Grant Wythoff

I am a Visiting Fellow with the Center for Humanities and Information at Pennsylvania State University.

I study the history and philosophy of media technologies, twentieth century American literature, and digital approaches to humanities research. My work is fundamentally about the relationship between our tools, their intellectual histories, and what we imagine those tools to be capable of in daily practice.

My recent book, The Perversity of Things: Hugo Gernsback on Media, Tinkering, and Scientifiction (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), explores how science fiction began in the 1910s among a community of tinkerers trying to imagine the future of media technologies through making. It has been reviewed in the New York Review of Books (James Gleick), Leonardo, Science Fiction Studies, and American Literary History, among other places. I have been interviewed about this project for documentary films by Minna Långström, Eric Schockmel, and a television miniseries that will air on AMC titled James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.

At Columbia, I was a co-founder of the Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities, and organized a lecture series on the History of Method in the Humanities as well as a conference that put media archaeologists into conversation with “stones and bones” archaeologists, titled Insuetude: Conversations in Technological Discard and Archaeological Recuperation.

Previously, I served on the steering committee of the Princeton Digital Humanities Initiative, and was project manager on Princeton Prosody Archive, a full-text searchable database of writing on the rhythm, intonation, and utterance of language from 1750-1950, under the direction of Meredith Martin.

View my full CV here.