UTCS & CWGS Conference on Gender and Technology: Lucy Suchman/Lancaster University Agencies in Technology Design: Feminist Reconfigurations ACES 2.302 Thursday April 10 2008 6:00 p.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Date: 
Apr 10, 2008 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Type of Talk: UTCS & CWGS Conference on Gender an

d Technology

Speaker/Affiliation: Lucy Suchman/Lancaster University

Date/Time: Thursday April 10 2008 6:00 p.m.

Location: A

CES 2.302

Host: Hilary Hart

Talk Title: Agencies in Technol

ogy Design: Feminist Reconfigurations

Talk Abstract:
This talk co

nsiders how capacities for action are currently figured at
the human ma

chine interface and how they might be imaginatively
and materially rec

onfigured. Contrary to the apparent enlivening of
objects promised by d

evelopments in the field of human-computer
interaction I propose that

dominant rhetorics and practices work to
obscure the performative natur

e of both persons and things. Drawing
on recent scholarship in feminis

t science and technology studies
I argue for research aimed at tracing
differences within specific
sociomaterial arrangements without resorti

ng to essentialist divides.
This requires expanding our unit of analysi

s while recognizing the
inevitable cuts or boundaries through which te

chnological systems
are made. Based on my own experience of the worlds
of technology
research and development moreover I argue that these r

econcept-
ualisations have both practical and political implications for
technology
design.

Speaker Bio:
Lucy Suchman is Professor &

Co-director at the Centre for Science
Studies at Lancaster University.

She joined the faculty at Lancaster
after twenty years as a researcher

at Xerox''s Palo Alto Research
Center. She researches the relationship

of ethnographies of everyday
practice to new technology design. Her 198

7 book Plans and Situated
Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Commun

ication is a watershed
work in the field of human-computer interaction

.