Matthew Kirschenbaum

Associate Professor of English University of Maryland

Matthew Kirschenbaum specializes in digital humanities and digital culture. In addition to his work as an Associate Professor in the English department at the University of Maryland, he is Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. His first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, was published by the MIT Press in 2008 and won multiple awards, including the 16th annual Prize for a First Book from the Modern Language Association (MLA).

His current book in progress is entitled Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, and is under contract to Harvard University Press. To research and recover the story of how authors began using and assimilating computers into their daily writing habits he is visiting archives, conducting interviews and oral histories with the early adopters, and spending time with old computer magazines and manuals. Kirschenbaum maintains a sizeable personal collection of vintage computers, including an IBM MT/ST, a 200-lbs unit that went on the market in the 1960s and is generally regarded as the first word processor.

Kirschenbaum speaks and writes often on topics in the digital humanities and new media. His work has been published in and received coverage from the Atlantic, Slate, New York Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Wired, Boing Boing, Slashdot, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.