Matthew Wilkens

Matthew Wilkens

Associate Professor

 5057 Woodward Ave, Room 9312


Matthew Wilkens



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

  •  Digital humanities

  • Quantitative and computational methods for the humanities and social sciences

  • American literature


 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)

Selected publications


Currently teaching

  •  ENGL 7043: Twentieth-century U.S. Fiction

  •  ENGL 3140: American Literature since 1865