Professor of English
Director, Whittier Scholars Program
Department of English Language and Literature
Wardman Hall 102
M.A., Ph.D Cornell University
Victorian Literature, Postcolonial Studies, Digital Humanities, Feminist and Queer Studies.
Born in the backseat of a light blue Dodge Dart on the side of a highway in California’s Mojave Desert, Professor Andrea Rehn did little else of note for some years. While she demonstrated an early love of reading, especially Frank Herbert’s Dune and everything written by Charles Dickens, she nevertheless pursued a precarious but satisfying career as a ballet dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lifelong Californian, she moved to the East Coast for graduate school, and then joyously returned to snow-free Los Angeles to join Whittier’s faculty in 2007.
In the past few years, Rehn's research interests have increasingly intersected with the field of Digital Humanities. Her current project centers on the itineraries of Jane Austen's novels and readers throughout the early Victorian empire. This project is made possible by "distant reading" of both texts and archival records from the nineteenth century. She is also the Co-Director of Whittier's Digital Liberal Arts Center, which seeks to stimulate new digital pedagogies across Whittier's campus and throughout the liberal arts curriculum.
Rehn passionately loves to read (from cereal boxes to newspapers to novels) and to discuss literature. As a teacher, Rehn values above all the give-and-take of spirited discussion in seminars. She seeks always to cultivate an atmosphere in which all students feel welcome and inspired to join into the great conversations of our times via the close analysis of literary texts. In her spare time, she likes to dance, run, cook, and eat chocolate - not necessarily in that order.
Selected Publications and Presentations
“Hastening together to perfect felicity”: Teaching the English Gothic Tradition through Parody and Digital Role-Playing." Persuasions On-Line (anticipated Spring, 2014)
“Becoming James: Jane Austen and the Rajah of Sarawak” – Nineteenth Century Studies Association (NCSA), CSU Fresno (3/2013)
“White Rajas, Native Princes and Savage Pirates: Lord Jim and the Cult of White Masculinity.” Journal of Victorian Culture 17.3 (2012) 287-308. Print.
“A ‘Blasée Old Campaigner’: Photograph and Narrative in Isabella Bird’s Asian Travel Books.” Narrating Travel in the Nineteenth Century, eds. Claudia Capancioni and Kate Hill. (under submission)
"Jane Austen Goes to Borneo.” Public Lecture, NEH Summer Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia (7/2012)
“Brazen Images: Kipling’s ‘Man who would be King,’ Newspaper Heroism, and Parody”—Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention, Rochester, NY (3/2012)
“Isabella Bird Takes Flight: Photograph, Narrative, and Audience in the Asian Travel Books—Travel in the Nineteenth Century Conference, Lincoln University, Lincoln, UK (7/2011)