Benjamin Miller is assistant professor of composition in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on digital research and pedagogy. He is the author of the poetry collection Without Compass.
In a data-driven world, anything can be data. As the techniques and scale of data analysis advance, the need for a response from rhetoric and composition grows ever more pronounced. It is increasingly possible to examine thousands of documents and peer-review comments, labor-hours, and citation networks in composition courses and beyond. Composition and Big Data brings together a range of scholars, teachers, and administrators already working with big-data methods and datasets to kickstart a collective reckoning with the role that algorithmic and computational approaches can, or should, play in research and teaching in the field. Their work takes place in various contexts, including programmatic assessment, first-year pedagogy, stylistics, and learning transfer across the curriculum. From ethical reflections to database design, from corpus linguistics to quantitative autoethnography, these chapters implement and interpret the drive toward data in diverse ways.