Assistant Professor, English
Whitney Trettien is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She studies the history of the book and other text technologies, with a focus on the reading and writing practices of the English Renaissance. She is particularly interested in how a historical approach to media might enable us to build more inclusive textual communities today. Her forthcoming book Cut/Copy/Paste — to be published in print and digital form through the Manifold Scholarship imprint of University of Minnesota Press — examines the cut-and-paste biblical concordances made in the 1640s by the women of the religious household at Little Gidding. In it, Professor Trettien situates Little Gidding’s “new kind of printing,” as they called it, within a longer history of radical feminist publishing with scissors and paste. She has also written articles on the poet Isabella Whitney, the plant anatomist Nehemiah Grew, on-demand printing, and digital humanities.
Professor Trettien’s interest in publishing and design extends to her own work, which often experiments with new forms of writing. She has co-edited Provoke!, a collection of scholarship in sound, and recently co-founded thresholds, a digital publishing platform for creative/critical work.