This is the personal and professional Web site of Brian Lennon, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University.
Its contents represent Brian Lennon’s views and not those of The Pennsylvania State University.
My area of focus is twentieth-century and contemporary textual culture, extending to media theory and the cultural history and political economy of computing. I have published on topics at the intersection of computing, translation, multilingualism, and genre theory, with special interest in the imperial history of philology and the linguistic history of computing. I am the author of In Babel’s Shadow: Multilingual Literatures, Monolingual States (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), a study of literary multilingualism in print culture, and Passwords: Philology, Security, Authentication (Harvard University Press, 2018), a critical history of literary data processing. My current research is on programming languages and cultures of software development.
At Penn State I teach undergraduate courses in new media, digital studies, and contemporary literature. Recent graduate seminars include “Media Theory and Modernity,” “Historicizing ‘Digital Humanities’,” and “Platform, Software and Code Studies.” Other undergraduate and graduate teaching has included courses in the theory of the essay, the literary fragment, U.S. nonfiction prose, and literatures of migration and displacement.
In a past life I wrote literature. My literary publications from 1996–2009 included City: An Essay (University of Georgia Press, 2002) and poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in literary journals.