I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Linguistics and Communication at the University of Mary Washington. I direct the Minor in Digital Studies, and I am a 2015-16 Teaching Technology and Innovation Fellow. This is my website.


Recent posts from an infrequently updated blog.


How to make a Twitter Bot with Google Spreadsheets (version 0.4)

May 17, 2015

Do you like Twitter bots? I know I sure do. I like following them, and I like making them. I also like introducing my students to bots as one way to do creative things in a networked digital context. That’s way, back in 2013, I cobbled together a simple tool built on a Google Spreadsheets […]

read more

Zen for JPG

February 12, 2015

I’m a fan of the Moviebarcode Tumblr blog, which creates elegant “barcode” versions of movies and other visual media. Conceptually, it’s similar to what Lev Manovich does with image sets and that I and my DGST 101 students tried to replicate last semester. Instead of shrinking each frame into pixels on a tapestry, moviebarcode squeezes […]

read more

Four Responses to #!

February 3, 2015

When I first read Nick Montfort’s #!, I shared my initial response via Twitter in the form of a Perl one-liner. Since I’m teaching #! this semester, I’ve been taking a second look and growing in my appreciation and understanding of the Perl poems in particular, so I thought I’d revisit that review and expand […]

read more


Digital Studies, English, New Media, Comics. Courses for Fall 2015:


DGST 395 Applied Digital Studies

Students will apply the skills and methodologies developed in the Digital Studies curriculum toward larger-scale, self-designed digital projects that contribute meaningfully to some cultural field, academic discipline, social issue, or other research question. A set of common readings around a keyword — “drone” — will inspire discussions and projects.

Learn More

ENGL 386 The Graphic Novel

A study of the graphic novel form, including the analysis of graphic novel texts, the integration of related critical theory, and experimentation with producing graphic narrative. Specific topics and themes may include formal approaches to the medium, as well as issues of race, class, and gender as represented in graphic novels.

Learn More

FSEM 100M7 “Beyond the Selfie”

This class is an exploration of how digital technologies and networked culture are influencing our sense of self and community, from the crafting and presentation of personal identity, to the empowerment of individual voices to create and effect change, to the building of communal narratives and spaces in an increasingly global and networked society.

Learn More


Video games, electronic literature, comics, and so on.

Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games

Vanderbilt University Press, 2008 Co-edited with Laurie N. Taylor, this collection of essays explores videogames’ representations of history and relationships to videogame history through the lens of nostalgia.
(This is a mockup of a cover; not official or final.)

Disability in Comics and Graphic Narrative

Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016 This book, co-edited with Chris Foss and Jonathan W. Gray, collects essays that explore themes and representations of disability in comics and graphic novels. This collection will be published as part of Palgrave-MacMillan’s “Literary Disability” series.

Upcoming and Forthcoming

Disability in Comics and Graphic Narrative
Eds. Chris Foss, Jonathan W. Gray, and Zach Whalen. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.

Recently Published or Presented

Audio/Blog Post."Calling All Reactive Agents: Cutting Up Burroughs." Eds. Casey Boyle and Jim Brown.  Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing and Culture. 5 Feb. 2015. <http://enculturation.net/not_empty>
“What Video Game History says about New Media Futures”
2015 Digital Scholarship Colloquium. UMW. February 4, 2015
“Airstream Futures”
2015 Modern Language Assocation Convention, Vancouver, BC, January 11, 2015.


If you wish to reach me, there are several ways you might accomplish this.

540 654 2355
Zach Whalen Department of English, Linguistics and Communication University of Mary Washington 1301 College Ave Fredericksburg, VA 22401