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Prompted By: A Conversation about Writing and Authorship Prompted by Artificial Intelligence

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"Prompted by" as in "occasioned by," but also as in the new meaning of prompt: to initiate an interaction with a large language model or other artificial entity.

In this conversation, experts from the University of Maryland’s Department of English—representing creative writing, digital humanities, electronic literature, and academic writing—will consider the implications of these new technologies.

In particular, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Jessica Enoch, Matthew Kirschenbaum, and Marissa Parham want to push past the current fixation on student misuse, and consider other meanings and modalities for writing, informed by their long-standing work on media, textuality, archives, authorship, and the diverse communities that make the act of writing—in all its forms—materially manifest.

There will be brief position papers from each participant, an exchange amongst the panelists, and then open discussion with the audience. Scott Trudell will serve as moderator.

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is a Visiting Associate Professor of English and director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing. They also direct the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Festival. They are the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Negative Money (2023) and the poetry collection Travesty Generator (2019), winner of the 2018 Noemi Press Poetry Prize and finalist for the National Poetry Series. Travesty Generator received the 2020 Poetry Society of America Anna Rabinowitz Prize for interdisciplinary and venturesome work. They are also the author of Personal Science (2017); a slice from the cake made of air (2016); and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (2012), chosen by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award. Bertram’s other publications include the chapbook cutthroat glamours (2012), winner of the Phantom Books chapbook award; the artist book Grand Dessein (commissioned by Container Press), a mixed media artifact that meditates on the work and writing of the artist Paul Klee and was recently acquired by the Special Collections library at St. Lawrence University; and Tierra Fisurada, a Spanish poetry chapbook published in Argentina (2002). They collaborated with the artist Laylah Ali for the exhibition booklet of her 2017 art show The Acephalous Series. They are also the founder and director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks.

Jessica Enoch's teaching and research focus on feminist rhetorics and pedagogies, feminist memory studies, spatial rhetorics, rhetorical education, histories of rhetoric and composition, as well as literacy studies. Professor Enoch's publications include Refiguring Rhetorical Education: Women Teaching African American, Native American, and Chicano/a Students (2008); Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women's Work (2019), and, with Cristina Ramírez, the bilingual critical anthology Mestiza Rhetorics: An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish-Language Press, 1887-1922 (2020), along with two co-edited essay collections. She has also published work on archival research methods and pedagogies, Kenneth Burke, and students' revision and reflection practices. Professor Enoch directs the Academic Writing Program and is affiliate faculty in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professor of English and Digital Studies, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. He has been a Guggenheim and NEH Fellow. With Kari Kraus, he co-founded and co-directs BookLab, a makerspace, studio, library, and press devoted to what is surely our discipline's most iconic artifact, the codex book. Professor Kirschenbaum's publications include Bitstreams: The Future of Digital Literary Heritage (2021); Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (2016); co-edited with Pat Harrigan Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (2016); and Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (2008). His public-facing writing has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, LA Review of Books, Paris Review Daily, and War on the Rocks. Professor Kirschenbaum’s current interests include the history of writing and authorship, textual and bibliographical studies, serious games, and military media and technologies.

Marisa Parham is a Professor of English and Digital Studies and serves as director for the African American Digital Humanities initiative (AADHUM) and as the associate director for the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). She also co-directs the Immersive Realities Lab for the Humanities, which is an independent workgroup for digital and experimental humanities (irLh). Professor Parham’s current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality. She is particularly interested in how such terms share a history of increasing complexity in literary and cultural texts produced by African Americans, and how they also offer ways of thinking about intersectional approaches to digital humanities and technology studies. Recent examples of this work include “Sample | Signal | Strobe: Haunting, Social Media, and Black Digitality,” and the digital-interactive scholarly essays "Breaking, dancing, making in the machine" and .break .dance, which is also anthologized in the Electronic Literature Collection (ELC4) and was a 2021 honorable mention for the N. Katherine Hayles award from the Electronic Literature Organization. She is currently at work on Black Haints in the Anthropocene, a book-length digital-interactive narrative concerning memory, digitality, and environmental experience, and ConvocationAR, an XR-driven humanities-computing project. Professor Parham is the author of Haunting and Displacement in African-American Literature and Culture, The Princeton Review's African-American Student’s Guide to College, co-editor with John Drabinski of Theorizing Glissant: Sites and Citations, and the author, designer, and/or programmer for numerous other essays, crowdsourced arts experiments, and digital projects.

The moderator for this discussion will be Scott Trudell, whose research and teaching focus on early modern poetry, drama, music, and pageantry, as well as media studies and performance theory. Professor Trudell's publications include Unwritten Poetry: Song, Performance, and Media in Early Modern England (2019); essays in PMLA, Renaissance Studies, and edited collections; and as editor of a special issue of Restoration Journal, The Intermedia Restoration (2018). An Associate Professor of English and affiliate faculty in the School of Music,Trudell also serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies.



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