Dennis Yi Tenen

Dennis performed on stage at Joe’s Pub in our November 7, 2023 edition of Seriously Entertaining, speaking on the evening’s theme, “In Being Bold.”​​

Dennis Yi Tenen is an associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His research happens at the intersection of people, text, and technology. A long-time affiliate of Columbia’s Data Science Institute and formerly a Microsoft engineer and a Berkman Center for Internet and Society Fellow, his code runs on millions of personal computers worldwide. Tenen received his doctorate in Comparative Literature at Harvard University under the advisement of Professors Elaine Scarry and William Todd. A co-founder of Columbia’s Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research and the editor of the On Method book series at Columbia University Press, he is the author of Plain Text: The Poetics of Computation (Stanford University Press, 2017), Literary Theory for Robots forthcoming in 2023 from W.W. Norton, and Author Function, under contract with Chicago UP. His recent work appears on the pages of Modern Philology, New Literary History, Amodern, boundary2, Computational Culture, and Modernism/modernity on topics that include literary theory, the sociology of literature, media history, and computational narratology.

Purchase this writer’s book via our virtual storefront on, the bookselling platform that supports independent bookstores. A portion of proceeds from all book purchases will go toward helping support SpeakEasy’s nonprofit mission and our literary programs on stage, in schools, and on the road with The SpeakEasy Bookmobile.