Faculty Spotlight!

J. Ashley Foster, Assistant Professor, Department of English

Ashley FosterMy name is Ashley Foster and I am Assistant Professor of 20th & 21st-Century British Literature with Emphasis in Digital Humanities in the Department of English. As a digital modernist, my research combines literary studies, digital humanities, peace studies, and women’s studies to analyze and curate archival documents and to trace relations between artistic and activist networks of the modernist era. I also focus on digital pedagogy and how critical usage of technology in the classroom can open new ways of thinking and learning.

This is my second year at Fresno State, and I have been very moved by the hospitality and warmth of the community. Born in New York, I attended Fordham University in the Bronx as an undergraduate and pursued my doctoral work at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, in Manhattan, where I had the opportunity to study under wonderful mentors. I completed my postdoctoral fellowship at Haverford College, where I had the honor of working with the Library to create a multi-modal special collections and digital humanities exhibition, Testimonies in Art & Action: Igniting Pacifism in the Face of Total War.

I am now continuing the work of curation and exhibition of archival materials here at Fresno State with our compelling and rich collections. The “Utopias: Literature, Technology, Archives” graduate seminar I am teaching this semester is working in collaboration with Tammy Lau and the Special Collections team in the Henry Madden Library to create a standing and digital exhibition on Utopias. We are right in the middle of choosing our exhibition items, discussing larger themes for the catalogue and labels, and building the website. This class is unique in that we are completely embedded in Special Collections; two hours a week we work in the collections, and we then discuss the literature assigned and inspiring and thought-provoking documents we have found. We are all very enthusiastic to see how the exhibition comes together. The opening will be in February of 2019.

When I am not researching or teaching, you can usually find me at the yoga studio or on a mountain trail. I have also recently started paddle boarding, which I love to do at Bass Lake, surrounded by the trees.

Flexibility and innovation are two foundations of my pedagogy.

The CFE has absolutely helped to better my teaching and learning, and has been an indispensable resource for my classes. Last semester, my graduate course "Literature and the Digital Humanities" were able to meet five distinguished members of the field via the conferencing technology Zoom because we were permitted to use the collaborative classroom. The CFE allowed us to set up early and test the technology systems in order to flawlessly host these digital talks. I am also a newly graduated member of the 2018 DiscoverE cohort, which will allow me to take new technologies and applications into my classroom this upcoming Spring.