Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Software Theory: How Our Systems Shape Teaching, Learning, and Identity Robert Rozema


English Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Arts and Humanities


A relatively new field, software theory emerged alongside the widespread adoption of programmable devices that began with the personal computer in the 1970s and 1980s and is culminating today in the "internet of things," the term used to describe the ubiquity of internet-connected devices. Software theory aims to describe and classify how the systems used to govern devices shape device users in a range of ways, including cognitively, psychologically, socially, and even existentially. Schools, in the terminology of software theory, are coded assemblages, or places where multiple software systems intersect in highly complex ways. As such, schools offer an interesting point of inquiry for software theorists: schools are spaces in which software mediates instruction, learning, teacher and student, redefining these entities even as software itself becomes less visible and more transparent. Focusing on the schools, this presentation will examine the real-world implications of ubiquitous software and will provide strategies for teachers and their students to examine their own lives through the lens of software theory.

Conference Name

National Council of Teachers of English

Conference Location

Boston, MA

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