• Who: Chris Lindgren, PhD Candidate in the Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication program in the Writing Studies department at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • Specialties: computer programming as writing; literacies; rhetoric and technology; embodied and distributed cognition
  • Bio: My dissertation research examines how a web developer's coding activity plays a role in developing news narratives within the context of a data-driven journalism team. More broadly, I explore what can be learned about written language by bringing writing theory to bear on code and coding. I argue that such a conceptual pivot provides a new way of understanding how data – in its very pluralized sense of the word – can be understood as texts: "organized sets of symbols and signs" (cf. Witte, 1992, p. 137). This particular study illuminates how a developer interprets and acts upon the semiotic modes of written language in a computational medium by focusing on how (digital) data – its formats and information sets – mediate his reading and writing activity of code. My broader research agenda considers questions, such as
    • How does code transform the semiotic landscape of writing?,
    • What are the consequences of reading and interpreting data in some formats versus others?, and
    • How do developers translate their material and social situations into code, and how does this writing process mediate their in situ decisions and actions?
    Overall, this research agenda helps me build knowledge about how coding activities are a process to contextualize, reconcile, and make sense of digital data in relationship to a person's materially and socially situated objectives. My past research about the rhetorics driving recent calls for coding literacy appear in edited collections, such as Strategic Discourse: The Politics of (New) Literacy Crises and the Rhetoric and Digital Humanities. You can see more of my projects in my portfolio below or my CV.
  • For Fun: I enjoy soaking up the Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN) with my family, cycling, and finding good coffee and donut shops.
  • Contact: lindg250 [at] umn [dot] edu.


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