Women, Information Technology and Scholarship
In September 2013, I was privileged to be part of a conversation with four former members of the Women, Information Technology, and Scholarship (WITS) group, which was active at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign through most of the 1990s: Jenny Barrett, Leigh Estabrook, Gail Hawisher, and Angharad Valdivia. I also wrote a piece about WITS for Technology’s Stories. The transcript for the video is linked here.
FemTechNet was a key part of my intellectual and emotional life from its inception in 2013 until 2017 or so, when the collective paused (and is still seeking next steps). In 2013, when energy was high and we were all creating video dialogues to share across the network, I had the amazing good fortune to facilitate a discussion with Professor Karen Flynn and Professor Dorothy Roberts. Professor Roberts was on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for a keynote lecture, “The New Biopolitics of Race, Gender, and Reproductive Bodies,” sponsored by Gender and Women’s Studies, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and Spurlock Museum. Professor Flynn was already here in Gender and Women’s Studies. One of FemTechNet’s “keywords” was “Bodies,” so that focused the conversation. In 2016, I wrote this piece for New Criticals (thanks, Tamsyn Gilbert!) about archiving the network.