Diversity in Tech History Class
Background: The purpose of this assignment is to get you comfortable writing a short, analytical essay that asks you to not only summarize what you’ve read but to come up with your own new insight by building on the insights of authors we have read in class. For the purpose of this exercise, those authors are primarily Langdon Winner and Kimberle Crenshaw. Use their theories to organize what you write for this assignment.
Basic steps to guide you as you write:
1. What technology did you choose, and why? How does it “have politics?” (3-4 sentences, one paragraph)
2. Can your technology be stripped of its politics without being completely redesigned or destroyed? What would that look like? (3-5 sentences, one paragraph)
3. What does an intersectional analysis of your chosen technology’s politics look like? If you’re confused, think about politics as the power relations that are built into a technology. These power relations are always connected to power relations in the society that the technology comes from and in which it is being used. (3-6 sentences, one to two paragraphs)
4. What new insights can you share given what you’ve thought about and written about here? In other words, what are the one or two most interesting or surprising things you’d try to tell another person, who is not in this class, based on the work you did for this exercise? Try to go for something that is non-obvious. (2-4 sentences, one paragraph)
Note: If you are confused about when to start a new paragraph, remember that each paragraph should explain one thought. If your paragraphs start getting long, go back and figure out where you changed from thinking and writing about one thing, to thinking and writing about a somewhat different thing. Start your new paragraph there. (This may require some rewriting and editing.)
Copy and paste your essay into a comment on this post by Wednesday, Sept 4, no later than 10pm. Please make sure to hit enter TWICE between your paragraphs because the comment system strips out tabs and other formatting, meaning your paragraphs will run together in one big block of text if you don’t leave an extra line between them. You may choose any handle you wish to use on your comment post–it does not have to be your real name. Make sure you enter your real IIT email address however–your email address will not be public and it will be how I figure out whose essay is whose. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away–I have to manually approve the comments. If you prefer your comment to not be made public, just write a note to that effect at the top, before pasting in your essay text.