Contact Information

Computer Science Department
Colgate University
McGregory Hall, 3rd Floor
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
(tel) 315.228.7719
Charlotte Jablonski, Administrative Assistant

Event Detail

Creating Computing Citizens: American History from the User Up

Start: Wednesday, April 03, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
End: Wednesday, April 03, 2019, 6 p.m.
Location: Ho 101

Speaker: Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin

Abstract: What does it mean to write American history from the user up? When I was researching A People’s History of Computing in the United States, stories of students and teachers, principals and professors, touch screens and video games – in New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Illinois – jumped off the pages of newsletters, grant reports, and other archival documents. Those are not the people or places that typically come to mind when we think about America’s digital origin stories. This talk focuses on the users of 1960s and 1970s academic computing networks to develop a history of the digital age that emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and community. These students and educators built, accessed, and participated in cooperative digital networks, developing now-quotidian practices of personal computing and social media. In the process, they became what I call “computing citizens.”

Bio: Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin is a feminist, anti-racist historian, and a Contributing Editor for Lady Science. She is also a consultant for the documentaries The Birth of BASIC and The Queen of Code and for the television show Girls Code. Rankin was an Exchange Scholar at MIT while earning her doctorate in History from Yale University, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to entering the academy, she had a successful career launching educational programs for students of all ages, which took her around the country. Her website is