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Notes Towards Day 1

Day 1: Defining Our Terms

Theme song?
Paul Simon, “The Boy in the Bubble”:

These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call….”

I. Laura: Introductions

Turn to your neighbor–>
say who you are, and tell the story of when you were first/
most clearly aware that you were gendered

Second go ‘round, same partner:
your first/most profound experience of technology

II. Anne: Look @ some images;
write down your initial impressions.

© ali smith

Some context–

Aimee Mullins: one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People…
her public version of her career is that her disability has been a benefit–she has several sets of legs, both cosmetic and functional,
and is able to choose how tall she wants to be.

Reporting back on these writings-and-talkings:
how might we summarize the similarities and differences
among us? is there anything collective to say about our experiences?

How might we generalize from our reactions/particularities:
what is gender? What is technology?
What is the relation between them? (and/or?)

III. Definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary
systematic treatment or study of (practical or industrial) art or craft;
from technic, pertaining to art/skillfully made + ology, study of

from genus (as opposed to species);
general or common (from genus, race);
–>kin, kind, sort, class

–in mod. (esp. feminist) use, a euphemism for the sex of a human being, to emphasize the social and cultural, as opposed to the biological, distinctions between the sexes

this a course about the “sorting”/”generalizing” that is gender–
and how it intersects w/ the “study of skillful making”
that is technology

IV. Laura: Syllabus review/logistics/principles/philosophy/internet!
Our four-part plan:
1. The art of making gender
2. How gender makes art
3. How the relation between them is represented in art
4. How all this plays out today on the internet/
in the field of computer science

Weekly postings
4 longer papers as blog postings
division into two writing groups
(how to do this? want to get your imput…)
final performance and project
Grading (nope!)

For Monday: read Teresa deLauretis,
“The Technology of Gender” AND/OR
Keith Grint and Rosalind Gill, “The Gender-Technology Relation”

In order to contribute data to (or to challenge) these arguments:
bring in examples of ads, song lyrics, etc. which
represent a relationship between technology & gender


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  1. Aimee Mullins TED Talk | Gender and Technology Spring 2009

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