I am a media theorist who studies nineteenth-century literature and technology while participating in the institutional, technological, and disciplinary collaborations found in the digital humanities. I leverage this multi-pronged approach to challenge the exclusionary history of literary studies, recasting it as a grassroots participatory activity connected to marginalized and non-academic cultures as well as various technologies and media. My work is particularly inspired by the eighteenth-century printmaker William Blake, who rebelled against the commercial printing practices and literary culture of his day by combining the traditions of medieval illumination with elements of newer techniques like relief etching and intaglio design. Blake revealed his belief about the collaborative aspect of his designs in a letter to the Reverend John Trussler in 1799, stating “And tho’ I call them Mine I know they are not Mine.”
Blake’s visionary rebellion against the industrial media culture of the Romantic period further inspires my use of the contemplative tradition against the fascist mind-hacking and radicalization occurring on social media. So-called “red-pilling,” used by alt-right activists to describe the psychological warfare that occurs when people are introduced to their world of conspiracy parallels what Blake called the fettering of the imaginative mind by the “dark Satanic Mills” of nineteenth-century labor and endless warfare. My current work in progress leverages the contemplative techniques of figures like Blake, Benedict Spinoza, George Eliot, Fred Moten, angel Kyodo williams, Alice Coltraine, and Ruth Ozeki to develop a humanities practice incorporating social justice-oriented contemplation to combat toxic masculinity and Nazi propaganda in addition to the technologies assaulting our affects with these ideologies on digital media.
PEER-REVIEWED SINGLE AND CO-AUTHORED MONOGRAPHS
Steampunk and Nineteenth-Century Digital Humanities: Literary Retrofutures, Media Archaeologies, Alternate Histories. London: Routledge, 2017.
Reviews: Jessica Witte. Configurations. 26.2 (2018); Jaymee Goh Sook Yi. Science Fiction Studies. 45.2 (July 2018); Megan Ward. Postmodern Culture. 28.2 (January 2018); Joanna Swafford. Victorian Studies 60.4 (Summer 2018); Kostas Boyiopoulos. THE BARS Review: British Association of Romatic Studies. No. 52 (2018).
William Blake and the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Participation, and Social Media. Co-authored with Jason Whittaker. London: Routledge. Hardback, 2012. Paperback, 2015.
Reviews: Laura Mandell. Studies in Romanticism.53 (2014); Frances Ferguson. SEL: Studies in English Literature. (2014);Whitney Anne Trettien. Blake/ An Illustrated Quarterly. 49.4 (2016); Mark Greenberg. Review19. 02 February 2014.
PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
“Time Critique and the Textures of Alternate History: William Gibson’s Media Archaeology in The Difference Engine and The Peripheral.” Periodizing the Future: William Gibson, Genre, and Literary History. Ed. Mitch Murray and Mathaias Nilges. U of Iowa Press. 6,700 words.
“Now: A Kit for Digital Mindfulness.” Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoroc, Writing, and Culture. 29. 2019. <http://enculturation.net/digitalmindfulness>. 6,931 words.
“Making ‘Comics as Scholarship.’ A Reflection on the Process Behind DHQ 9.4.” Co-authored with Anastasia Salter and Jason Helms. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 23.1 Fall 2018. < http://technorhetoric.net/23.1/inventio/salter-et-al/index.html#a/>. 4,747 words + images.
“The Difference Engine: 1832, 1855, 1876, 1991, 2002, 2008.” BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. August 2017. < http://www.branchcollective.org/?ps_articles=roger-whitson-the-difference-engine>. 7,152 words.
“How to Theorize with a Hammer, or Making and Baking Things in Steampunk and the Digital Humanities.” Like Clockwork: Steampunk Pasts, Presents, Futures. Eds. Rachel Bowser and Brian Croxall. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press.
Award: Co-Winner, PCA/ACA 2017, “Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Popular Culture and American Culture.”
“There is No William Blake: @autoblake’s Algorithmic Condition.” Essays in Romanticism. 23.1: 69-87.
“Steampunk Anachronisms: Queer Histories of the Digital Humanities.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge. 28. <http://rhizomes.net/issue28/whitson/index.html>. 8,439 words.
“Critical Making in the Digital Humanities.” Introducing Criticism in the Twenty-First Century. Second Edition. Ed. Julian Wolfreys. Edinburgh: U of Edinburgh Press. 157-77.
Review: Forum for Modern Language Studies. 51.4 (2015).
“Digital Literary Pedagogy: Teaching Technologies of Reading the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. 4 <http://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/>. 7,788 words.
Award: First Runner Up DH Awards 2013, “Best DH Blog Post, Article, or Short Publication.”
“How to Survive a Graduate Career.” Workplace: A Journal of Academic Labor. 22. 58-70. <http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/>.
“Digital Blake 2.0.” Blake 2.0: William Blake in Twentieth-Century Art, Music and Popular Culture. Eds. Steve Clark, Jason Whittaker, and Tristanne Connolly. New York: Palgrave. 41-55.
Review: Grant F. Scott. Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly. 47.4 (2014).
“Applied Blake: Milton’s Response to Empire.” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies. 9.2. 87-101.
“Engraving the Void and Sketching Parallel Worlds: An Interview with Bryan Talbot.” ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 3.2. <http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v3_2>. 2,664 words.
“Paneling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of Alan Moore and William Blake.” ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 3.2. <http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v3_2>. 7,852 words.
Award: Broken Frontier 2007, Best Comics Scholarship Award.
“Jerusalem and ‘The Jew’: Biopolitics Between Blake and Spinoza.” Romanticism on the Net. 40. <http://www.ron.umontreal.ca/>. 6,568 words.
“Living Forms of History: Strategic Presentism in Blake Studies.” A Review of William Blake’s Gothic Imagination: Bodies of Horror and William Blake in Context. European Romantic Review. Issue 4 (July 2020). 484-9. 3,230 words.
“Review of The George Eliot Archive. Reviews in Digital Humanities. 1.2 (February 2020). <https://reviewsindh.pubpub.org/pub/george-eliot-archive>. 619 words.
“Review of Jussi Parikka’s Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses, Second Edition.” Theory, Culture, and Society. 25 May 2017.
<https://www.theoryculturesociety.org/review-jussi-parikka-digital-contagions-media-archaeology-computer-viruses/>. 2,826 words
“#Altac and the Tenure Track.” The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Reprinted 11 January 2013. D20-21. 1331 words.
“Review of Alan Badiou’s St. Paul: The Foundation ofUniversalism.” Politics and Culture. 6.3. <http://www.politicsandculture.org> .
“Review of Saree Makdisi’s William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s.” Clio: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History. 33.4.
EDITED JOURNAL ISSUES
Helen J. Burgess and Roger Whitson eds., “Critical Making and Executable Kits.” Enculturation: A Journal of Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture. <http://enculturation.net/29>.
Andrew Burkett and Roger Whitson eds., “William Blake and Pedagogy.” Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons. <https://www.rc.umd.edu/pedagogies/commons/pedagogical_blake>.
Anastasia Salter and Roger Whitson eds., “Comics as Scholarship.” Digital Humanities Quarterly. 9.4
Award: Best Online Comics Studies Scholarship (BOCSS) 2016, “First Place for the Special Issue Comics as Scholarship.”
Roger Whitson and Donald Ault eds., “William Blake and Visual Culture.” ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 3.2. <http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v3_2/>.
“Critical Making in Digital Humanities Webinar Series.” Webinar series about Critical Making via WSU’s Blackboard Connect. Presenters include Lori Emerson, Matt Ratto, Kari Kraus, Garnet Hertz, Amaranth Borsuk, and Jentery Sayers. <http://www.rogerwhitson.net/critical-making/?page_id=2>.
“Critical Making in Digital Humanities Digital Archive.” Co-edited with Dene Grigar. Archive of Critical Making projects from around the country. <http://www.rogerwhitson.net/critical-making/?page_id=128>.
@autoblake. Twitter bot that computationally remixes the poetry of William Blake. <http://www.twitter.com/autoblake>.
Reviews: Leonardo Flores. I Love E-Poetry; Sarah Jones. Blake House: Goings-On At the Blake Quarterly.
Tweeting #OWS: Emory’s Archive of Occupy Wall Street Tweets. Emory Center for Digital Scholarship. Website and data analysis of tweets from Occupy Wall Street. <http://disc.library.emory.edu/ows/>.
The Blake 2.0 Cloud. Co-authored with Jason Whittaker. Blog posts, social media analysis and digital domain for my William Blake and the Digital Humanities book. <http://blake2.org>.