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Class notes for 2.28.11

merlin's picture

 Wednesday February 28th

*Aybala50 made a great recreation of the 2-axes graph we made in lecture. I will not include one in my notes, hers is an excellent representation.


Today's panel is composed of Historical figures. 

Wednesday's panel will be composed of Imaginary figures.

Primary question: whether or not gender science and technology look any different in the context of imagination.



Think about the life in the context of one of the authors we've just read. 

reminder that we have 4 deadlines for these papers, we only have to do 3 of them


By this friday, the class should have made 6 postings and one paper on Serendip

(If we chose to not do the first paper, there should be 7 postings)

Go to one of your postings, click on your name, and then "track" yourself. There, you can see all of your work up till this point (all of your postings). This gives you a simple way to see how many postings you've done.


By the time the class gets back from break, do a mid-semester evaluation. Both looking back and looking forward. What is working in the class? what needs improvement? Also, suggest one book or film we could add to the syllabus. 



Michelle Obama (First lady)


Corazon Aquino (First women president in Asia)


Christa McAuliffe  (teacher/astronaut)


Amelia Earhart (First women to fly the Atlantic solo)


Mary Shelly (Author of Frankenstein)



Simone De Beauvoir (Author and existentialist philosopher)


Emily Balche (Socialogies, Economist, Pacifist)


Margret Sanger (Birth Control Activist)

OAK = 

Grace Hopper (I) (Computer Scientist)


Grace Hopper (II) 


Mike Ruiz (photographer)

MSA 322 = 

Sam Ahja (Middle Eastern Father and Religious Man)


Ibn Sina (Islamic Scholar)



Why are all of the panelists all in the same timeframe, for the most part?

Grace Hopper II: Maybe because it is the timeframe we most learn about

Oak - may reflect the fact that technologies we most relate to are technologies that fall within the last ten years. 


Anne: What other grids would you have put up?

Amelia Earhart = what their professions were 

Anna: how would we graphs what your positions were in the world? would it be a spectrum? we have two politicians, two activists, a scholar, two people who fly in the air…

OAK= maybe we could have a scale that is less political to more political and one going the other way from natural science to humanities. 

Liz (makes the graph with 2 axes) You could have points that are on the graph but you could also have shapes when the category is spanning more than one data point.

Anne: so lets try this.. 

Michelle: I would be north east (Region of the graph)

Cora = same

Christa = As a teacher astronaut, in the quadrant as the others, but closer to natural science. 

Amelia: I am a public figure and in humanities towards natural sciences

Mary Shelly: I was pretty well known and span the humanities side

Simone: Everything I put out could be taken as political (Span humanities, more in social service

Emily Balch: I was very into economic ns sociology and ended up working for humanitarian efforts. (so in the humanities/social service region)

Margret: was trained as a nurse in the public service. Would be on the Social Service side. 


Mike Ruiz: I would consider myself in the humanities, But I would be on a  point falling between the public and private sphere.

Sam : I would be closer to the private side closer to the humanities. 

Ibn Sina: I was an islamic Scholar. Anne: so you would span the whole thing!


Anne: this group looks much more diverse now. There aren't many scientists with private lives though. 


Was Gender an obstacle or an agent for you? Did it enable you or obstruct you? do you see it as creation or critique?


Corazon Aquino: for me, it was an obstacle. Because I was seen as just a woman and not belonging into political sphere. I was just the wife of a dead senator. 


Anne: is there anyone for whom Gender made you more powerful?


Emily Balch: for me, I was in the first graduating class of Bryn Mawr. So working with women drove me to peruse my work. I went to work with the international league of Peace and Freedom. So being a woman allowed me to actively seek these goals.

Margret: being a woman allowed me to make the efforts I did [for birth control] because it allowed me to work for women. 


Amelia: I was driven to open up a lot of fields for women as well as opening up as a transportation system in the US


Corazon: wouldn't opening up the doors to women aviators be creating something?

Simone: I don't think that they have to be mutually exclusive [critique versus creations] . They overlap



does any of the panel members have anythings to say about stron women


Mary Shelly: my mother said that women need to explore their abilities to be able to be competitive with  men. It caused me to expand my horizons. Because when I came to face my critiques, it allowed me to be able to have confidence in myself. 


Grace (II): I had a very strong personality. "a ship in port is always safe, but that's not what ships are for" so I was always creating new things. 


anne: what about sex in your lives? the group looked at Ada's sexuality in different ways


Amilia: my husband asked me to marry him 6 times but I was very hesitant to fall into the wife role


Simone: with my partner, we had a very intellectual relationship, but sexual we were very open. But, I never married. Because to marry would be to become dependent. 


Anne: how many of our panelists lived single their whole lives


(the two philosophers raise their hands)


Corazon: amelia said it was easy to get stuck in that rut of marriage. But the only reason I came to power was because my husband got shot , and that forced me into the position of running for president


Marry Shelly: free love allows for not putting love into the constrains of a box. So being married to my husband who cheated was better able to allow me to channel my emotions into my work


What would a movie of your life look like? What scene would we be looking at


Sam: there would be a struggle to balance. Keeping traditions and religion. 


Michelle: I think If I were to make the movie of my life It would look different from if someone else were to make it. If someone else were to make the movie, it would start with my marriage to Barack. But If I were to make it, it would start when I was six, and focus on education. My early experiences of education were important in allowing for what I did later on. 


Emily Balch: It seems that methods of communication (phones, cars, etc) and computers are all methods of communications.

Simone: to me, science and technology seems more about money than it is about communication. As far as the opportunity to make women their own individuals again

Amelia: The air doesn't care what gender you are!. I think that communication is...


Corazon: I read through an analysis of my rise to power, and the author argued that political upheavals has to do with communications technology. My rise to power was aided by the zerox machine to get the word out


Margret: the technology was available in europe, and towards the end of my life there was a lot of communication involved about making the pill legal. communication made it possible. 


Michelle: there are ways communication can negatively effect someone's life. I am always on display for someone to critique me. That negatively effete my family, and we have the right t o maintain a private homelike. Communication has helped as well as negatively effecting us. It played a huge part in my husband's campaign, It has hindered our ability to lead a normal life, though


Sam: My wife thinks that technology is making humans only depend on machine. She sees the interactions we have with our laptops. She feels left out. It is making people more introverted. 


Anne: to what extend has technology "become an extension of you?"


Grace (I) - Computers have advanced a lot but they are still going to do more. I knew computer programmers saw themselves as high priests and I wanted people to be able to use computers more intuitively. 


Christa: technology became part of me because I only had media recognition when I was becoming an astronaut, and It killed me. 

Amelia: yea, it killed both of us


mike: To an extent, it is not really an extension of myself. Because what you see through the view finder is different from how you look at it. I see it more as a different version of myself. 


Anne: is there any of you who did not see technology as an extension of yourself?


Corazon:  I think that I am very separate. I really think that there is a distinction between the two. I was very catholic. so I distinguish between my personal life an politics. 


Anne: is there anyone who would like to talk about religion?


Sam: I think that gender and technology are kind of linked together, religion is kind of linked to technology. Younger people are starting to doubt what they have been raised with. With exposure to the western world. They were not given the freedom to be exposed to technology. If they are given the freedom all of a sodden, then they will not know how to use it in order to  maintain a balance. 


Iba: It was a motivation for my study


Anne: I think these responses take us back to the original technology "what role does this intersection play?"


Emily: without communication technology, I would never have been able to get my ideals out in the open. If they didn't loo at my name, they would not have judged it immediately as a woman's words. So I was able to take gender out


Mike: when you see a photograph, you can remove gender, because you do not see the creator of the work when you look at it 


Amelia: gender allowed me to become more recognized in the public eye. So it allowed me to greatly Identify with my gender. I was able to get more money to buy better planes


Amelia: the us government spent about 4 million dollars to find me and even though I failed going around the work, I still think it is possible for others to. 


Corazon: I died before My only sone became president after campaigning for him


Ibn: I died when I was 80 years old, of old age without children


Grace Hopper: I died at 86 of old age and the oldest person at the navy and the highest ranked woman. Buried in arlington. 


Margret: I died at 81 of old age and lived to see the US government rule that that it was a constitutional right for women to use contraceptives


Emily: I died single and of old age


Simone: i was 78 years old. I had some fame for my non fiction, but I d ied before I got a lot of recognition as a philosopher. 


Mary: I died of illness and when I died, I was best know as percy shelly's wife. Because I wrote a lot of things, but no one knew that before the 1970's


Iba: it is easier to learn medicine than it is to learn philosophy. 




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