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Calvin Olsen

Calvin  Olsen

Calvin Olsen

Senior Lecturer


Areas of Expertise

  • Electronic Literature
  • Digital Humanities
  • Monster Theory
  • Game(s) Studies


  • PhD, Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media, NC State University, 2023
  • MA, English and Comparative Literature, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2018
  • MFA, Creative Writing, Boston University, 2011

Calvin Olsen earned his PhD in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media program at NC State University and holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature from UNC – Chapel Hill and an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University. His research lies at the intersections of electronic literature, digital humanities and critical making, and his dissertation examined the interstices between these fields and methodologies through the lens of monster theory as championed by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.

In addition to his scholarship, Calvin is an internationally published poet and award-winning translator. His work has appeared in The Adroit JournalAsymptoteThe London MagazineSAND and World Literature Today, among many others; and his translation of Portuguese poet João Luís Barreto Guimarães’s ninth collection, Mediterranean, won the 2020 Willow Run Poetry Book Award and was published by Hidden River Press in 2023.

Selected Publications

  • Olsen, Calvin. “Let Me Count the Ways: Twine as (an Introduction to) [Digital] Poetry.” EnTwine: A Critical and Creative Companion to Teaching with Twine, edited by Lai-tze Fan and Emily Christina Murphy, Amherst College Press, 2024.
  • Olsen, Calvin. “Thirteen Ways of Looking at TELEPHONE.” TELEPHONE Visual Art + Writing, edited by Nathan Langston, Crosstown Press, 2021.
  • Olsen, Calvin. FrankenProject with David Rieder and Kelsey Dufresne. 2021; 3D-printed plastic, conductive paint, Styrofoam, stainless steel, graphics, audio, and circuitry (Python, Processing, Arduino, etc.). “Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?: Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the Machine of Broken Promises.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 22, 2020.
  • Barreto Guimarães, João Luís. Mediterranean. Translated by Calvin Olsen, Hidden River Press, Philadelphia, 2023. Winner of the 2020 Willow Run Poetry Book Award.

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