Cover: Passwords: Philology, Security, Authentication, from Harvard University PressCover: Passwords in HARDCOVER


Philology, Security, Authentication

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Product Details


$43.50 • £34.95 • €39.00

ISBN 9780674980761

Publication Date: 02/26/2018


232 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Belknap Press


Passwords is a fascinating book. What is especially impressive is the author’s deft and knowing engagements with both the long histories of computational text processing and the many discourses that make up literary philology. This is just the sort of work that the present mania for the digital demands, and yet books that actually live up to those demands are few and far between. Lennon is one of the few scholars who is even capable of managing that feat, and he does so here with style and erudition.—David Golumbia, Virginia Commonwealth University

A stunning intervention, Passwords rivets our attention to the long history of our present fascination with the digital humanities. Through a series of close, contextual readings, from ninth-century Arabic philology and medieval European debates on language to twentieth-century stylometry and machine translation, this book recalls us to a series of engagements with language about which ‘all of us—we scholars, we philologists,’ as Lennon puts it, ought to know more. Passwords is eloquent and timely, and it offers a form of deep, institutional-lexical study, which schools us in a refusal to subordinate scholarship in the humanities to the identitarian and stabilizing imperatives of the national-security state.—Jeffrey Sacks, University of California, Riverside

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