Whose Minds? Women, Infrastructure & Computational Workers

The course highlights the vital, yet often unrecognized, contributions of women and non-white individuals to histories of computation. This focus illuminates their roles during pivotal moments such as the industrial revolution, World War II, and the ENIAC’s development, challenging dominant narratives through the lens of gender, race, and class relations. Through discussing the readings, the course questions established concepts to reveal complex entanglements present in the seemingly neutral term “technology.” We question, “Whose knowledge and labor have shaped today’s digital infrastructures?” to uncover a counter-narrative to the prevailing Silicon Valley myth, emphasizing the collective efforts of a global “cognitariat” in building large-scale high-tech projects such as the current AI-Systems.

Marvin Minsky, The Remote-Control Self, in: The Society of Mind, 1988.