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Instructor Spotlight: Emily Bald

Emily Bald is a new lecturer in the University Writing Program. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington in 2018 and her B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She was thrilled to join the UWP this fall and looks forward to growing roots in Florida, where she was born and raised.

To support innovative cross-disciplinary work by undergraduates, Bald is collaborating with her colleagues to launch an undergraduate journal at UF. She is an advocate for undergraduate scholarship and is excited to build on her experience as a co-founder of a student journal in Seattle called Process. In her brief time at UF, Bald has been stunned by the intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm of her students: “UF undergrads are the best,” she says, but don’t tell her former students that. Currently teaching Writing in the Medical Sciences and Writing for Gender Studies, she loves that she is able to teach writing for different disciplinary universes simultaneously. Her students have pushed her to think about how to think in different fields, and have helped her recognize how different disciplinary approaches can complicate, enrich, and strengthen one another.

Bald is interested in the relationships among science, technology, philosophy, and narrative form. As a graduate student, her work centered on different understandings of time in modern American literature and culture. Her dissertation examines experiences of desynchronization: the feeling of falling out of sync with—or being forcibly excluded from—shared time. Reading postbellum fiction, visual art, and early ragtime and jazz in dialogue with contemporaneous studies of temporal experience in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, the project draws attention to the cultural politics of “objective” time. In an article forthcoming in American Literary Realism, Bald argues that Ambrose Bierce’s experimentation with narrative time contests the reconciliationist narratives of Civil War cycloramas. Bald’s research has inspired a few of her favorite writing courses, including “Narrative Experiments with Time,” “The Crafting of Histories,” and “Time and Memory.”

The collaborative energy of the UWP is what most attracted Bald to this program. She is amazed and motivated by the creativity of her colleagues, and is excited to work with them to create innovative opportunities for students. In addition to founding an undergraduate journal, Bald aims to collaborate on initiatives that support experiential, community-engaged learning and public-facing, nontraditional, and digital forms of scholarship.