Jae Kirkland Rice

Jae Rice

Jae Kirkland Rice

English Faculty



B.A., Brown University
M.A., Yale University
M.Phil, Yale University

Jae joins Walker’s from Yale University where he is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature and an acting instructor for the Freshman Writing Seminar. Jae has also served as an invited lecturer and instructor, has published articles in peer reviewed publications and presented at conferences on topics including race, gender and identity. Jae has a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Jae is a member of the Cluett dorm faculty and is coaching the Middle School Debate Club. He also is working with Walker’s Athletic Director Kati Eggert to develop an advanced strength and conditioning program for our college-bound athletes.

What was it about The Ethel Walker School that made you want to work here?

I loved the passionate students, focus on applied learning, and the small size of the institution.

Who is your biggest female role model? Why?

I’d say Toni Morrison because of both her far-reaching achievements and efforts to make space for others in the literary world and in academia. She not only advocated for publishers to take on more women and minority writers (she was the first Black woman to become an editor at Random House) and wrote Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning novels, but also dedicated her life to teaching and speaking about the intersection of literature, race, gender, and politics in the US.

What was your favorite subject when you were in middle or high school? Why?

It was a tie between Latin and English for me. In Latin, I enjoyed learning about the etymology of words and the many possibilities/difficulties of translation. In English, I found the experience of reading challenging books and learning to craft powerful, persuasive, textually-based arguments exhilarating.

What is your favorite part of the subject(s) you teach now?

I love teaching writing. Often, once students push past some initial discomfort with analytical writing and begin to look at course texts and their own writing with a closer lens, the way that they both read and write changes irrevocably. Witnessing that change is an amazing experience.

What is your favorite Walker’s tradition?

I look forward to Mountain Day. I love the idea of taking the whole school outside for a radical departure from the typical class day, followed by a community meal.

If you were to give advice to an incoming Walker’s student, what would it be?

Be curious and pace yourself! Take time to find the courses and activities that provide the right mix of enjoyment and challenge and make time to rest/relax as well.

What advice would you give to a graduating Walker’s senior?

I think the following Gertrude Stein quote sums up the quandary any graduating senior faces: “And then there is using everything.” Take time to reflect on everything that you’ve learned during your time at Walker’s, especially the difficult lessons, and use them to help you become a better learner and a better person. Always think about how you can use your gifts, your knowledge, and your resources to help others.

Please list any awards, fellowships, or distinctions you have earned during your career:
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (Brown University)
  • Inaugural Dean’s Emerging Scholar (Yale University)
  • Member of Humanities Doctoral Education Advisory Working Group (Yale University)
Please list (with links, if possible) any notable publications on which you are author or co-author that you would like highlighted on your page: