Amit Ray Headshot

Amit Ray

Associate Professor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-2437
Office Location
Office Mailing Address
06-2309

Amit Ray

Associate Professor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

Education

BA, State University of New York at Buffalo; MA, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Bio

I did my graduate work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There I was exposed to a thoroughly interdisciplinary environment. We were encouraged to collaborate with faculty and students from a host of other disciplines. My work, though primarily literature-based, was shaped by disciplines such as comparative literature, history, anthropology, cultural studies and area studies. The bulk of my training was in the field of colonial/postcolonial studies, with special focus on British Colonialism in South Asia.



As much of my research has involved the study of colonialism and its aftermaths, I have a keen interest in following the varied and uneven consequences of globalization throughout the world. Much of my teaching relates to the politics and poetics of culture in a transnational era, especially as they relate to the dominant role of the United States in the present world-system. In most of my courses, in addition to the study of literature, I include literary and cultural theory, visual studies, popular culture and extensive historical context.



While at RIT, I have pursued a keen interest in new media, with particular emphasis on wikis. Wikis are software programs that allow users to create and edit webpages with only their browser. I have been a member of RIT's Lab for Social Computing since its inception in 2004. My current research involves using literary and cultural theory to better understand how wikis influence the larger society. Presently, I am preparing a book about how wikis challenge established notions of authorship, authority and expertise.



Teaching Philosophy

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Currently Teaching

ENGL-400
3 Credits
A focused, in depth study and analysis of a selected topic in literary and/or cultural studies. Specific topics vary according to faculty assigned.
ENGL-450
3 Credits
This course charts the development of the free culture movement by examining the changing relationship between authorship and cultural production based on a variety of factors: law, culture, commerce and technology. In particular, we will examine the rise of the concept of the individual author during the last three centuries. Using a variety of historical and theoretical readings, we will note how law and commerce have come to shape the prevailing cultural norms surrounding authorship, while also examining lesser known models of collaborative and distributed authoring practices. This background will inform our study of the rapid social transformations wrought by media technologies in last two centuries, culminating with the challenges and opportunities brought forth by digital media, mobile communications and networked computing. Students will learn about the role of software in highlighting changing authorship practices, facilitating new business and economic models and providing a foundation for conceiving of open source, open access, participatory, peer-to-peer and Free (as in speech, not beer) cultures.
ENGL-210
3 Credits
Students will study literary and cultural texts selected from traditional literature to contemporary media and culture (including mythology, poetry, plays, novels, film, graphic novels, television, and digital literature). Students will analyze these texts from a variety of perspectives and become familiar with the history of debates about literature and/or culture as arenas of human experience. Individual sections will vary in their foci.
ENGL-216
3 Credits
Offering a representation of literature from at least three continents and intending to be introductory in nature, this course will explore literature drawn from a variety of cultures. Literature from Around the World will explore the nature, function and value of literature from a global perspective: students will become familiar with world literatures, as well as methods of studying literature and culture across national boundaries.
ENGL-320
3 Credits
Students will learn about foundational texts in one or more category of genre fiction and review its development in the 19th, 20th, and/or 21st centuries. Genre is a category characterized by similarities in style, or subject matter. Examples include science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, fanfiction, magical realism, or historical fiction. The course approaches genre fiction as literary form, as cultural artifact, and as philosophical speculation; students will learn to distinguish key features of genre fiction, including the historical inspiration as well as contemporary trends. The course may be taken up to two times for a total of 6 credit hours, as long as the topics are different.