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.


An Arthrogram, Part 1

October 26, 2015

I “wrote” and “published” a “graphic novel.” Like most people, I generally dislike scare quotes, but I want to underscore those in that declaration, because I want to be clear from the outset of this post and the two that will follow that my use of those three words in these ways is highly contingent. A reasonable […]

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GIFfing the Media Wall

September 24, 2015

I’m a fan of animated GIFs, and one of my favorite features of UMW’s Convergence Center is it’s “Media Wall,” a large, multi-screen display in the main area of the second floor. It’s a cool place for looping, ambient visual art, so it’s perfect for animated GIFs. Last year, my rendition of Cory Arcangel’s Super […]

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The Media Anachronism Project: A Proposal

September 22, 2015

This past Spring, Jim Groom and I started up a project we’ve been calling the “Console Living Room” or just “#umwconsole.” Jim has already written frequently and passionately about this project, but now that Jim is moving on, it falls to me to steer this project into something more permanent and long term. To that […]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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