Michael Falk

English and Theatre Studies. University of Melbourne. Naarm. Australia.


E270 John Medley

University of Melbourne

Parkville VIC 3010

I am Senior Lecturer in Digital Studies at the University of Melbourne, and a Chief Investigator on the wikihistories project.

I co-ordinate the Digital Studies minor in the Faculty of Arts. I teach students to code. I teach them about the history of computing, and I teach them about the place of the Humanities and Social Sciences in that history.

I am a literary scholar by training, and a programmer by fascination. I connect these two sides of my work in two ways. The first way: I use computation to unweave literary texts, and discover beautiful patterns in their words. The second way: I use literature to unweave computation, drawing on the rich resources of literary tradition to understand the nature and role of software.

In my book Romanticism and the Contingent Self, I explore what it meant to ‘have no self’ in Romantic literature. The Romantics are often seen as the most self-obsessed writers in the history of Western literature. I show how a whole host of Romantic writers questioned the very existence of the self. Charles Harpur, Maria Edgeworth, Thomas Moore, Charlotte Smith, John Clare, Amelia Opie and Joanna Baillie all portray themselves or their characters as monstrosities or multiplicities rather than individuals. To show how they do this, I put their words under the microscope in R and Python.


May 24, 2024 Romanticism and the Contingent Self is out!
May 23, 2024 Save the date: Book launch for Romanticism and the Contingent Self on August 29th in Naarm, Australia.

latest posts

Jul 15, 2024 All that remains
Jun 17, 2024 On Writing Itself
Jun 03, 2024 Explanation and Motivation

selected publications

  1. falk_romanticism_2024.jpg
    Romanticism and the Contingent Self: The Challenge of Representation
    Michael Falk
    May 2024
  2. falk_land_2024.png
    Land and Language in Australian Romanticism
    Michael Falk
    May 2024
  3. falk_how_2023.png
    How Australians are represented in Wikipedia
    Michael Falk, Heather Ford, Kelly Tall, and 1 more author
    Dec 2023
  4. falk_artificial_2021.jpg
    Artificial stupidity
    Michael Falk
    Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Apr 2021