[SIGCIS-Members] CBI History | Gender | Computing: open registration for public conference 30 May 2008

tmisa at umn.edu tmisa at umn.edu
Wed Apr 9 15:12:31 PDT 2008


History | Gender | Computing

Public Conference
30 May 2008

Charles Babbage Institute
Andersen Library
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN 55455

    **** Registration now open  ****
Women were active participants in building and programming the first 
electronic digital computers, and notably prominent in the first generation 
of computer programmers in the 1950s, but they have faced serious barriers 
to full participation in the computing professions. Today, computing 
persists as one of the most gender-segregated domains of modern life. How 
and when did a male-coded world of computing emerge? How and why has it has 
continued? What are the exceptions -- and promising strategies for change?

The Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota presents a 
day-long public conference devoted to a much-needed examination of these 
questions. While the National Science Foundation and other policy actors 
have devoted immense resources to increasing women's participation in 
computing, over the past two decades there has been a striking **drop** in 
women's participation in computing education and a corresponding tail-off 
in the U.S. workforce. Clearly, an important "missing piece" is yet to be 
discovered. This international conference, with participants from six 
countries, examines gender and the diverse uses of computing in offices, 
libraries, schools, mass media, and the computing profession. The eight 
papers will spark lively audience discussion on these themes:

    * Automation, skill, and power;
    * Gender discourse and imagery;
    * Boundaries and identity;
    * Gendered cultures of work and play.

Complementing these presentations is a scheduled poster session, showcasing 
additional views and innovative projects, as well as a viewing of "Gendered 
Bits: Identities, Practices, and Artifacts in Computing." This new exhibit, 
curated by CBI archivist Arvid Nelsen, explores how gender has shaped the 
professional identities and material culture of computing. Using materials 
from CBI's extensive archival holdings in the history of computing, as well 
as the Children's Literature Research Collections, it presents the 
contributions, struggles, and shifting roles of women as well as raises 
questions about gender broadly and the specific issues of masculinity. The 
exhibit in Andersen Library will be open 28 May through 23 July 2008.

Register _now_ for the conference and get a free lunch! For registration, 
the conference program, travel and lodging details, a bibliography with key 
literature, and useful links see <www.umn.edu/~tmisa/gender/>. Please 
direct questions to <cbi at umn.edu>.


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