Neil Aitken

Digital Projects Specialist
Graduate Academic Assistant, Public Humanities Hub
MLIS Student, School of Information

Neil Aitken (he/him) works at the intersection of many fields. A former computer games programmer and the author of two books of poetry, he holds a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing as well as an MFA in Creative Writing and a BS in Computer Science. Neil’s research interests include creative writing pedagogy, contemporary poetry, literary translation, speculative fiction, Asian American literature, Victorian technology, and the cultural history of artificial intelligence.

Research Area: Digital Humanities, Creative Writing Pedagogy, History of Technology, Contemporary Poetry, Literary Translation

I wrote my dissertation on Victorian representations of artificial intelligence (real and fictional automata, machine-like thinkers, mechanized reasoning, and calculational devices). Current research projects and interests include: developing complex interactive fiction games (Twine), collecting variant translations of Tang dynasty poems, creating digital resources that make it easier to locate and study 19th-century texts and documents related to Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, and in general, automata and machine intelligence. Creative projects include a commissioned opera, Star Singer, debuting in 2026, and a third book of poetry.