Please read this tweet
I’m going to pull from the work I’m currently doing in my thesis to remark about the historical implications of teaching code and other uses of emerging technologies in the composition classroom. I saw this tweet this morning, and thought about what this means: that exposition can be replaced by the act of coding. Then I asked: what does this do for writers?
In some respects, this is straightforward–that code is a writing process. I will not argue against that. But, to do some further research, I found that the woman who said this may have a more capitalist reason for speaking. “Coding as a Liberal Art” may very well mean well. The actual performance of coding is identical to the performance of writing. It requires knowledge of all writing processes and the rhetoric of form. But let us keep in mind how the business sector uses coders.
Coders perform coding to serve the interests of finance capital. Kimball’s experience with Silicon Valley, Microsoft, Harvard Business School in no way convince me that her interests are otherwise. Her investment to convince us that coding is inherent to the liberal arts is not from a liberal arts perspective. I rarely think any of her professional affiliations consider the humanism behind what they do. So when we begin considering coding in the classroom, we cannot remove it from the implicit and tacit uses of it. Yes, we can–and should–teach coding. But we should provide our students with access to Selber’s argument that humanistic perspectives are what compose the humanities (and “liberal” arts). We must embed our pedagogical emphases in the practice. If but for any other reason than they won’t get it elsewhere.