Price Mellon Research Fellow

Whitney Trettien

Assistant Professor, English, University of Pennsylvania

Whitney Trettien researches the history of the book and other text technologies from print to digital. Her work is invested in exploring the past to better understand our present media environment.

Her first book, Cut/Copy/Paste (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), journeys to the fringes of the London print trade to uncover makerspaces and collaboratories where paper media were cut up and reassembled into radical, bespoke publications. Bringing these long-forgotten objects back to life through hand-curated digital resources, Trettien shows how early experimental book hacks speak to the contemporary conditions of digital scholarship and publishing. It is also itself an experiment in digital publishing, existing as both a printed object and an open access edition staged on Manifold Scholarship, where the text has been enriched with images, datasets, and other digital assets. Cut/Copy/Paste was written with the support of an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publishing, an NEH Open Book fellowship, and the Price Lab for Digital Humanities at Penn. 

Trettien has also published on textile metaphors in the poetry of Isabella Whitney, print-on-demand publishing and Milton's Areopagitica, and digital humanities, and has co-edited Provoke!, a web-based collection of sonic scholarship. A print companion,  Digital Sound Studies, was published by Duke University Press (2018). She is also the co-editor and co-designer of thresholds, an occasional digital zine for creative/critical interventions. 

Trettien received her PhD from Duke University and has an MS in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. 


Whitney in a yellow cardigan