Brian Lennon

Brian Lennon

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Preferred Pronouns: he, him, his
416 Burrowes Bldg.
(814) 865-6261
b lennon


Ph.D., Columbia University (2005)
M.F.A., University of Iowa (1999)
B.A., Wesleyan University (1993)

Professional Bio

I am the author of three monographs: Programming Language Cultures: Automating Automation, a study of programming languages and cultures of software development (Stanford University Press, forthcoming 2024), Passwords: Philology, Security, Authentication (Harvard University Press, 2018), a critical history of literary data processing, and In Babel's Shadow: Multilingual Literatures, Monolingual States (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), a study of literary multilingualism in print culture.

At Penn State, I was the first faculty director (2014–2021) of the Digital Culture and Media Initiative, a project of the Department of English in the College of the Liberal Arts. My teaching includes undergraduate and graduate courses in new media and digital studies. 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.

Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

Silicon Valley fiction and memoir

Media and Digital Studies

Cultural history and political economy of computing; platform, software, and code studies; programming languages and cultures of software development