.” Fall 1996.
Principal Investigator, $10,000 Rutgers Dialogue Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “350:201 Pilot Project: Developing Linked Courses Across the Disciplines to Foster Excellence in Student Writing.” Fall 1995.
Internal Grants for Equipment Upgrades ($824,707):
Principal Investigator, $120,000 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education. “The Culture Lab, Phase II: Multi-media Production Studio.” Fall 2008.
Principal Investigator, $73,340 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education,
“Replacing Computers in the Writing Program's Douglass College Instructional Lab and
the Plangere Writing Center Resource Lab.” Summer 2005.
Principal Investigator, $37,367 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “The Culture Lab: A Lab for Digital Media Production.” Summer 2005.
Principal Investigator, $132,000 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “The Fluency Lab Initiative.” Summer 2004.
Principal Investigator, $62,000 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Upgrading the CAC Writing Lab.” Summer 2004.
Principal Investigator, $125,000 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Replacing the Computers in the Writing Program’s Three Computerized Classrooms.”
Principal Investigator, $100,000 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Integrating Instructional Technology into the Required Undergraduate Writing Courses, Part II.” Spring 2001.
Principal Investigator, $175,000 ACIC Grant for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education, “Integrating Instructional Technology into the Required Undergraduate Writing Courses.”
- Visiting Professorships :
From 2013-2015, Professor Miller served as a full-time consultant on curricular design for Rutgers University's newly launched Doctorate in Social Work program. Miller also taught full-time in the program, helping its first two graduating classes create capstone multimedia projects for their writing portfolios.
- Membership Affiliations:
Professor Miller was ordained as a minister for the Univeral Life Church Monastery on March 23rd, 2016.
- Other Publications:
- "The Case for the Case Study in the Twenty-First Century: A Rupture in the Order of Discourse" Clinical Social Work Journal, September 2017.
- Visit text2cloud.com to sample Miller's academic articles.
- Other Information of Interest:
- Watch: Habits of the Creative Mind, where Professors Miller and Jurecic explain the difference between creative thinking and formulaic writing.
- Watch: "Growing Up Digital." The inaugural humanities address for the Tyler Clementi Center, April 2013.
- Read, "A Humanities Course at Rutgers Gets Students Thinking about the Unthinkable," an SAS newsletter article on Miller's Signature Course, "The Coming Apocalypse."
- Education: PhD, University of PittsburghMA, University of Massachusetts BostonBA, St. John's College