Faculty Perspective: Writing and Teaching in the Digital Era
We asked Elizabeth Knapp, associate professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Communication Arts, to share her perspective on publishing and writing in the digital era, in particular with the emergence of ChatGPT and other generative AI. She also talked about the new low-residency creative writing MFA starting at Hood, as well as a new online literary magazine.
How AI can work for academia; and introducing the new low-residency M.F.A. in creative writing at Hood.
- English (B.A.)
- English & Communication Arts
Associate Professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Communications Arts at Hood College
Currently, the question may not be so much “what are you reading and writing?” as “how are you reading and writing?” For a generation now, many readers have shifted from analog to digital consumption. Long-form novels and writing are increasingly competing for our attention with audiobooks, podcasts and shorter written forms like articles and editorial essays. Students are reading traditional books for fun less than they were just a few years ago, according to Pew Research, but the answer to where we find stories and voices we love is less clear. The emergence of user-friendly AI, like ChatGPT, is sparking tectonic shifts and new ethical questions in almost every imaginable field, particularly in teaching, writing and creating. We decided to consult an expert who confronts these questions every day: Hood College’s own Elizabeth Knapp, Ph.D., poet and associate professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Communication Arts, who pointed out how changes in technology can work for the creator and teacher:
"My own writing habits have definitely changed in the last 10 years. Whereas I used to compose solely on the computer, I now compose quite a bit on my iPhone. I also use the dictation feature, and recently, I’ve started creating erasure poems using text generated by ChatGPT. In response to this new technology, I’m also working on ways of incorporating ChatGPT in purposeful ways in my courses.
In the last 20 years, the publishing industry has moved to online submissions, with most literary publishers and presses using an online system called Submittable. This has made the process of submitting much more convenient. In addition, many literary journals feature work from their print editions on their website or have online versions of their print publications. Others have moved away from print entirely and are now completely online. As part of our new Low-residency MFA in Creative Writing, we plan to launch our own online literary magazine called Pergola."
More about Dr. Knapp:
Elizabeth Knapp is the author of Requiem with an Amulet in Its Beak (Washington Writers’ Publishing House, 2019), winner of the 2019 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize, and The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. Her poems have recently appeared in Copper Nickel, North American Review, Pleiades, and The Sun. An associate professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Communications Arts at Hood College, she is also a poetry editor for The Baltimore Review.