The FemTechNet group recently discussed a question posed by Pitzer College student Ari Schlesinger on the topic of feminist programming – it’s a topic related to my work on feminist markup and digital architectures, so I read the discussion with interest. What follows are some of the ideas that arose in the discussion – gathered here as a way of starting a kind of bibliography. I have a previous post on Feminism and Technology that is also a bibliography. I’m also hopeful that this post will operate as a space of further discussion on the topic. Thanks for the great thinking go to the many members of FemTechNet network who contributed to the discussion – I’ve edited to make this more of a working bibliography, rather than a transcript of the conversation.
Ari’s question paraphrased: if object oriented programming reifies normative subject object theory, what would a feminist programming language look like? Are there possibilities within imperative, functional, or logical programming languages that would enable feminist programming?
Ari was already thinking about Karen Barad’s work in Posthumanist Performativity and about feminist logics.
Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 28, No. 3. (1 March 2003), pp. 801-831
also: Barad, Karen. Posthumanist performativity : Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. In Deborah Orr (ed.), Belief, Bodies, and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2006).
Work and ideas that came up in the ensuing discussion:
In conversation with Barad:
–Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska, Life After New Media, MIT Press, 2012.
–Anne Balsamo, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, Duke UP, 2011.
Tara McPherson’s work on Scalar, discussed in a forthcoming article in Difference. (A talk version is here:
Zach Blas and his Queer Technologies / transCoder project
–with Micha Cardenas http://transreal.org/imaginary-computational-systems-queer-technologies-and-transreal-aesthetics/
Micha Cardenas and others in http://transreal.org/media-n-journal-2013-caa-conference-edition/ and http://www.e-fagia.org/digievent/2011/tx/michaElle.html
Maria Fernandez, Faith Wilding, and Michelle M. Wright, Domain Errors, (Autonomedia, 2003)
Caludia Reiche and Verena Kuni, eds. Cyberfeminism: Next Steps (Autonomedia, 2004)
Kim Christen’s work on Mukurtu as feminist/anti-imperialist approach to database design
Thinking about differences between in analog and digital computers in Wendy Chun’s work
“Fuzzy logic:” looking at measures of information as the continuum between 0 and 1 rather than the binary,
–connected to French Feminism Kristeva, Cixous, Irigiray, Wittig.
–see work of Margaret Homans, introduction and opening chapter in Bearing the Word (Chicago UP, 1989).
Information Theory from a feminist perspective (new area to explore)
Melissa Terras on the Text Encoding Initiative (markup protocols) (need the url)
I’m sure that there is more that is worth bringing into the discussion – please post a comment if you have thoughts!