American Literature, Contemporary Literature, Digital Humanities, Cultural Analytics 


Laura B. McGrath specializes in computational literary criticism and contemporary American literature. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was the Associate Director of the Literary Lab at Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests focus on American literature post-1945, digital humanities and cultural analytics, literary sociology,  and contemporary literary production. 

She is at work on a book called Middlemen: Making Literature in the Age of Multimedia Conglomerates, a study of the literary agent. She draws on a range of methods- data analysis, close reading, literary ethnography- to reveal the literary agent's centrality in the development of American literature, post-1965.

Her work has been published or is forthcoming in New Literary History, American Literary History, Post45, CA: The Journal of Cultural Analytics, and the Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Fiction, 1980 2020. Her public writing has appeared The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Review of BooksPublic Books, and Post45: Contemporaries. She is one of the founding co-editors of the Post45 Data Collective.

She has held fellowships with the Price Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania and the Smithsonian Institute of American History. Her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation and the Big Ten.

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • "Literary Agency." American Literary History, vol. 33, no. 2., 2021.
  • "Voice,"  with Nika Mavrody, Nichole Nomura, and Alexander Sherman. Post45 x CA. April 21, 2021.

Public Writing

Courses Taught

  • Contemporary American Literature
  • Digital Text Methods
  • Popular Fiction​