Academic Bio


J. Ashley Foster is Associate Professor of 20th & 21st-Century British Literature with Emphasis in Digital Humanities in the Department of English at California State University, Fresno. She received her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, in 2014.

Working at the intersection of literary studies, digital humanities, peace studies, and women’s studies, Ashley’s scholarship and teaching employs digital tools to trace the relationships between artistic and activist networks of the long 20th-Century and to facilitate intertextual readings between literature and archives. Ashley’s book project, Modernism’s Impossible Witness: Peace Testimonies from the Spanish Civil War, illuminates a concern for peace and social justice in the study of modernism.

Ashley and students from the graduate seminar “Utopias: Literature, Technology, Archives” curated the Digital Humanities and Special Collections exhibition Surveying Utopias: A Critical Exploration, which ran in the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State from February 22-July 26, 2019.   The exhibition catalogue was published by The Press at California State University (2019) and can be accessed on the Surveying Utopias website.

From 2014-2017, Ashley served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Fellow in the Writing Program at Haverford College.  Ashley and the students from her “Peace Testimonies in Literature & Art” Writing Seminar curated the interactive digital humanities and special collections exhibition Testimonies in Art & Action: Igniting Pacifism in the Face of Total War, which ran from October 6-December 11, 2015 in Magill Library at Haverford College.

Recent articles and chapters include the co-authored “Changing the Subject: Archives, Technology, and Radical Counter-Narratives of Peace” in Radical Teacher (2016), “Writing in the ‘White Light of Truth’: History, Ethics, and Community in Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts” in the Woolf Studies Annual (2016), “Bloomsbury and War” in the Handbook to the Bloomsbury Group, edited by Stephen Ross and Derek Ryan (2018), the co-authored “Challenging a ‘Warist’ Society with Digital Peace Pedagogy” in  Radical Teacher (2020), and“Archives, Activism, and Feminist Digital Pedagogy: Virginia Woolf and Muriel Rukeyser in Context” in Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English, edited by Janine Utell (2021).

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys a dedicated yoga practice, dancing, cross-country skiing, and hiking.