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Computers and writing: History, theory, philosophy

Posted by: on Jul 13, 2007 | 2 Comments

Here’s the first draft reading list for my fall grad class. It’s been an interesting challenge to divide these thematically and to cover different aspects of C&W, and in fact the optional reading list — all books — is almost as long as the required list.

Comments? Suggestions?

Reading List for E388m

Overview: History

Gerrard, L. (1995). The evolution of the Computers and Writing Conference. Computers and Composition, 12:279–292.

Gerrard, L. (2006). The evolution of the Computers and Writing Conference, the second decade. Computers and Composition, 23:211–227.

Moran, C. (2003). Computers and composition 1983-2002: What we have hoped for. Computers and Composition, 20:343–358.

Blair, K. L. and Monske, E. A. (2003). Cui bono? revisiting the promises and perils of online learning. Computers and Composition, 20:441–453.

The early years: Social constructionism and the networked classroom

[Barker and Kemp, 1990] Barker, T. and Kemp, F. (1990). Network theory: A postmodern pedagogy for the writing classroom. In Handa, C., editor, Computers and Community: Teaching Composition in the Twenty-First Century, pages 1–27. Boynton/Cook Publishers, New York.

Cooper, M. and Selfe, C. L. (1990). Computer conferences and learning: Authority, resistance, and internally persuasive discourse. College English, 52:847–869.

[Faigley, 1992] Faigley, L. (1992). Fragments of rationality: Postmodernity and the subject of composition. Pittsburgh series in composition, literacy, and culture. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh. (Ch.6)

Hawisher, G. E. and Selfe, C. L. (1991). The rhetoric of technology and the electronic writing class. College Composition and Communication, 42:55–65.

[Kemp, 1995] Kemp, F. (1995). Writing dialogically: Bold lessons from electronic text. In Petraglia, J., editor, Reconceiving writing, rethinking writing instruction, pages 179–194. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey.

The optimism wears off: Political-rhetorical critiques

Selfe, C. and Selfe, R. (1994). The politics of the interface: Power and its exercise in electronic contact zones. College Composition and Communication, 45(480-504).

Slatin, J. M. (2001). The art of alt: toward a more accessible web. Computers and Composition, 18(1):73–81.

[Johnson-Eilola, 1997] Johnson-Eilola, J. (1997). Wild technologies: Computer use and social possibility. In Selber, S. A., editor, Computers and technical communication: Pedagogical and programmatic perspectives, pages 97–128. Ablex, Greenwich, Connecticut.

Hypertext and databases; associational and constructivist theories

[Johnson-Eilola and Selber, 1996] Johnson-Eilola, J. and Selber, S. (1996). After automation: Hypertext and corporate structures. In Sullivan, P. and Daughtermann, J., editors, Electronic literacies in the workplace: Technologies of writing, pages 115–141. NCTE, Urbana, Il.

Johnson-Eilola, J. and Kimme Hea, A. (2003). After hypertext: Other ideas. Computers and Composition, 20:415–425.

[Mirel, 1996] Mirel, B. (1996). Writing and database technology: Extending the definition of writing in the workplace. In Sullivan, P. and Dautermann, J., editors, Electronic literacies in the workplace: Technologies of writing, pages 91–112. National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, Ill.

Haas, C. (1999). On the relationship between old and new technologies. Computers and Composition, 16(2):209–228.

Syverson, M. (1999). The wealth of reality: An ecology of composition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville.

Computers and writing at work I: Evaluating the impact of computers on workplace writing and thinking

Geisler, C., Bazerman, C., Doheny-Farina, S., Gurak, L., Haas, C., Johnson-Eilola, J., Kaufer, D. S., Lunsford, A., Miller, C. R., Winsor, D., and Yates, J. (2001). Itext: Further directions for research on the relationship between information technology and writing. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 15(3):269–308.

Johnson-Eilola, J. (2001). Datacloud: Expanding the roles and locations of information. In Proceedings of the 19th annual international conference on Computer documentation, pages 47–54. ACM Press.

Wolfe, J. (2002). Annotation technologies: A software and research review. Computers and Composition, (19):471–497.

Back to the classroom: LCMS, games and simulations

Fisher, D. (2007). Cms-based simulations in the writing classroom: Evoking genre through game play. Computers and Composition, 24(2):179–197.

Matteo, A. (2007, in press). Rhetorical peaks, a next generation case study for teaching writing and argument. In SIGDOC ’07: Proceedings of the 25th annual international conference on Design of communication.

Sherlock, L. (2007, in press). When social networking meets online games: The activity system of grouping in World of Warcraft. In SIGDOC ’07: Proceedings of the 25th annual international conference on Design of communication.

Zachry, M. (2000). The ecology of an online education site in professional communication. In Proceedings of IEEE professional communication society international professional communication conference and Proceedings of the 18th annual ACM international conference on Computer documentation, pages 433–442. IEEE Educational Activities Department.

Computers, communities, and cultures

Grabill, J. T. (2003). Community computing and citizen productivity. Computers and Composition, (20):131–150.

Pennell, M. (2007). Fraternities and ITexts: Composing in the post-industrial age. Computers and Composition, 24(1):74–91.

Sun, H. (2006). The triumph of users: Achieving cultural usability goals. Technical Communication Quarterly, 15(4):483–504.

Zappen, J. P., Adali, S., and Harrison, T. M. (2006). Developing a youth-services information system for city and county government: experiments in user-designer collaboration. In dg.o ’06: Proceedings of the 2006 international conference on Digital government research, pages 259–264, New York, NY, USA. ACM Press.

Computers and writing at work II: Computers, writing, and postindustrialism

Hart-Davidson, W., Spinuzzi, C., and Zachry, M. (2006). Visualizing writing activity as knowledge work: Challenges & opportunities. In SIGDOC ’06: Proceedings of the 24th annual international conference on Design of communication, pages 70–77, New York, NY, USA. ACM Press.

Slattery, S. (2007). Undistributing work through writing: How technical writers manage texts in complex information environments. Technical Communication Quarterly, 16(3).

Swarts, J. (2007). Mobility and composition: The architecture of coherence in non-places. Technical Communication Quarterly, 16(3).

Optional readings: Influential books in computers and writing

[Bolter, 1991] Bolter, J. D. (1991). Writing space: The computer, hypertext, and the history of writing. L. Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ.

[Haas, 1996] Haas, C. (1996). Writing technology: Studies on the materiality of literacy. L. Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

[Haynes and Holmevik, 2001] Haynes, C. A. and Holmevik, J. R. (2001). High Wired: On the Design, Use, and Theory of Educational Moos. University of Michigan Press.

[Holmevik and Haynes, 2000] Holmevik, J. R. and Haynes, C. (2000). MOOniversity: a student’s guide to online learning environments. Allyn and Bacon.

[Johnson, 1998] Johnson, R. R. (1998). User-centered technology: A rhetorical theory for computers and other mundane artifacts. SUNY Press, New York.

[Johnson-Eilola, 2005] Johnson-Eilola, J. (2005). Datacloud: Toward a new theory of online work. Hampton Press, Cresskill, NJ.

[Landow, 1992] Landow, G. P. (1992). Hypertext: The convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology. Parallax. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

[Landow, 1994] Landow, G. P., editor (1994). Hyper/text/theory. Johns Hopkins University Press, London.

[Landow and Delany, 1993] Landow, G. P. and Delany, P., editors (1993). The digital word: Text-based computing in the humanities. Technical communication and information systems. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

[Lanham, 1993] Lanham, R. A. (1993). The electronic word: Democracy, technology, and the arts. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

[Mirel, 2004] Mirel, B. (2004). Interaction design for complex problem solving: Developing usable and useful software. Morgan Kauffman, San Francisco.

[Selber, 2004] Selber, S. A. (2004). Multiliteracies for a digital age. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.

[Selfe and Hawisher, 2004] Selfe, C. L. and Hawisher, G. E. (2004). Literate lives in the information age: Narratives of literacy from the United States. Hampton Press, Mahwah, NJ.

[Spinuzzi, 2003] Spinuzzi, C. (2003). Tracing genres through organizations: A sociocultural approach to information design. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

[Sullivan and Porter, 1997] Sullivan, P. and Porter, J. E. (1997). Opening spaces: Writing technologies and critical research practices. New directions in computers and composition studies. Ablex Pub. Corp., Greenwich, CT.

[Ulmer, 2003] Ulmer, G. L. (2003). Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. Longman.


  1. Mike G
    July 16, 2007

    Jeff Rice’s Writing About Cool.

  2. Clay Spinuzzi
    July 16, 2007

    Great — thanks! CS

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