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Who Do You Want to Be?

Anne Dalke's picture

Please "add a new comment" to this posting, and tell us who you will "be" (or @ least perform!)
in the panels we are hosting next Monday and Wednesday.

You should come to class prepared to say
* what role gender played in "your" life
* what role science and/or technology played
* how they intersected
* in what ways they “reciprocally shaped one another."

In "your" day, what language did you use
* to talk about “gender” and “technology”?
* did "you" use these words, or other ones?
* for example: how did "you" understand the
difference between “natural” and “artificial”?

How would you respond to some of our contemporary language for talking about the relations between G&T? (for example, in Haraway’s terms, how much of a breakdown was there in your life/age between the three “leaky distinctions” of human-animal, organism-machine, physical-non-physical? In Hayles' terms, how did you "read" information? How did you  "think" about-and-with it?



Franklin20's picture

I will be...

For my panel, I would like to be celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz. As a photographer, he works with technology everyday with manual and digital photography as well as photoshop and other computer programs used to alter photographs already taken. Furthermore, as a celebrity photographer, he is very integrated in the entertainment industry which is steeped in technological developments, such as television broadcasting.


MSA322's picture

I shall be... My father.

A middle eastern father, educated in the UK. His thoughts and opinions are based off of life experiences, in midst confusion and crossing of "traditional" thoughts and "modern" ones, backed up with culture, traditions and most importantly, religion.

Riki's picture

the artist will be present

I plan to be Marina Abramovic, the self-proclaimed "grandmother of performance art." She explores the boundaries of the human body and mind. I'm interested in understanding how information and meaning are exchanged between artist and audience.

aybala50's picture

my character

Arthur Weasley....from Harry Potter. He is a wizard that is obsessed with muggles (non-magical people) and their technology (like the car, toasters, cameras etc.).  

merlin's picture




Rosie the Riveter is an icon in the US representing the women who worked in manufacturing plants during WWII producing wartime supplies after many of the men went overseas to fight. Many women were expected to return to the  home, though, after the war was over. Conditions were sometimes harsh, and women usually did not get paid as much as the men they were replacing. Rose Will Monroe was the real woman who was associated with the character.




phreNic's picture

Simone de Beauvoir

 author of philosophical essays, novels, plays, memoirs, travel diaries and newspaper articles.

Hillary G's picture

Emily Balch

          In the panel I will be Emily Balch, a writer and pacifist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for her work with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). After graduating Bryn Mawr College in 1889, she continued to study sociology and economics, and later became a professor in these fields at Wellesley College in 1913. She used her extensive knowledge of the social sciences to support her humanitarian efforts during the world wars. During WWI, she campaigned with the WILPF against America’s entry into the conflict. She later became an editor of a well-known liberal news magazine called The Nation. Working with the magazine helped her convey information that corresponded with her ideals to the general public. Using her expertise in the science of human behavior, and her passion for achieving equality, she dedicated her life to defending human rights. 


jlebouvier's picture

Stewey Griffin

I will attempt to take on the role of Stewey Griffin, the baby genius from Family Guy. Not only is Stewey an evil genius, but the creators of the show constantly change is sexual orienation and sometimes flip around his gender. Also, due to his cartoon status, his age never changes (except in the few episodes where they jump to the future). I think it will be an interesting undertaking to become this character, mainly because I get to speak in a ridiculous British accent.

rubikscube's picture

Asterik? Asperin? Ostrich? No, Astrid!

In correlation with Isabel's panel character, I would like to be Agent Astrid Farnsworth, also from the "Fringe" TV series. Astrid is a junior agent with the FBI who works in Walter Bishop's lab, and she is the assistant to another agent. She primarily focuses on cryptanalysis and uses this skill to find patterns to assist with the investigations. According to the show, Astrid went to Haverford College and graduated with a double major in Music and Linguistics and with a minor in Computer Science. Although Astrid has a vast amount of knowledge and technical experience, she still seems to be treated as inconsequential by Walter, especially since he still cannot remember her name even though they have worked in the same lab for years (this should explain the title of my post!). Because of Walter's "unique personality," Astrid spends a lot of her time helping him emotionally in addition to helping him professionally. Is this because of her gender? Hopefully we can explore this during the panel.


Oak's picture

Grace Hopper

I'm choosing Grace Hopper, mathematician, computer scientist, and first female Rear Admiral of the US Navy. She went to Vassar (yeah women's colleges!) for undergrad and got her master's degree and Ph.D. from Yale. She was teaching at Vassar when World War II started. She joined the US Naval Reserves, where she was assigned to the computer projects. This started an interest in computer science that led her to making major and important changes in the field.

Marina's picture

Jess Dobkin

I will be coming to class as Jess Dobkin, a New York based performance artist. I attended a talk she gave here at Bryn Mawr about a week ago and her work primarily focuses on gender and the female body. Several of her performances also utilize technology, but in very sexualized ways. In 2006, Dobkin performed the piece "Fee for Service" in which she inserted an electric pencil sharpener in her vagina and invited guests to sharpen their pencils for a small fee. Guests were also required to write in a guestbook with that pencil after they had it sharpened. Clearly, Dobkin's work is heavily influenced by both her gender and everyday technology.

more of Dobkin's work can be found here:

fawei's picture

a sad story


I’ll be coming in trying to be Christa McAuliffe, a female American astronaut. The reason McAuliffe made an impression on me is because she was not originally trained to be an astronaut, she was originally a teacher. She was the first educator to become an astronaut, and was chosen to spearhead NASA’s ‘Teacher in Space’ project by planning to, of course, teach classes in space. The project, while not having technically practical uses, was a new way to use the space program by aiming directly to honor/inspire teachers and students. There are even now several schools named in her honor.

But unfortunately, McAuliffe and six other astronauts were killed in the shuttle Challenger shortly after launch in 1986, where it broke apart before it cleared the atmosphere.



Hilary_Brashear's picture

Sedmikrásky (1966)

I will be Czech director Vera Chytilova. The the subject of my post is the title of one of her most famous films, translated as Daisies in English. Now 81, Chytilova was a central figure of the Czech new wave film movement. She has been describe as the Margaret Thatcher of Czech film. When asked by an interviewer if she was a feminist she responded: "Is your newspaper a serious one?" She peers over her large sunglasses. "You ask pointless and primitive questions."She has been quoted saying, "People are generally weak, cautious and frightened of being embarrassed, whereas I'm merciless and impertinent."I have only seen her film Daises, but it profoundly affected me. I have never seen anything like it and I would love to learn more about the person who created it.

Here is a link to the first four minutes of Daisies if you are interested:



spreston's picture

I will be...

In our panel, I plan to be Margaret Sanger, founder of the American Birth Control League. I first learned about Sanger in a U.S. History class and was amazed at this woman's courage fight for the use of a technology in the form of contraception that would free a lot of women from the 1950's job of staying home with children.  As a child in a household of eleven children with many duties to take care of siblings, Sanger certainly understood how time-consuming it is to have a family and to be responsible for children.  After working with many women who became sick and even died from illegal abortions, Sanger realized how important it was to find a way for women to be able to express themselves sexually without it forcing them to have a life with a husband and children unless they looked to dangerous and illegal abortions for an answer.  I am interested to read more about Sanger's view on gender roles, especially given that she was fighting for all of this during the still very conservative 1950's and how technology assisted her in her fight.

MissArcher2's picture

"We're all mutants..."

 "...what's remarkable is how many of us appear to be normal." --Dr. Walter Bishop

For our panel, I plan to embody the character of Dr. Walter Bishop, leading government scientist from the Fox TV show "Fringe."  Dr. Bishop is particularly relevant to our discussion of information because he uses fringe science to develop ways to extract information from dead or unconscious people and inanimate objects, supporting "Conceiving Ada's" notion that information waves exist independently of living people and can be accessed at any point using the right scientific tools. Walter also requested that a part of his brain be removed because he felt that he knew too much and was becoming dangerous. As a result of the surgery, Walter is extremely loopy and unfocused, which led to 17 years spent in an insane asylum. Walter has been re-discovering much of what was removed from his brain over the course of the show and is currently attempting to re-grow the brain tissue using chimpanzee cells. I'm looking forward to bringing Walter to life in our classroom! 


kelliott's picture

"I think...therefore I am." -PRIS

Next week, I will come to class as the Replicant "Pris" from Blade Runner. She is feisty, she is fierce, and she has a lot to say about gender and technology. If you don't know anything about Blade Runner, here's the trailer and a quick summary..Blade Runner is set in a dystopian Los Angeles in the year 2019 in which genetically engineered organic robots called "Replicants" are manufactured and visually indistinguishable from humans. Replicants are banned from Earth. Pris is one of three Replicants whom Deckard (Harrison Ford) is sent out to "retire" (aka kill). These three Replicants have come to Earth to try to extend their lifetimes-- they are Nexus-6 models that have a four-year lifespan as a way to prevent them from developing emotions and desire for independence. Pris is the "basic pleasure model" of Replicants--she was created solely for entertainment. Though the most objectified of them all, Pris fights the imposed sexualized gender role through androgyny, manipulation, and awesome acrobatics.




leamirella's picture

I'm coming as...

Corazon Aquino! First president of the Philippines (and Asia) who rose to power after her husband (who had intentions of becoming president) was shot on the tarmac as the family returned from exile. Despite being reluctant at first, she was voted into office. The intersection I see with technology and "Cory" is the way in which technology (such as print media, radio, telecommunications) was used to put her into power. I'm really interested in looking at how quickly the people of the Philippines managed to band together in order to instill this change. The mass media was critical here and I'm curious as to how this worked.

ekthorp's picture

Air Heart

I will come to class as Amelia Earhart, the infamous airpilot. There is so much mystery surrounding Earhart, as well as prestige and innovation. She was the first woman to get the U.S. distinguished Flying Cross for being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her love for aviation was only made possible through the Airplane technology, and she must have a had a very close relationship with this technology given the immense amount of time she spent in planes. She was one of the first women to ever interact with so much flying technology, and her relationship with it must have been very personal, given the amount of time she spent alone with it. 

J.Yoo's picture

Are you ready?

Originally, I was going to be Rosalind Franklin.  After some consideration, though, chose to be The Question, alter ego Renee Montoya.  Montoya, originally a no-nonsense homicide detective in Gotham City, was recruited by the original Question and, after his death, took up the faceless mantle.  Unlike the original Question, Montoya struggles with the idea of killing.

Montoya's coat, hat, hair, and mask are chemically treated to react was a specific gas (stored in her belt buckle) and transform into the Question's costume.  Montoya has no powers, relying on an energy pistol and her wits to get out of most situations.  As the Question, the mask covers up most of Montoya's identity; she's not a woman, she's not Renee Montoya.  She's just a female body in a snazzy blue trench coat, hellbent on prying injustice out of the corporate system (unlike other heroes, the Question traditionally goes after corruption, not thievery and assault).  Gender doesn't matter when Montoya gets down to business.  She's also a lesbian, disowned by her strictly religious parents.

vgaffney's picture


I plan to go as Watson—the IBM computer designed to be the first artificially intelligent jeopardy contestant. The computer is designed to answer questions asked in natural language and is also capable of robotically pressing the buzzer—which it routinely got to first during the tournament. Watson is programmed with an absolutely enormous wealth of information designed to allow the computer to answer questions without seeking outside assistance. The computer itself fills up an entire room and so an avatar was used to represent it during the game. The development of Watson holds a number of implications for the future of robotics/artificial intelligence. As IBM states: "The goal is to have computers start to interact in natural human terms across a range of applications and processes, understanding the questions that humans ask and providing answers that humans can understand and justify,” the primary goal is developing artificially intelligent software which can process natural language and thus be able to interact with humans on a deeper and more complex level. Watson’s “life” or development would be a fascinating thing to explore—the intricacies of the process of programming the data/information into this software. Also, it is curious to consider Watson as gendered. He is undoubtedly male: has a male name and male voice, manifesting an interesting gendered technology. The development of this software, the implications of its gendered nature, and the implications for the future are all interesting questions to explore.  

Apocalipsis's picture

My Grand Character; drum roll please....

Wolverine! Not just because the actor (Hugh Jackman) who plays his role in X-Men is stunning, but because his ficticious character is amazing and reveals a lot about gender and technology according to different eras. Wolverine's experiences are metaphoric when we relate them to those of humans, in terms of the purpose of how he was created and the binary that humans placed him in. By being a mutant, he was oppressed, but because he was a mutant his powers of healing and destruction were highly desired in making him a weapon. For more info, go to

cara's picture

I will be Grace Hopper for

I will be Grace Hopper for next week's panel. She was a real life computer scientist, and has contributed greatly to the field through her work in developing the first compiler, a computer program that translates source code into machine code, and an early computer language called COBOL among other accomplishments. She also joined WAVES, a WWII division of the US Navy that was made up entirely of women, training at a Naval reserve at Smith College, where she graduated first in her class before going on to help program the Mark I computer.

tangerines's picture

Change of plans...

Originally I wanted to be Dr. Frankenstein's monster, before I reconsidered and decided to be the monster's creator, Dr. Frankenstein. However, after considering the themes of the course... I'm going to be the true creator of the monster: Mary Shelley. Shelley was daughter of a feminist and a philosopher and wife of poet Percy Shelley. She was also an accomplished author in her own right, writing in a number of genres. She is best known for penning the novel Frankenstein, which is considered to be the first work of science fiction.

shin1068111's picture

I will be..

I will be Dr. Robert Ray from Dr. 91020, which is a TV show focusing on plastic surgery in the wealthy suburb of Beverly Hills. I am sure people have watched the show and know who he is. He is a Brazilian plastic surgeon who mostly performs cosmetic surgery. I thought that it would be interesting to go back to where we had readings and discussions about plastic surgery and its relation to re-shaping gender.

kgould's picture

I will be Major Motoko

I will be Major Motoko Kusanagi, squad leader of Public Security Section 9 in Japan in the year 2029--from the iconic manga/anime series Ghost in the Shell. She is a full-body cyborg, meaning her only organic (human) parts the few pieces of her brain that have not been "cyberized." The only woman in Section 9 and the squad leader (ultimately second-in-command of the entire Section), the Major is highly skilled in combat and technology--including hacking and using her synthetic/robot body as easily as a natural one. 

In this future, almost all people are cyberized, at the very least they have partially synthetic brains... as well as synthetic limbs, organs, and other body parts. (Interesting to see how this relates to GIST!!)

Her sexuality is ambiguous, dating both men and women, but often reflects on whether she is female or male--all that really signifies her as one or the other is the chassis where she keeps her brain. And while she embraces her female chassis, she occasionally uses the one she had as a child...



Amophrast's picture


I will be Batwoman, also known as Kate Kane, who is the newer version of Batwoman (I think around 2006 on). ***Spoilers follow: ***

She is a comic book character who doesn't have any actual "powers." She is very human, much like the rest of us and relies on gadgets (TECHNOLOGY!) to help fulfill her missions. According to Batwoman Elegy, Kate Kane is a twin in a military family. She lost her mother and her sister at a relatively young age, which was part of her motivation to join the military. She went to West Point, but dropped out when she came out as a lesbian. Since she could no longer serve in the military, Kate Kane served in another way... as Batwoman. Her father (the Colonel) both helped and encouraged her with this goal.

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