Research Interests

Data science, digital humanities, cultural analytics, social media, twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature, network analysis, readership and reception studies.


Assistant Teaching Professor, Information School, University of Washington, July 2021 - Present

Postdoctoral Associate and Visiting Lecturer in Information Science, Cornell University, August 2019 – June 2021


Ph.D., English & American Literature, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 2013 – 2019

Dissertation: Postwar Redux: The Recirculation of Postwar American Literature and the Rise of Networked Readers in the Twenty-First Century

Advisor: William J. Maxwell

M.A., English, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 2015

B.A., English, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 2013
summa cum laude


Peer-Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters

Melanie Walsh and Maria Antoniak, “The Goodreads ‘Classics’: A Computational Study of Readers, Amazon, and Crowdsourced Amateur Criticism,” Post45 and Journal of Cultural Analytics, April 2021. [PDF] [Interactive Plots]

Maria Antoniak, Melanie Walsh, and David Mimno, “Tags, Borders, and Catalogs: Social Re-Working of Genre on LibraryThing,” Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction (CSCW), 2021. [PDF]

Melanie Walsh, “Tweets of a Native Son: The Quotation and Recirculation of James Baldwin from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter,” American Quarterly, 70, no. 3 (2018). [PDF] [Interactive Plots]


Introduction to Cultural Analytics & Python, an online interactive textbook that offers an introduction to the programming language Python, specifically designed for humanities students and scholars.

Tweets of a Native Son,, a website featuring interactive data visualizations about James Baldwin’s digital afterlives.

Essays, Reviews, & Interviews

“Review: Name That Twitter Community!,” Reviews in Digital Humanities, January 2020.

“Beautifying Beale Street,” Los Angeles Review of Books, December 2018.

“A Conversation with Cathy Davidson: On the Digital in the Humanities and Her Journey to Revolutionize Higher Ed,” Human Ties, September 2018.


“Unattended Packages,” Chicago Reader, December 2018.

Editorial Work

“Echoes: Memes, Art, & Collectives on the Internet,” The Spectacle, July 2018

Grants, Awards & Fellowships

NEH Digital Humanities Level I Advancement Grant ($46,704), National Endowment for the Humanities, Co-PI with David Mimno. *Grant awarded to support “BERT for Humanists: Anticipating the Reception of Contemporary NLP in Digital Humanities.”

Emerging Open Scholarship Award, Honorable Mention, 2020. Awarded by the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute for Tweets of a Native Son.

Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Spring 2019.

Dissertation Fellowship, Center for the Humanities, Washington University in St. Louis, 2018.

Digital Humanities 2018 Bursary Scholarship, The Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), June 2018.

Digital Humanities Summer Institute Tuition Scholarship, June 2018.

Digital Approaches Reading Group Grant, Center for the Humanities, Washington University, 2015-2018.

William J. Hill Visiting Researcher Travel Grant, Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, May 2018. Awarded to support dissertation research of the Sandra Cisneros Papers.

Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship, The Lilly Library, Indiana University, January 2018. Awarded to support dissertation research of the Vonnegut mss.

Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) Scholar, 2016-2018.

Humanities Digital Workshop Summer Fellowship, Washington University in St. Louis, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Research Assistantship, Text Mining the Novel (NovelTM), Spring 2017.

National Science Foundation Travel Grant, “Archives Unleashed,” Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA, February 2017.

Harriet Schwenk Kluver Prize, Washington University in St. Louis, 2010.

Conferences, Presentations, & Workshops

“Social Textworking: Books, Readers, and Online Media,” SHARP, July 2021.

“The Crowdsourced ‘Classics’ and the Revealing Limits of Goodreads Data,” DH 2020, Ottawa, Canada (virtual), July 2020.

“Documenting Twitter Protest,” American Studies Association, Honolulu, HI, November 2019.

“Working with Twitter Data,” Day of Data – Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, October 2019.

“The Crowdsourced ‘Classics,’” Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, College Park, MD, October 2019.

“New Horizons in Network Analysis,” Co-Organizer and Presenter, ACH, Pittsburgh, PA, July 2019.

“Mapping the Librotraficante Movement,” Global DH Symposium, East Lansing, MI, March 2019.

“Between Readers: A Short Methodological History of Networked Reading,” MLA Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, January 2019.

“James Baldwin, #BlackLivesMatter, and Networks of Textual Recirculation,” DH 2018 Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, June 2018.

“Kurt Vonnegut Unstuck in Time for $1.99: Amazon Kindle Worlds and the Readerly Reimagination of Postwar American Fiction,” Post45 Graduate Symposium, New Haven, CT, March 2018.

“Stories of Dissent: Rereading #Ferguson,” Panel Organizer and Presenter, American Studies Association, Chicago, IL, November 2017.

“Access,” Discussant, Text Mining the Novel (NovelTM) Workshop, Montreal, Canada, October 2017.

“Cultural Analytics,” Discussant, Computational and Data-Intensive Cultural Studies Symposium, South Bend, IN, May 2017.

“James Baldwin’s New Media Readers,” Global DH Symposium, East Lansing, MI, March 2017.

“The Mythology of James Baldwin on Twitter,” Post45 Graduate Symposium, Berkeley, CA, February 2017.

“Archives Unleashed,” Participant, Web Archiving Workshop for Researchers, Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA, February 2017.

“Tweets of a Native Son: James Baldwin and the Literary-Critical Use of a Social Media Archive,” Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, MO, November 2016.



“Introduction to Cultural Analytics: Data, Computation, & Culture,” Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Cornell University.

“Humanities by the Numbers: Essential Readings in the Digital Humanities,” Co-designed and co-taught with Professor Matt Erlin, Spring 2018, Washington University.

American Fiction in the Social Media Age”, Fall 2017, Washington University.

“College Writing 1,” Spring 2016 and Fall 2015, Washington University.


“American Fiction From 1945 to the Present,” with Professor Long Le-Khac, Fall 2016, Washington University.

Technical Skills

Python (programming language):

  • data analysis with pandas
  • natural language processing with spaCy
  • web scraping with BeautifulSoup and Selenium
  • quantitative network analysis with networkX

JavaScript (programming language)

Website development and maintenance:

  • raw HTML & CSS
  • static-site generators, e.g., Jekyll
  • content management systems, e.g., WordPress

Software packages:

  • network analysis and visualization with Gephi
  • data visualization with Tableau
  • mapping with QGIS
  • data cleanup with OpenRefine
  • graphic design with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator


Post45 Data Collective, Editorial Board.

Cornell Data Journal, Faculty Mentor, Cornell University, 2020-present.

Digital Humanities Club, Faculty Mentor, Cornell University, 2019-present.

Founder and Consultant, Digital Humanities Drop-in Clinic for Graduate Students, Humanities Digital Workshop, Washington University, 2017-2018.

Convener, Graduate Advisory Panel, English Department, Washington University, 2017-2018.

Co-Convener and Co-Founder, Digital Approaches Reading Group, Washington University, 2015-2018.

Co-Coordinator, “Responsible Teaching Under a Trump Administration,” Washington University, November 2017.

Member, Faculty Search Committee, Assistant Professor in English Literature with Specialty in Computational Approaches, Washington University, 2015-2016.

Peer Mentor, English Department, Washington University, 2014-2016.


Spanish (advanced reading and writing, basic speaking)