The new documentary on Grace Hopper is out, and it is excellent. Director Gillian Jacobs provides a novel perspective on Hopper that is both celebratory and humanizing. I am particularly excited to be able to use this in class, and I suspect that it will be a hit at conferences. It is short, punchy, and fun. Be sure to read the accompanying interview with Jacobs.
Queen of Code
A recent article in The Baffler by Astra Taylor and Joanne McNeil entitled “The Dads of Tech” has a nice reference to The Computer Boys Take Over. The article is an insightful history of sexism in various tech industries, with particular reference to recent outbreaks like Gamergate.
Congratulations to Janet Abbate on receiving the 2014 Computer History Museum prize for her book Recoding Gender. Abbate’s book is a wonderful addition to the social history of computing. From the SIGCIS award announcement:
Recoding Gender instead uses women’s day-to-day experiences to reveal the obstacles encountered and the strategies developed by women who carved out professional careers as corporate programmers, software entrepreneurs, or academic computer scientists. Based on extensive oral histories, all made available online by the author, Abbate’s book provides new material for the historical study of women in computing, offering at the same time new ground for current debates on women’s under-represented position within computing.
Fastcompany has just published a profile of Robin Hauser Reynolds and her work on the forthcoming documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap (which recently made a stellar fund-raising debut on Indiegogo). I met with Reynolds recently to film some material for CODE. This is going to be important and I expect influential film. Keep your eyes out!
The Fastcompany piece refers favorably to The Computer Boys Take Over, and mentions my work on the Computer Girls article from Cosmo.
Academic books do not usually attract the attention of the general public, much less Hollywood celebrities. But after reading this fascinating interview with the actor Gillian Jacobs (Community, Life Partners) about her forthcoming Grace Hopper documentary, I tweeted the following quote:
GJ: I not only want to tell people about Grace Hopper, but remind them that she was not the only woman in her field in her era. Women have always been a part of tech and computing.
Imagine my surprise when I received the following reply!