Danica Savonick, Assistant Professor of English, SUNY Cortland
Ph.D., English, CUNY Graduate Center
M.A, English, CUNY Graduate Center
B.A., English, Rutgers University

Danica Savonick is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Cortland, where she teaches courses on multicultural and African American literature, feminist theory, and digital humanities. Danica holds a Ph.D. in English and a Certificate in American Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research analyzes the relationships among literature, pedagogy, and social justice. Her current manuscript, “Insurgent Knowledge: The Poetics and Pedagogy of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich in the Era of Open Admissions” examines how feminist and anti-racist aesthetics have shaped student-centered pedagogies and how classroom encounters with students have had a lasting impact on postwar literature and theory. Through archival research on syllabi, lesson plans, and assignments alongside analysis of published literary texts, Insurgent Knowledge shows how pedagogy, poetics, and politics intersect in the work of Lorde, Bambara, Jordan, and Rich. Her scholarship on pedagogy, social justice, and literature has appeared in American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Keywords for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Hybrid Pedagogy as well as Inside Higher Ed and the ChronicleIn 2017, Danica was awarded the Association of American Colleges & Universities K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in Women’s Studies, and a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Much of Danica’s work leverages the affordances of digital technologies to promote public knowledge production and democratize learning. Danica is an editor of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy and serves on the Steering Committee for HASTAC.org. Danica is also lead author of “Gender Bias in Academe,” an online annotated bibliography of recent studies documenting gender bias, republished by the London School of Economics Impact of Social Sciences blog. Educators and administrators nationwide, including college presidents and provosts, have used this bibliography to ensure less biased decisions in their appointment, promotion, and tenure processes.

Danica practices the pedagogical mission she writes about in the courses she teaches, currently at SUNY Cortland and formerly at Queens College, CUNY. Students in these courses play an active role in shaping the content, methods, and means by which their learning is assessed. They conduct archival research on the role of students in the Civil Rights movement; translate their learning and experiences into poetry, visual art, and film, all of which are shared publicly online; and have published their co-authored research in the scholarly, peer-reviewed journal Hybrid Pedagogy. In 2017, she was awarded a Teaching and Learning Center grant for this publishing assignment.

As a former Futures Initiative Fellow, Danica has worked to advance equity and innovation in education and promote reinvestment in higher education as a public good through advanced graduate training in pedagogy, peer mentorship programs for undergraduates, and public programming like The University Worth Fighting For. Danica helped organized many public events including “Teaching as Social Justice,” “Tools for Pedagogical, Institutional, and Social Change,” and a post-election teach-in, all of which convened educators, artists, activists, librarians, journalists, and administrators to crowdsource strategies for empowering undergraduates, especially from low-income and minority backgrounds.

Download Danica’s CV.

Email Danica at danicasavonick@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @danicasavonick