[SIGCIS-Members] Syllabus: Women in the History of Computing

Luke Stark luke.stark at dartmouth.edu
Fri Oct 21 14:31:02 PDT 2016

Marie, thank you so much for sharing this fantastic resource! I’m looking forward to gleefully poaching from it for my own history of computing/STS courses!

On a related note, I’m wondering if you (or anyone else on the list) might have had the chance (or might have interest) in interviewing Edie Windsor (who was the plaintiff in the famous US Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, but who was also a computer programmer and entrepreneur in the 1950s and 60s and is now almost 90). To my knowledge, there hasn’t been much journalistic work focusing on that aspect of her life and career. There has been scholarly historical work on queer figures in the early history of computing – Elizabeth Wilson’s fantastic Affect and Artificial Intelligence and Jacob Gaboury’s series for Rhizome on a queer history of computing (http://rhizome.org/editorial/2013/feb/19/queer-computing-1/ come to mind – but most of these figures are men.

All the best,


Luke Stark
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology
Dartmouth College

From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Marie Hicks <mhicks1 at iit.edu>
Date: Friday, October 21, 2016 at 4:46 PM
To: sigcis <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Syllabus: Women in the History of Computing

Hi all,
I had the opportunity to design and offer a new class this year on women in the history of computing. I wanted to share the syllabus with you: http://www.mariehicks.net/syllabi.html
The course looks at how gender, race, and sexuality restructure the narratives of computing history and it also asks students to engage with historiographical issues surrounding how computing history has been written at different points (biography, company histories, hardware, software, labor, etc.).
My students have been very into it so far, and some of their work is online: http://digitalhistorylab.com/?p=205 (Scroll down to the comments section to see a small selection of the student essays submitted for this paper assignment.)

Marie Hicks, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, History of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago, IL USA
mhicks1 at iit.edu<mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu> | mariehicks.net<http://www.mariehicks.net> | @histoftech<http://twitter.com/histoftech>

Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing

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