About Me

profile 1:2016AAAI am Associate Dean and Associate Professor of English at Whittier College, where I direct the Whittier Scholars Program and the Digital Liberal Arts Program. My publications include articles on Conrad,  Kipling, Austen, and digital pedagogy. I have been a recipient of an NEH Summer Institute Fellowship, and am Principle Investigator on  Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grants totaling $1.45 million to foster digital scholarship and pedagogy. Visit DigLibArts or my faculty page or connect with me on Twitter @profrehn. I’d love to hear from you!

This blog embodies my thinking on digital humanities, digital pedagogy, Victorian (and nineteenth century) British literature, and postcolonial feminist praxis. All opinions (and there are many) are solely my own.

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 More about me

Born in the backseat of a light blue Dodge Dart on the side of a highway in California’s Mojave Desert, I did little else of note for some years. While I always loved reading, especially Frank Herbert’s Dune and everything written by Charles Dickens, I nevertheless pursued a precarious but satisfying career as a ballet dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lifelong Californian, I finished my English degree at UC Berkeley, then moved to the East Coast to pursue a PhD in English at Cornell, and returned joyously to snow-free Los Angeles to join Whittier College’s faculty in 2007.

In the past few years, my research interests have focused on Digital Humanities, which I prefer to term “digital liberal arts.” My current project centers on tracing the itineraries of Jane Austen’s novels and readers throughout the early Victorian empire. As a teacher, writer, and online learning community member, I value above all the give-and-take of thoughtful, spirited discussion–in person or online. A key goal is to constantly enlarge my own and my students’ learning networks so that we can contribute to the great conversations of our times via the analysis and creation of texts and other artifacts. This interest lead me to facilitate an award-winning iteration of the  open education media and network literacy game #TvsZ.

I am also a member of the Virtually Connecting team, which seeks to enliven virtual participation in academic conferences. Here is a recent ProfHacker post in the Chronicle of Higher Education about that project.