Maximilian started his academic career at the College of the Sequoias in his hometown of Visalia, Ca. He went on to earn a BA and MA in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge, where he taught public speaking and argumentation, was president of the CSUN Communication Association, and was a member of the CSUN Performance Ensemble. During his master's program, he also taught performance poetry at Los Angeles County Prison, Lancaster with the Prison Arts Collective. Prior to starting his doctoral studies at Annenberg, he spent a year in Israel on a MASA English teaching fellowship.

Max's dissertation is tentatively titled "Vernacular Economics" and studies the participatory culture and practices of knowledge creation around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. His previous research considered various dimensions of contemporary Christian religiosity, including the rhetorical form and function of megachurches and the political implications of Christian nationalism on American politics.