• Digital Humanities
  • Cultural Analytics
  • Literature


Melanie Walsh is an Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. Her research interests include data science, digital humanities, cultural analytics, contemporary literature, and library and information science. She investigates how data and computational methods shape contemporary culture — such as the publishing industry and public libraries — and how they can be used to understand culture in turn. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Associate in Information Science at Cornell University. She received her PhD in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, where she specialized in computational approaches to text and social media data and served as a Fellow in the Humanities Digital Workshop.

Walsh is currently working on a book called When Postwar American Fiction Went Viral: Protest, Profit, and Popular Readers in the 21st Century, which traces how postwar literary texts were recirculated and reimagined by various internet communities and political movements, such as Black Lives Matter. She is also co-PI of the NEH-funded AI for Humanists project (formerly the BERT for Humanists project), and she is co-editor of the Post45 Data Collective, a peer-reviewed, open-access repository for literary and cultural data from 1945 to the present. Lastly, she is the author of the widely used online textbook, Introduction to Cultural Analytics & Python, which was voted the “Best Digital Humanities Training Material” of 2021.


  • Ph D, English & American Literature, Washington University in St. Louis, 2019
  • MA, English, Washington University in St. Louis, 2015
  • BA, English, Washington University in St. Louis, 2013


  • Cross-disciplinary Research Cluster Award - Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington, 2023
  • Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship - Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington, 2023
  • NEH Digital Humanities Level III Advancement Grant - National Endowment for the Humanities, 2023
  • Best Digital Humanities Training Material - The Digital Humanities Awards, 2021
  • NEH Digital Humanities Level I Advancement Grant - National Endowment for the Humanities, 2021
  • Emerging Open Scholarship Award, Honorable Mention - Canadian Social Knowledge Institute, 2020
  • Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence - Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, 2019
  • Dissertation Fellowship - Center for the Humanities, Washington University in St. Louis, 2018
  • Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship - The Lilly Library, Indiana University, 2018
  • William J. Hill Visiting Researcher Travel Grant - Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, 2018
  • Humanities Digital Workshop Summer Fellowship - Washington University in St. Louis, 2015-2017
  • Harriet Schwenk Kluver Prize - English Department, Washington University in St. Louis, 2010
  • Responsible Computing Challenge Award - Mozilla Foundation, 2023

Publications and Contributions


  • The Meme of the Author (2024)
    International Reader Studies Symposium, Price Lab for Digital Humanities, University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA
  • Artificial Intelligence: An Overview for the NEH (2023)
    National Endowment for the Humanities - Virtual
  • Publisher-Platform Data Relationships (2023)
    Exploring the Anti-Ownership Ebook Economy, co-sponsored by The Engleberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law and Library Futures - New York, New York
  • BERT for Social Sciences and Humanities (2022)
    ICWSM - Atlanta, GA
  • Computational Reception and Readership Studies (2022)
    The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) Conference - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Data as Culture (2022)
    Women in Data Science Conference, Claremont College - Claremont, California
  • Online Readership and Perception of Genre Over Time (2022)
    Digital Humanities Conference - Tokyo, Japan (Virtual)
  • Toward a Critical Data Pedagogy: American Studies Perspectives in the Digital Humanities Classroom (2022)
    American Studies Association Conference - New Orleans, LA
  • BERT for Humanists: Uses, Challenges, Translations (2021)
    ACH Conference - Virtual
  • Computational Approaches to Book Reviews (2021)
    ACH Conference - Virtual
  • Library Circulation Histories Workshop (2021)
    National Endowment for the Humanities Workshop - Virtual
  • Multilingual NLP as Interface (2021)
    DARIAH Conference - Virtual
  • New Histories of Quantitative and Computational Methods (2021)
    MLA Annual Convention - Toronto, Canada (Virtual)
  • Social Textworking: Books, Readers, and Online Media (2021)
    SHARP Conference - Virtual
  • The Crowdsourced ‘Classics’ and the Revealing Limits of Goodreads Data (2020)
    DH - Ottawa, Canada (Virtual)
  • Between Readers: A Short Methodological History of Networked Reading (2019)
    MLA Annual Convention - Chicago, IL
  • Documenting Twitter Prot (2019)
    American Studies Association - Honolulu, HI
  • Mapping the Librotraficante Movement (2019)
    Global DH Symposium - East Lansing, MI
  • New Horizons in Network Analysis (2019)
    ACH Conference - Pittsburgh, PA
  • The Crowdsourced ‘Classics (2019)
    Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present - College Park, MD
  • Working with Twitter Data (2019)
    Day of Data – Cornell University Library - Ithaca, NY
  • James Baldwin, #BlackLivesMatter, and Networks of Textual Recirculation (2018)
    DH 2018 Conference - Mexico City, Mexico
  • Kurt Vonnegut Unstuck in Time for $1.99: Amazon Kindle Worlds and the Readerly Reimagination of Postwar American Fiction (2018)
    Post45 Graduate Symposium - New Haven, CT
  • Access (2017)
    Text Mining the Novel (NovelTM) Workshop - Montreal, Canada
  • Archives Unleashed (2017)
    Web Archiving Workshop for Researchers - San Francisco, CA
  • Cultural Analytics (2017)
    Computational and Data-Intensive Cultural Studies Symposium - South Bend, IN
  • Geospatial Workshop (2017)
    Text Mining the Novel (NovelTM) Workshop - South Bend, IN
  • James Baldwin’s New Media Readers (2017)
    Global DH Symposium - East Lansing, MI
  • Stories of Dissent: Rereading #Ferguson (2017)
    American Studies Association - Chicago, IL
  • Tweets of a Native Son: James Baldwin and the Literary-Critical Use of a Social Media Archive (2017)
    Midwest Modern Language Association - St. Louis, MO