The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Thoughts on Bots: Composition and Creative Pedagogy in the Age of AI

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Conference Dates: October 26 - 27, 2023

Hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, the Thoughts on Bots: Composition and Creative Pedagogy in the Age of AI conference will explore the changing landscape of writing pedagogy in the age of AI chatbot programs. 

Registration to attend the Thoughts on Bots conference is now open!

Plenary Speaker

Lauren M. E. Goodlad

Jane Goodlad headshotLauren M.E. Goodlad is a Distinguished Professor of English & Comparative Literature at Rutgers as well as the chair of Critical AI @ Rutgers and the editor of Critical AI, a new journal published by Duke University Press.

She is the author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty, and Transnational Experience as well as the co-editor of What Is and Isn't Changing: Critique After Post-Critique, a December 2020 special issue of MLQ. Her work on AI-adjacent topics includes "Now the Humanities Can Disrupt AI," (an essay in Public Books co-authored with Samuel Baker), "A Study in Distant Reading: Genre and the Longue Durée in the Age of AI" (MLQ), and "Adapting College Writing for the Age of Large Language Models Such as ChatGPT" (co-authored with Anna Mills).

She is the lead PI for Design Justice AI, a Mellon-CHCI Global Humanities Institute to take place at the University of Pretoria in 2024. 

Plenary Lecture: "The Lifecycle of Writing Subjects: An Interdisciplinary Approach"

In this lecture, Goodlad explores so-called generative AI with an emphasis on the socio-technical and politico-economic specificities of the large language models (LLMs) that subtend it.

She discusses LLMssystems for generating human-like text—in relation to Ted Chiang’s The Lifecycle of Software Objects (2010). Though this novella follows a long line of literary works that render AI in terms of an anthropomorphized technology that does not exist, its near future story world is nonetheless illuminating of today’s data-driven systems in terms of prediction and optimization, and their relation to the material conditions and “lifecycle” of writing subjects.


October 26, 2023

  • 9:15 a.m. - 9:55 a.m.

    Registration Check-in and Continental Breakfast

  • 9:55 a.m. - 9:59 a.m.

    Conference Commencement
    Remarks by Kelland Thomas, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

    “Making Friends with the Machine: LLMs as Pedagogical Tools”
    Presenters: Ximena Gallardo, Christopher Eaton, Christie DeCaroli
    Moderator: Betul Cihan-Artun

  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

    “AI, Human Nature, and Culture”
    Presenters: Pamela Kincheloe and Barbi Clifton, Rick Anderson
    Moderator: Gabrielle Sims

  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

    On-Site Luncheon

  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

    “Academic Librarianship and Information Literacy in an AI World”
    Presenters: Romel Espinel, Victoria Orlofsky, Courtney Walsh
    Moderator: Billy Middleton

  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Plenary Speaker, Lauren M.E. Goodlad (Rutgers University)
    “The Lifecycle of Writing Subjects: An Interdisciplinary Approach”

  • 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


October 27, 2023

  • 9:15 a.m. - 9:29 a.m.

    Continental Breakfast

  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

    Roundtable: "A Portrait of the Student as an Artist: How Does AI Change Our View of the Craft and Practice of Writing?"
    Participants: Eric Bliman, Louis Bury, Derek Graf, Heather Hamilton
    Moderator: Michelle Burke

  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

    Roundtable: "The Writing Center in the Age of Chat-GPT"
    Participants: Marne Benson, Bobby Pelphrey, Sarah Minsloff
    Moderator: Catherine Siemann

  • 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    On-Site Luncheon

  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

    Roundtable: “Students on AI and Writing Issues"
    Participants: Evan Papageorge, Kayden Cannilla, Tanishka Kapoor, Meghan Slate, Olivia Lieberman
    Moderator: Lindsey Swindall

  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

    "Language, Feeling, Audience: Interactions between AI and Humans."
    Papers presented by: Philip Sutherland, Michael Cournoyea, and Sarah Seeley. 
    Roundtable hosted by Benjamin Leinwand and Jia Xu.
    Moderator: Christian Jurlando

  • 4:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

    Workshop: "The Importance of Attention: How LLMs Work"
    Host: Michelle McSweeney

  • 5:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

    Conference Concludes (Closing Remarks)

Call for Proposals [Closed]

The call for proposals is now closed.

Organizers sought proposals for this multidisciplinary event, to be held in Hoboken, NJ. Respondents submitted proposals for a 20-minute formal presentation, participation in a roundtable discussion, or facilitation of a hands-on workshop. Proposed topics included: 

  • Technical aspects of how generative AI programs work and their likely future developments and applications;  

  • Practical and pedagogical implications of generative AI programs in the writing-centric classroom, including issues of cognition, academic integrity, research, and information literacy;  

  • Practical/pedagogical implications of generative AI programs in the creative classroom, including art, design, and music; 

  • Philosophical and ethical questions raised by generative AI in any discipline, including but not limited to the relationship between AI and mentality, authorship, ownership, aesthetics, and inclusivity.