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Join the University Writing Program for our 2024 WID Distinguished Lecture featuring Dr. David F. Green Jr., associate professor of English at Howard University. This year's lecture will be titled "Outlaw Writing and AI Language Production: Productive Dissent and the African American Writing Tradition."

As AI language production becomes commonplace, scholars in all disciplines must ask: What are our expectations for critical thought in a future that relies so heavily on automating and thus potentially flattening writing conventions and expressive experimentation? This question becomes especially acute when we consider the rich diversity of English variants, even in academia. The African American rhetorical tradition of the outlaw provides one powerful model, showing us how dissent remains a vital element of critical writing and critical thought in language creation.

Dr. Green will examine the figure of the outlaw, whose identity and positionality are defined by a strategic distrust of the social order that requires one to reimagine problematic aspects of that order. Using this tradition as a frame for thinking about possible futures for writing instruction and critical pedagogy, Dr. Green suggests that interrogating assumptions about respectability and vulnerability provide alternative ways for thinking about student writing and help us adapt to the rise of AI language production. Whose language is AI replicating? What underlying values and assumptions are built into the algorithm? When should we help students challenge the algorithm? How might outlaw thinking disrupt this AI disruptor?

About the Speaker

David F. Green Jr. is an Associate Professor of English at Howard University, editor of Visions and Cyphers, a writing studies textbook emphasizing culture and language research, and author of articles on race, writing, assessment, and critical language use published in journals such as College English, Composition Studies, Changing English, and Understanding and Dismantling Privilege.

All sessions are free to GW students, faculty, staff, and alumni. GW has an institutional commitment to ensuring that all of our programs and events are accessible for all individuals. If you require any accommodations to participate in this event, please contact libraryevents@gwu.edu at least 72 business hours (3 business days) prior to the event.

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