Keynote Speaker

Dr. Mary Chayko
, Teaching Professor of Communication and Information and Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies at Rutgers University


This year’s conference offers an additional opportunity to participate in a special extended session on the future of literature and writing studies in the early 21st century. Featuring a variety of panels, discussions and professional demos, “Out of Sync: Teaching Literature in the Digital Era” critically examines how digital education technologies have recently transformed both the practice and instruction of the literary arts in today’s academy. Possible topics to be explored may include: the influence of big data, rapid innovation, and startup culture on the teaching and study of literature; how literary theory has responded politically, materially and aesthetically to the digital era; the shrinking size and intellectual role of humanities departments in post secondary institutions. We are looking for both scholarship and apps or tech demonstrations that explore the intersection between literature and educational technology.

Presentation proposals for these panels were accepted:

1. After the Book: Critical Reflections on Digital Storytelling and its Challenges to Traditional Narrative Models in Electronic Literature.
As the literary arts continue to expand in scope to include multimodal formats and new production and distribution tools, the very concept of what a text is and how it functions is undergoing its most significant transformation in half a millennium. This panel welcomes papers on how traditional print-based modes of narration and storytelling will continue to develop as digital media. Possible topics include:
- Educational uses of digital storytelling
- The Move from narrative structures to databases as a mode of organizing, chronicling and communicating storylines.
- Coding as a literary form
- Immersion and interactive narratives within digital media
- Narratology and multimodal media formats

2. Precariat Labor and University Teaching in the Humanities By now we’re all familiar with the same oft-quoted statistics: the ratio of available tenure-track positions in American universities to the amount of Ph.Ds awarded each year is roughly 1:7. In Humanities related fields that ratio is even more unbalanced. Undergraduates in most English programs across the country have less than a 50 per cent chance of having a tenured or tenure-track faculty member as their professor. This panel welcomes papers on how the increasingly precarious state of employment for university professors is likely affecting scholarship, pedagogy and course and program design in the literary arts and beyond. Possible topics include:
- Digital labor in the university: how digital technologies are transforming teaching and service in higher education
- Role of literature in an information-based economy and its relationship to the so-called “creative industries.”
- Ethnographies of digital work: the race and gender politics of online courses
- Digital labor and gaming/gamification in relation to online teaching and course design
- The Networked Student: the use and effect of crowdsourcing on student assignments and curriculum design
- The use of automated essay scoring in online teaching

Conference Schedule

8:00 – 8:45      Registration and Breakfast

9:00 – 9:50      Keynote: Dr. Mary Chayko, Teaching Professor of Communication and Information and Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies, Rutgers University. Author of Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness (SUNY Press, 2008)

pdf Dr. Chayko's presentation slides

10:00 – 11:20  Session 1

11:00 – 2:50 (Ongoing) Technology Test Kitchen Exhibitors in the Atrium

11:20 – 11:30  Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:45  Session 2

1:00 – 1:50       Lunch, Business Meeting

2:00 – 3:20       Session 3

3:30 – 4:50       Session 4

5:00 –6 pm       Wine and Cheese Reception; Presentation of the Steven J. Rosen Mentor Award and the Graduate Student Paper Prize

pdf  For a detailed program schedule, download a printable (pdf) copy