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Roger Whitson

Roger Whitson

Associate Professor

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Roger is a researcher and teacher whose work examines the connections between literature, time, and media history; particularly as they impact the nineteenth-century. He is also a big fan of Steampunk. Roger believes that stories can help us imagine a better world, dwell with our uncertainties, and challenge the assumptions and privileges that have accompanied us into history. On the other hand, the technologies making up our world are strange non-human entities whose processes exceed our understanding of them, and yet they are an intimate part of our lives and our bodies. Roger’s spent a lifetime investigating how technology works, and finds computers and other media hilarious, horrifying, and endlessly fascinating.

Selected Work

Steampunk and Nineteenth-Century Digital Humanities: Literary Retrofutures, Media Archaeologies, Alternate Histories (2017)
Author & Writer
This digital humanities book turns to steampunk’s quirky temporalities to embrace diverse genealogies of the digital humanities and to unite their methodologies with nineteenth-century literature and media archaeology.

William Blake and the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Participation, and Social Media (2012)
Co-Author & Writer
This book examines William Blake’s work as a social and participatory network, a phenomenon described as zoamorphosis, which encourages — even demands — that others take up Blake’s creative mission.

Select reviews:

  • Studies in Romanticism (2014) by Laura Mandell
  • SEL: Studies in English Literature (2014) by Frances Ferguson
  • Blake/ An Illustrated Quarterly : Vol.49, no.4 (2016) by Whitney Anne Trettien
  • Review # 19 (2014) by Mark Greenberg

The Difference Engine: 1832, 1855, 1876, 1991, 2002, 2008 (2017)
Writer & Editor
The difference engine is a case study in what media archaeologists see as a diversity of temporalities entangling the production and functionality of technological media.

How to Theorize with a Hammer, or Making and Baking Things in Steampunk and the Digital Humanities (2016)
Writer & Contributor
The steampunk how-to manual rhetorically invites readers to participate in the act of making rather than, as in novels or critical scholarship, relying upon an established author to represent a specific group.


2017 – Co-Winner, “Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Popular Culture and American Culture,” PCA/ACA

Honors & Fellowships

2016 — Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Academic Advisor Award, Nominated
2015 – 2016 — Lewis E and Stella G Buchanan Distinguished Scholar Award, WSU College of Arts and Sciences Grant, $10,000.00
2014 – 2015 — New Faculty Seed Grant, WSU Grant, $17,330.00

Courses Taught

DTC 101: Introduction to Digital Technology and Culture
DTC 355: Multimedia Authoring
DTC 356: Electronic Research and the Rhetoric of Information
DTC 375: Languages, Text, and Technology
DTC 392: Video Games Theories and History
ENGL/HNRS 298: Reading and Writing Comics
ENGL 366: The British Novel to 1900
ENGL 372: Nineteenth-Century Literature of the British Empire and the Americas
ENGL 487: British Romanticism
ENGL 494: Senior Capstone: Digital Rhetorics and Digital Humanities
ENGL 521: Nineteenth-Century Speculative Fiction
ENGL 521: Nineteenth-Century Media Studies
ENGL 522: Steampunk and the Nineteenth Century
ENGL/DTC 560: Critical Theories, Methods, and Practice in Digital Humanities