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.


All events will take place in the TechFlex space, downstairs in the University Center Complex.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

9:00 – 9:45 am

Registration Check-in and Continental Breakfast

9:45 – 10:00 am

Welcome Remarks

Kelland Thomas, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

10:00 – 11:15 am

Panel Discussion: “Making Friends with the Machine: LLMs as Pedagogical Tools”

Ximena Gallardo: “Expanding the Writing Circle: Using Synthetic Participants in a Team-Based Composition Classroom”

Christopher Eaton: “Evaluating Student Metacognition when Using AI Tools.”

Christie DeCarolis: “Annotating AI: Facilitating Student Close Reading of AI-Generated Text.”

Betul Cihan-Artun, Moderator

11:15 – 11:30 am

Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:45 pm

Panel Discussion: “AI, Human Nature, and Culture”

Pamela Kincheloe and Barbi Clifton: “Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Using Relational Thinking and Writing to Thwart AI.”

Rick Anderson: “Machine Learning for the Time-Constrained Educator: Welcome to the New Canny Valley.”

Gabrielle Sims, Moderator

12:45 – 1:45 pm

On-Site Luncheon

1:45 – 2:30 pm

Optional: Walking tour of Stevens Campus and Hoboken Waterfront

2:30 – 3:45 pm

Panel Discussion: “Academic Librarianship and Information Literacy in an AI World”

Romel Espinel

Victoria Orlofsky

Courtney Walsh

Billy Middleton, Moderator

3:45 – 4:00 pm

Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:00 pm

Plenary Presentation: “The Lifecycle of Writing Subjects: An Interdisciplinary Approach.”

Lauren M.E. Goodlad, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Rutgers University

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Plenary Reception

Friday, October 27, 2023

9:00 – 9:30 am

Continental Breakfast

9:30 – 10:45 am

Roundtable: “A Portrait of the Student as an Artist: How Does AI Change Our View of the Craft and Practice of Writing?”

Eric Bliman

Louis Bury

Derek Graf

Heather Hamilton

Michelle Burke, Moderator

10:45 – 11:00 am

Coffee Break

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Roundtable: “The Writing Center in the Age of ChatGPT”

Marne Benson

Bobby Pelphrey

Sarah Minsloff

Catherine Siemann, Moderator

12:15 – 1:30 pm

On-site Luncheon

1:30 – 2:45 pm

Roundtable: “Students on AI and Writing Issues”

Evan Papageorge

Kayden Cannilla

Tanishka Kapoor

Darius Truong

Lindsey Swindall, Moderator

2:45 – 3:00 pm

Coffee Break

3:00 – 4:15 pm

Panel Discussion: “Language, Feeling, Audience: Interactions Between AI and Humans.”

Philip Sutherland: “A Ground-Level Perspective on Professors, AI and Students”

Michael Cournoyea and Sarah Seeley: “ ‘As an AI Language Model, I Don’t Have Emotions or Personal Feelings:” Examining Emotionality in the Age of Generative AI.”

Jennifer McBryan, Moderator

4:15 pm

Closing Remarks.

Jennifer McBryan, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Directions and Parking

Located in Hoboken, NJ, Stevens Institute of Technology is easily accessible by both car and public transportation. For more information, including details on parking options, please visit the university's transportation and parking webpage.


The Thoughts on Bots conference committee would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Dean Kelland Thomas and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in sponsoring this event.

We would also like to acknowledge the logistical support of HASS office staff, Stevens Catering, University Events, and the Information Technology team.

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.