Robin DeRosa

Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies; Director of the Open Lab for Teaching & Learning

AB, Brown University; MA, PhD, Tufts University

I am the Director of the Plymouth State Open Teaching and Learning Lab. The Open Lab is a dynamic site of pedagogical praxis dedicated to innovative teaching and learning and a community-driven approach to academic professional development; we focus on instructional design, open education, interdisciplinary learning, and increasing the public impact of the academy. I’m also an editor for Hybrid Pedagogy, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that combines the strands of critical pedagogy and digital pedagogy to arrive at the best social and civil uses for technology and new media in education.

I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, where I first fell in love with museums and historical reenactments related to the Revolutionary War.  After doing a dual degree in English and Women’s Studies at Brown and teaching high school for a year, I went to Tufts to do my Ph.D. in English, with a focus on early America. My interest was in how we produce “history” through narrative and popular culture, and my research includes work on the Salem Witch Trials in American memory, postmodern redefinitions of the tourist, and simulated environments in contemporary media. In 2015, I produced a tourbook focused on women’s history for Bodie State Historic Park in California, and more recently, I’ve enjoyed teaching at Digital Humanities Summer Institute and Digital Pedagogy Lab, and working with graduate students as an Affiliate Faculty member at Prescott College in Arizona, a highly interdisciplinary school with integrated commitments to the environment, the liberal arts, and social justice. I was an English professor for fifteen years before I moved into the field of Interdisciplinary Studies and helped to develop PSU’s student-centered pedagogy in this innovative customized major program. Though I now work with students and faculty across a wide variety of disciplines, I still find that I rely heavily on my Humanities training to help me think critically about the future of higher education, and the ways that we can work together to help make academic scholarship more relevant and accessible to the public.

You can learn more about me at my website, or follow me on Twitter @actualham.

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