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Maxwell Larson

Maxwell Larson

English Graduate Assistant

Office: 29 Burrowes Building
Mailbox: 430 Burrowes Building

Office Hours:

  • Tue 130-230; Wed 10-12 on the internet


  1. Penn State University, M.A. English 2015
  2. University of Nebraska - Lincoln, B.A. English 2012

Professional Bio

My dissertation is about two distinct modes of textual analysis: critical and computational. Although current debates surrounding Digital Humanities and “distant reading” might lead literary scholars to believe that any relationship between computational methods and critical methods is relatively new, I trace their interpenetration back to the origins of electronic computing in the 1940s. By pairing four computational methods of textual analysis—transformational grammar, stylo-statistics, content analysis, and cliometrics—with four literary intellectuals who engaged with them—Christine Brooke-Rose, J.M. Coetzee, Clarence Major, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—my dissertation attempts not to combine computation with critique, but to understand why we imagine them as divided in the first place.

My essay, "Optimizing Chess: Philology and Algorithmic Culture," was published this winter by Diacritics.