Miriam Bartha

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photo of Miriam Bartha

Affiliate Faculty

Director, Graduate Programs, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Co-Director, UW Certificate in Public Scholarship

B.A. Rutgers University, English and Women Studies
M.A. Rutgers University, Literatures in English
Ph.D. Rutgers University, Literatures in English

Office: UW2-134
Phone: 425-352-5427
Email: mbartha@uw.edu
Mailing: Box 358500, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011


My path through graduate school was long and circuitous. Tracking between scholarly and professional work, and between classroom and co-curricular pursuits, ultimately shaped a career committed to education across realms that we often hold separate, to our detriment.

My graduate studies focused on American literature via gender, cultural, and performance studies.  My dissertation, Shock Treatments: Witnessing in Postwar Performance examined the embodied rhetorics and autobiographical performances of Beat and Confessional poets, Method actors, and James Baldwin, as they ruptured dominant fictions, refigured the personal as political, and remade the public sphere in second half of the twentieth century. I’ve taught composition and rhetoric, literary and feminist studies, at Rutgers and San Francisco State Universities.

While completing graduate school, I also worked as an arts administrator for the PEN American Center, an international professional writers association: its various campaigns and programs introduced me to intersections amongst the publishing industry, philanthropic foundations, writer’s unions, human rights organizations, cultural policy agencies, secondary schools, and educational non-profits.  I also collaborated with graduate students and others on publicly-engaged scholarly projects like the Poetry and the Public Sphere, a series of discussions, lectures, and performances, and an early digital humanities project, archiving the historic journal of feminist experimental writing, HOW(ever), and designing its electronic publication as HOW2.

Working at and across these sites has taught me that transformative learning necessarily engages differences among community knowledges and professional practices.  The opportunities for such learning has oriented my own career towards the praxis of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration: first at the Simpson Center for the Humanities, where I guided project, program, and grant development for several years, and more recently for the graduate programs in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell, with their strong emphasis on cross-disciplinary, community-engaged, and connected learning.

Teaching and mentoring

In my teaching, I seek ways for students to learn from one another by providing structures that allow us to explore the experiences, questions, and commitments we bring to our encounters with each other and the institution of higher education, as well as the uneven histories that shape those encounters. I encourage participation through a variety of modes, performative and reflective, that make space for listening and practicing. And wherever possible, I open the classroom to the perspectives of those working in the field and on the ground, so that a dialogue between study and engagement can happen.

In advising and mentoring of students, I like to ground discussions in individual strengths and assets in order to explore opportunities and challenges for growth, and share resources inside and outside the university that can support further scholarly and professional development.

Recent Courses Taught

BCULST/BPOLST 591 Research Colloquium

HUM 594 Scholarship as Public Practice

HUM 603 Capstone Portfolio


Over the course of my career, my scholarly focus has migrated from the realm of the textual and the literary towards more professional and organizational fields.  For the last seven years, my publications and presentations have focused on questions of graduate education, diversified professional development, public scholarship, collaboration practice, and program assessment.

Selected publications

Why Public Scholarship Matters for Graduate Education.” Co-authored with Bruce Burgett. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture. 15:1 (January 2015): 31-43.

This Bridge Called My Job: Translating, Revaluing, And Leveraging Intermediary Administrative Work.” Co-authored with Megan Carney, Sylvia Gale, Beth Goodhue, and Amy Howard. Public: The Journal of Imagining America. Special Issue on Hybrid, Evolving, and Integrative Career Paths 2:2 (2014).

 “Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship.” Co-authored with Georgia Nigro. Diversity & Democracy (Association of American Colleges and Universities) 16:3 (2013).

 “Art Gave Permission to Agitate: A Conversation with Pam Korza.” Co-edited with Bruce Burgett and Elizabeth Thomas. Public: The Journal of Imagining America 1:1 and 2 (2013). 

Critical Purchase in Neoliberal Times: An Interview with Ien Ang.” Co-edited with Bruce Burgett and Ron Krabill. Lateral, The Journal of the Cultural Studies Association. 2 (2013).

Lateral Moves—Across Disciplines: An Interview with Randy Martin.” Co-edited with Bruce Burgett, Diane Douglass, and Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren. Lateral, The Journal of the Cultural Studies Association. Issue 1, Spring 2012).

“Serious Work: Towards a Publicly-Engaged Humanities.” Special issue, “Engagements,” Western Humanities Review (November 2010).

Keyword: Skill.” Post-publication essay for Keywords for American Cultural Studies, edited by Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler (New York University Press, 2008), September 2009.