Research Interests

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


Assistant Professor, Information School, University of Washington, September 2023 - Present

Assistant Teaching Professor, Information School, University of Washington, July 2021 - September 2023

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 Anna Preus, “Not with a Bang But a Tweet: Democracy, Culture Wars, and the Memeification of T.S. Eliot,” Expressive Networks: Poetry and Platform Cultures, Amherst College Press, 2023, provisionally accepted, forthcoming.

Maria Antoniak, David Mimno, Rosamund Thalken, Melanie Walsh, Matthew Wilkens, Gregory Yauney, “The Afterlives of Shakespeare and Company in Online Social Readership,” Journal of Cultural Analytics and Modernism/modernity, forthcoming.

Melanie Walsh and Matt Erlin, “Social and Conceptual Networks in Eighteenth-Century German Periodical Literature,” Between Network and Narrative: German and European Cultural Histories, 1789-1810, ed. Birgit Tautz and Crystal Hall, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, forthcoming.

Maria Antoniak, Anjalie Field, Jimin Mun, Melanie Walsh, Lauren F. Klein, Maarten Sap, “Riveter: Measuring Power and Social Dynamics Between Entities,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computation Linguistics (ACL), System Demonstrations, 2024. [GitHub repo for Riveter]

Melanie Walsh, “The Challenges and Possibilities of Social Media Data: New Directions in Literary Studies and the Digital Humanities,” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2023, University of Minnesota Press, 2023.

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

“What 35 Years of Data Can Tell Us About Who Will Win the National Book Award,” with Alexander Manshel, Public Books, November 2023.

“Where Is All The Book Data?” Public Books, October 2022.

“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

Mozilla Responsible Computing Challenge ($150,000), Mozilla, PI.
Co-PIs with Anna Preus, Miriam Posner, Amardeep Singh, Sylvia Fernandez.
*Grant awarded to support “Responsible Datasets in Context: Collaborating Designing for Ethical Humanities Data Education,” which helps provide richly contextualized data for undergraduate computing education.

NEH Digital Humanities Level III Advancement Grant ($350,000), National Endowment for the Humanities, Co-PI with Matthew Wilkens and David Mimno.
*Grant awarded to support “BERT for Humanists.”

Crossdisciplinary Research Cluster Award, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington, Co-PI with Anna Preus, Geoff Turnovsky, and Richard Watts.
*Awarded to support “Technological Transformation and Human Creativity: The Impact of AI on Authorship, Reading, Translation, and Critique.””

2023 Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington.
*Awarded to support work on my book, When Postwar American Fiction Went Viral: Protest, Profit, and Popular Readers in the 21st Century.

2022 UW iSchool Strategic Research Fund (SRF) Award, Information School, University of Washington.
*Awarded to support Investigating Data-Driven Diversity Audits in Public Libraries.

Best Digital Humanities Training Material 2021, Winner, Digital Humanities Awards 2021.
*Awarded for my online textbook Introduction to Cultural Analytics & Python.

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

“Large Language Models for Humanists: A Hands-On Introduction” AI, Creativity, & Humanities Research Cluster, University of Washington, with Maria Antoniak, 2023.

“Poetic Authorship in the Digital Age: Rupi Kaur, Instagram, and Performing Authenticity in Public, American Studies Association Conference, Montreal, Canada, 2023.

“Publisher-Platform Data Relationships,” Exploring the Anti-Ownership Ebook Economy, Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy, New York University (NYU)/ *Invited Panelist

“David Foster Wallace Bros on Reddit,” Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP), Seattle, WA, 2023.

“Rupi Kaur and Reception Data,” Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP), Seattle, WA, 2023.

“The Social Media Lives of Texts: Reception in the Age of the Internet,” New Horizons in Digital Humanities & Cultural Data Science, University of Hong Kong (HKU), 2023. *Invited Talk

“Not With a Bang But a Tweet,” The Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society. Department of English, Notre Dame (virtual), 2023. *Invited Talk

“Collections as Data: State of the Field and Future Directions,” Collections as Data: Part to Whole, Mellon-funded initiative, Vancouver, Canada, 2023.

“Toward a Critical Data Pedagogy: American Studies Perspectives in the Digital Humanities Classroom”, American Studies Association Conference, New Orleans, LA, November 2022

“Online Readership and Perception of Genre Over Time,” Digital Humanities Conference, Virtual, 2022.

“Computational Reception and Readership Studies,” The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 2022.

“BERT for Humanists & Social Scientists: Applying Large Language Models to Social Media Data,” Tutorials at the 16th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, Atlanta, GA, June 2021.

“Multilingual NLP as Interface,” DARIAH Conference, September 2021.

“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.



“LIS 572: Introduction to Data Science,” Spring 2022, Autumn 2023, Spring 2023, University of Washington.

“INFO 201: Foundational Skills for Data Science,” Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, University of Washington.

“INFO 350: Information Ethics & Policy,” Autumn 2021, Winter 2022, Autumn 2022, Winter 2023, University of Washington.

“INFO 498A: Introduction to Cultural Analytics: Data, Computation, & Culture,” Autumn 2021, Spring 2023, University of Washington.

“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):

R (programming language)


Post45 Data Collective, Co-Editor.

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)