I work on large-scale literary history using quantitative and computational methods.
Before arriving at Wayne State, I taught at the University of Notre Dame for about a decade. I trained in the Literature program at Duke with Fred Jameson and Barbara Herrnstein Smith.
In largely unrelated news, I was once a more serious runner than I am now. I have never been a good tennis player. Oh, and my last name has an ‘e’ in it: Wilkens. Everyone gets this wrong.
Research interest(s)/area of expertise
Quantitative and computational methods for the humanities and social sciences
Prof. Wilkens uses quantitative and computational methods to study literary history.
- PhD, Literature, Duke University, 2006
- MA, English, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2000
- MS, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
- BS, Chemistry, College of William and Mary, 1996
Awards and grants
National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Humanities Implementation Grant, "Textual Geographies" ($325,000, PI)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Partnership Grant, "NovelTM: Text Mining the Novel" ($1.8M, co-investigator)
American Council of Learned Societies, Digital Innovation Fellow ($80,000)
- Revolution: The Event in Postwar Fiction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2016.
- Digital Projects
- “Textual Geographies” (txtgeo.net). A digital project that collates, maps, and explores the distribution of geographic usage in more than 10 million volumes held by the HathiTrust digital library. Funded by the NEH, ACLS, SSHRC, and the University of Notre Dame.
- Edited Volumes
- “Digital Humanities and Irish Studies.” Volume 3 of Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies (2015). Coedited with Sonia Howell.
- Journal Articles
- “The Cultural Economies of Digital Books.” American Literary History. 31.4 (2019): 870-879
- “Nation, Ethnicity, and the Geography of British Fiction, 1880-1940.” Co-authored with Elizabeth Evans. Journal of Cultural Analytics (2018).
- “The Perpetual Fifties of American Fiction.” In Neoliberalism and Contemporary Literary Culture, ed. Mitchum Huehls and Rachel Greenwald Smith. Johns Hopkins UP: 2017.
- “Genre, Computation, and the Varieties of Twentieth-Century U.S. Fiction.” Journal of Cultural Analytics (2016).
- “Is or Are: The ‘United States’ in Nineteenth-Century Print Culture” (cover article). Coauthored with Bryan Santin and Daniel Murphy. American Quarterly 68.1 (2016): 101-124.
- “Digital Humanities and Its Application in the Study of Literature and Culture.” Special issue, “Empirical and Systemic Approaches to the Study of Literature and Culture,” ed. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek. Comparative Literature 67.1 (2015): 11–20.
- “The Geographic Imagination of Nineteenth-Century American Fiction.” American Literary History. 25.4 (2013): 803–40.
- “Canons, Close Reading, and the Evolution of Method.” Debates in the Digital Humanities, Matthew K. Gold, ed. University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 249–58.
ENGL 7043: Twentieth-century U.S. Fiction
ENGL 3140: American Literature since 1865