Students from Prof. Marshall's 'Literature of Disability' class visited the Lowell Association for the Blind.

Michael Black

generic faculty blue silhouette of a male head and shoulders
Michael BlackAssistant Professor of English


  • Ph D: Philosophy in English, (2014), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Champaign, IL
    Supporting Area: Digital Humanities & 20th Century American Culture
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: "Transparent Cultures: Imagined Users and the Politics of Software Design
  • MA: English, (2008), Temple University - Philadelphia, PA
  • BA: English Literature, (2006), University of Louisville - Louisville, KY
    Supporting Area: Philosophy


Michael L. Black's research has appeared in Digital Humanities Quarterly, the ?International Journal for Humanities and Arts Computing, and? Games and Culture. His research interests include the cultural history of computing, large scale text analysis, and Internet culture. His current book project examines the influence of market pressures and technical discourses on popular conceptions of software usability and personal computing. Prior to joining the faculty at UMass Lowell, Michael served as an Associate Director for the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Art, and Social Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Selected Publications

  • Mendenhall, R., Brown, N.M., Black, M., Moer, M.V., Zerai, A., Flynn, K. (2016) "Mechanized Margin to Digitized Center: Black Feminism’s Contributions to Combating Erasure within the Digital Humanities," International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 10.1 pp. 110-125
  • Black, M. (2016) "The World Wide Web as Complex Data Set: Expanding the Digital Humanities into the Twentieth Century and Beyond through Internet Research," International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 10.1 pp. 95-109

Selected Presentations

  • Pinning Down the Materiality of Open Source Software: A Brief History of Mozilla Firefox - Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2014 - Indianapolis, IN
  • 'Transparent' Computing and the Politics of Operating Systems - Neoliberalism 2.0: Technology and Resistance Across Borders, 2013 - Urbana, IL
  • Shut Out By Copyright: Methodological Problems (and Possible Solutions) in the Cultural History of Software - Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Annual Conference, 2013 - South Bend, IN
  • User Friendly The 'Transparent' Design of Personal Computers - Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Annual Conference, 2012 - Milwaukee, WI
  • Don't Phreak Out! Ma Bell is Watching: Recovering the Hacker in the Fictional Systems of Thomas Pynchon, Joseph McElroy, and William Gaddis - Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Annual Conference, 2010 - Indianapolis, IN
  • Creating 'More Narrative': How The Reader-As-Hyperdetective Can Solve the Case of the Missing Endings in Paul Auster's New York Trilogy - The Louisville Conference for Literature and Culture after 1900, 2009 - Louisville, KY
  • An Evaluation of Portrayals of Telepresence and Romantic Relationships in Film and Television - PRESENCE 2008; 11th Annual International Society of Presence Research Conference, 2008 - Padua, Italy
  • Public Opinion in the U.S.A.: Mediated Containment in the Novels of John Dos Passos - South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, 2007 - Atlanta, GA

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2013), Fellowship - University of Illinois
    Black, M.
  • INTERSECT: Network for Neuro-Cultures Fellowship (2012), Fellowship - College of Liberal Arts and Science, University of Illinois
    Black, M.