Derek Van Ittersum

Hi, I’m Associate Professor of English at Kent State University, where I teach undergraduate courses in writing and in the Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice graduate program. I’m interested in new writing technologies and writing practices.

Writing Workflows

Writing Workflows: Beyond Word Processing, coauthored with Tim Lockridge, forthcoming from University of Michigan Press in December 2020. In this book, we argue for attending more closely to writing technologies by drawing on three case studies of professional writers to show the ways writing technologies shape writing processes and how writers can direct their attention and craft affective states through the use and arrangement of different tools. As a born-digital book, Writing Workflows is available in a media-rich HTML version, as well as ePub and PDF (forthcoming in 2020). Awarded 2018 Sweetland / UM Press Book Prize

Writing Guides

In an effort to put the ideas from Writing Workflows into practice, I drafted these guides for writing with the support of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Kent State. They offer rich descriptions of writing practices like planning, offering feedback, and organizing longer papers, with a sharp focus on the technologies that make such practices possible. However, these guides depart from the conventional software tutorial and focus instead on asking writers to consider experimenting with all the ways different tools might make different practices more or less useful or engaging.


At Kent State, I teach undergraduate courses in writing, including Writing and Rhetoric in a Digital Age (which I originally developed), Introduction to Technical Writing, and the Freshman Honors Colloquium.

In the Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice graduate program, I teach a variety of courses, including the introductory course and Field Methods in Writing Research. The latter course most recently was designed around a collaborative research project that resulted in a presentation involving three students from the course, my colleague Pamela Takayoshi, and myself at the 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Computers and Composition Digital Press

I work for the Computers and Composition Digital Press as the Technology Development editor. Publishing scholarly books online involves a host of rapidly-changing factors and part of my role involves researching technologies for creating sustainable and preservable books and finding ways to help authors learn and use those technologies.