Chris Lindgren

Chris Lindgren

Professor of Technical Communication and Data Visualization

Virginia Tech

About Me

I’m an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication & Data Visualization in the English Department at Virginia Tech, where I teach courses in technical communication, literacies, and digital-cultural rhetorics of technology.

My research engages questions that frame computer coding as a culturally dynamic form of writing with data, as opposed to simply a result of automated technology alone. You can learn more about this way of understanding coding through my article, ‘Writing with data: A study of coding on a data-journalism team," which:

  • Provides an unusual case of a developer on a data-journalism team, processing and analyzing data sets to support journalistic inquiry, rather than widely studied software development;
  • Presents a writing practice framework to guide situated studies that examine how people integrate their historical, social, and technical ideas together as they conduct their coding activity; and
  • Offers researchers and practitioners concepts that sensitize us to the relations people develop and coordinate as they write code that writes data at scale.

I also apply computational social science methods to feminist and anti-racist rhetorical theories, as a means to differently understand social relationships in digital environments. I am currently collaborating on 3 such projects:

  1. A case-study of 3 Twitter hashtag groups, each of which responded to Trump’s plans to build the border wall before, during, and after his administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy that separated children from their families: #FamiliesBelongTogether, #BuildTheWall, and environmentalists opposed to the borderwall. We are examining user participation across these hashtag groups, and their respective rhetorical framing of the issue, to better understand how digital platforms actually “redraw” material nation-state borders on their platforms, which impacts digital activism.
  2. A citation politics study in my discipline of Writing & Rhetoric, which aims at monitoring and addressing any issues with the frequency and manner by which scholars who are multiply marginalized are cited and taken up over time and in particular journals.
  3. An Inuit-led rematriation project that will develop a digital community-learning archive that centers their communities’ needs. We aim at bringing back Inuit knowledges that have been studied and discussed by academics but only for academics.

Download my CV.


  • computer coding as writing with data
  • critical data studies
  • digital cultural rhetoric
  • coding literacy
  • materiality of writing
  • data processing and analysis

Other Publications

(2020). Visualizing Collaboration through Six Years of Field Data. In Kairos.

Github Repo

(2019). Representing Diversity in Digital Research: Digital Feminist Ethics and Resisting Dominant Normatives. In Proceedings of the Annual Computers & Writing Conference, 2018.

PDF Collection

(2015). Utopian Laptop Initiatives: From Technological Deism to Object-Oriented Rhetoric. In Writing Posthumanism, Posthuman Writing.


Grants & Awards

Center for Humanities Summer Stipend, Funded: $4000

Chris Lindgren. Proximities of white supremacy online: Towards measuring racist discourse to engage content moderation problems

Institute for Advanced Study Grant, Funded: $10,000

Justin Schell, Chris Lindgren, Alison Link, and Jeff Kerzner. CodeWork: Exploring Digital Studies through Code.

Community Projects Award, Funded: $20,000

Kevin Brooks, Brian Slator, and Chris Lindgren. Sugar on a Stick: Establishing a Smart Computing Culture in Fargo


  • 207 Shanks Hall, 181 Turner Street NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Enter Shanks Hall and take the stairs to Office 207 on Floor 2
  • DM Me