• Lauren M.E. Goodlad
  • Lauren M.E. Goodlad
  • Chair, Critical AI @ Rutgers and Editor of CRITICAL AI
  • Distinguished Professor of English
  • Office: 36 Union St., Room 303
  • Primary Areas of Specialization: 19th century and Victorian studies; genre theory and seriality; global studies and critical theory; critical artificial intelligence; television and media studies
  • Field of Interest: Film, Global Anglophone, Postcolonial, Theory, Victorian
  • About:


    Lauren M. E. Goodlad is  Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, editor of Critical AI and chair of the Critical AI @ Rutgers as well as a faculty affiliate of the Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA), the Rutgers British Studies Center, and the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. At Rutgers, she has served as Associate Chair of English and as a member of the executive committee for Graduate Studies; she currently serves as a board member for RBSC and a member of the AI Advisory Council and CASS (Cyberinfrastructure for Science, Engineering, & Society). Her grants in the emerging interdisciplinary field of critical AI studies and the teaching of critical AI literacies include an NEH international grant ("Unboxing AI') to create workshops and other programming in collaboration with partners at the Australian National University, DESIGN JUSTICE AI (a Global Humaniites Institute at the University of Pretoria in July 2024), and DESIGN JUSTICE LABS (an NEH grant for the creation of a shared digital infrastructure for student- and community-centered teaching about and research on "generative AI").

    At the University of Illinois, where she taught until 2017, Goodlad was Kathryn Paul Professorial Scholar, University Scholar, Provost Fellow for Undergraduate Education, and director of the Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory (2008-14).

    Goodlad's work in critical AI studies includes the editor's introduction to Critical AI, "Humanities in the Loop"; the introduction to DATA WORLDS (co-authored with Katherine Bode); and "Now the Humanities Can Disrupt 'AI'" (co-authored with Sam Baker). She is the co-editor with Matthew Stone (Computer Science) of the forthcoming two-part special issue of Critical AI on Large Language Models, Generative AI, and the Rise of Chatbots (the first part of which is due out in Spring 2024).  

    Also a specialist in Victorian and nineteenth-century literature and culture, Goodlad has research and teaching interests in genre studies; critical, feminist, postcolonial, and political theory; television and seriality studies; literature in relation to liberalism, globalization, and financialization; and critical AI studies. She has served as the chair of the MLA's TC History and Literature forum and a member of the advisory boards for Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studiesand Victoriographies

    Goodlad's current book project, which works at the intersecction of nineteenth-century and critical AI studies, is tentatively titled Genres that Matter: The Ontological Work of Nineteeneth-Century Fiction. A longue duree study of groundbreaking Victorian-era media including Wuthering Heights, Trollope's Barchester Chronicles, and the creation of Sherlock Holmes. By way of exploring genre conventions as they migrate and morph across periods, media, and geographic borders, the book describes such varied afterechoes as David Peace's Red Riding Quartet, HBO's Big Love, and the advent of data-driven artificial intelligence in late-Victorian-era detective fiction. Excerpts from the study have appeared in New Literary HistoryRe-Plotting Marriage in Nineteenth-Century British LiteratureThe Edinburgh Companion to Anthony Trollopeand The Wide Nineteenth Century (a recent special issue of Victorian Literature and Culture)Goodlad co-edited What Is and Isn't Changinga December 2020 special issue of MLQ and has a second project under development on the topic of the country house and the world-system. Parts of the project were adapted for "Said and the 'Worlding' of Nineteenth-Century Fiction," her contribution to After Said (ed. Bashir Abu-Manneh).

    Goodlad is the author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty and Transnational Experience (Oxford, 2015, 2016) and Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and Governance in a Liberal Society (Johns Hopkins, 2003) as well as the editor or co-editor of two collections and several special issues: Worlding Realisms, a 2016 special issue of Novel; Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s (Duke UP, 2013); The Ends of History, a 2013 special issue of Victorian Studies; Goth: Undead Subculture (Duke, 2007); States of Welfare, a 2011 special issue of OccasionComparative Human Rights, a 2010 special issue of the Journal of Human Rights; and Victorian Internationalisms, a 2007 special issue of RaVoN. Her work has also appeared in American Literary History, Cultural CritiqueELH, Genre, Literature Compass, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and PMLA. Some of her discussions on the topic of liberalism, from the nineteenth century to the present day, have appeared in Victorian StudiesThe Routledge Research Companion to Anthony Trollope, The Blackwell Companion to the Novel, Victorians Institute Journal, and in "Liberalism and Literature," and essay commissioned for The Oxford Handbook to Victorian Literary Culture.

    Goodlad's first essay on Mad Men, originally titled "Madmen Yourself," appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2009 and was reprinted in The McGraw Hill Reader. In addition to the book she co-edited with Lilya Kaganovsky and Robert Rushing, she was the editor of a series of blogs on the show's later seasons and published "It's the Real Thing," her take on the show's 2015 finale, in Public Books. Among other work on serialization and serial telelvision, she has written a keyword on "Seriality" and the afterword to Television for Victorianists (a 2013 special issue of RaVoN), while serving as a juror for the International Emmy Awards' Peter Ustinov Prize for Television Scriptwriting. 

  • Education: BSILR, Cornell UniversityMasters in English, NYUPhD in English, Columbia University