The rhetorics of code-work and programming as writing

University of Minnesota, Room 402, Walter Library |
117 Pleasant St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55404

University of Minnesota Codework Collaborative

admin@codework:~$ sudo codework

Join us in a multi-disciplinary conversation about how the technical and cultural shape programming practices. The CodeWork collaborative is excited to lead a discussion between Professor of Informatics and Computer Science Cristina Videira Lopes (University of California-Irvine), Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Krista Kennedy (Syracuse University), and Assistant Professor of English and Literacy Studies scholar Annette Vee (University of Pittsburgh). We will discuss the technical and cultural constraints and affordances that influence the ways programmers write their code, and how source code complicates notions of writing and authorship.



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    Krista Kennedy | Rhetoric & Writing

    Dr. Kennedy is an Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University. Her teaching and research is situated within the rhetoric of technology, focusing on digital rhetoric and machine rhetoric, authorship, intellectual property theory, and technical and professional communication. Her research projects complicate authorship and notions of originality by examining how bots aggregate data and compose texts online, such as wikipedia articles. She is about to release her first book on this subject through the University of South Carolina Press: Textual Curation: Authorial Agency in Wikipedia and the Chambers Cyclopædia. Her command of rhetoric and writing theory and practice provide a unique and important perspective in understanding authorship and writing in new domains and ways of producing texts in networked spaces.

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    Cristina Videira Lopes | Informatics & Computer Science

    Dr. Lopes is a Professor of Informatics at the University of California-Irvine. She previously held a research scientist position at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where she founded the group that developed the Aspect-oriented programming language. She recently published a book, Exercises in Programming Style, in which she demonstrates the relationship between particular constraints and programming style by writing a term-frequency algorithm in Python in 33 different ways. Her experience developing programming languages, teaching computational principles, and how such principles are shaped by situated constraints and language use will provide invaluable cross-disciplinary material for our discussion.

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    Annette Vee | Rhetoric and Literacy Studies

    Dr. Vee is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches courses in literacy, composition, and technology. Her research has investigated the rhetorics of digital games, writing center technology, and intellectual property issues in software composition. Her primary research agenda positions literacy studies, and its historical and social perspective on reading and writing, as a way to make sense of the re-occurring discourses and programs that frame computer programming as a new mass literacy. She has published articles along this line of inquiry, and she is currently writing a book to examine this subject more thoroughly: Coding Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing the Terms of Writing. Vee's historical and cultural knowledge on traditional literacy, as well as computational literacy initiatives in America, will provide a critical set of tools and questions to help us discuss code-work and its relations with writing.

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