Annette Vee

Annette's Affiliations: DSAM Certificate, Forbes Corridor Digital Initiative, Humanities Engage, Pitt Cyber, STEM Coding Lab

Annette Vee is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Composition Program, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, digital composition, materiality, and literacy. Her teaching, research and service all dwell at the intersections between computation and writing. She is the author of Coding Literacy (MIT Press, 2017), which demonstrates how the theoretical tools of literacy can help us understand computer programming in its historical, social and conceptual contexts. Her work is read in dozens of university courses in literacy, composition, textual studies, digital humanities, and computer science education.  

Her current research examines the ways that computational technology is supplanting traditional realms of writing and rhetoric such as in law and commerce. She is at work on projects that consider the history of the Basic programming language; how blockchain technology affects rhetorics of trust; and how computational algorithms that write and read are affecting human writers and relationships. Past work has explored the role of bots online to spread fake news, the connections between computation and rhetoric, and the strange status of computer code as a form of writing protects by both copyright and patent law. She tries to publish in open access venues where possible.  

She teaches writing at all levels from first year composition to graduate dissertations and is particularly invested in helping students explore digital modes of composition. Most of her courses include student blogs and encourage creative and critical work using computation.

With Alison Langmead, she designed a popular undergraduate course, Digital Humanity, that asks students to consider what it means to be human in an age of ubiquitous computing. With colleagues in English and the School of Computing and Information, she helped to design and launch an undergraduate major in Digital Narrative and Interactive Design that bridges courses across computer and information science and English.

She is on the leadership team of a Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar Grant, “Information Ecosystems: Creating Data (and Absence) From the Quantitative to the Digital Age,” which brings together scholars from multiple disciplines to consider the roles that digitized data and information affect research in the humanities and social sciences. She chairs the Rhetoric, Literacy and Writing Studies: Literacy Forum at MLA, and is active in the fields of composition, software studies and computers and writing.  

Visit her website for syllabi and other examples of her work. Downloads are available on Pitt’s institutional repository and further citations on Orchid. 
Selected publications
Coding Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing Writing, MIT Press, July 2017.
“Iteration,” invited and peer-reviewed keyword entry for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, eds. Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris, MLA Humanities Commons, 2020.
“How Automated Writing Systems Affect the Circulation of Political Information Online.” Co-authored with Tim Laquintano. Special issue of Literacy in Composition Studies, 5.2 (2017): 43-62. Web.
“Rhetoric and Computation.” Special Issue of Computational Culture. Co-edited with James Brown, Jr. (January 2016).…
“Understanding Computer Programming as a Literacy.” Literacy in Composition Studies, 1.2. (2013): 42-64. Web.  [Selected for republication in The Best of Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals; the most downloaded article in the history of the journal]

“The Role of Computational Literacy in Computers and Writing.” Collaborative project with Alexandria Lockett, Elizabeth Losh, David M Rieder, Mark Sample and Karl Stolley, Eds. Annette Vee & Mark Sample. Enculturation, Special Issue on Computers and Writing. (Oct 10, 2012). Web. [Selected for republication in The Best of Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals]

“Text, Speech, Machine: Metaphors for Computer Code in the Law.” Computational Culture 2. (Sep 28, 2012). Web.….

“Carving up the Commons: How Software Patent Law Impacts our Digital Composition Environments.” Copyright, Culture, Creativity, and the Commons. Spec. issue of Computers and Composition 27.3 (2010): 179-192. Print.