Queer Users and the Digital State: A Prehistory of Algorithmic Bias
Founders’ Fellowship, 2018–19
Marie Hicks is a historian of technology, gender, and modern Europe, specializing in the history of computing. Their book, Programmed Inequality (MIT Press, 2017) investigates how Britain lost its early lead in computing by discarding the majority of their computer workers and experts–simply because they were women. Their current project looks at transgender Britons’ interactions with the computerized systems of the British welfare state in the 20th century, and how these computerized systems determined whose bodies and identities were allowed to exist. Hicks’s work studies how collective understandings of social progress are defined by competing discourses of national prestige, labor, and productivity, and how technologies often hide regressive values while espousing “revolutionary” or “disruptive” goals. Hicks runs the Digital History Lab at Illinois Tech, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the History of Technology, and an Associate Editor of the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. See more at marhicks.com.
- Hicks, Marie. Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2017.
- Hicks, Marie. “Computer Love: Replicating Social Order Through Early Computer Dating Systems,” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, & Technology 10 (2016).
- Hicks, Marie. “Using Digital Tools for Classroom Activism: Exploring Gender, Infrastructure, and Technological Discipline through a Public Bathroom Project.” Syllabus 4, no. 2 (2015).
- Hicks, Marie. “De-Brogramming the History of Computing.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 35, no. 1 (2013): 88.
- Hicks, Marie. “Only the Clothes Changed: Women Operators in British Computing and Advertising, 1950–1970.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 32, no. 4 (2010): 5–17.