The Personal is Archival: Researching and Teaching With Stories of Women Engineers, Scientists, and Doctors

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2018-04-01
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Bix, Amy
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History
The Department of History seeks to provide students with a knowledge of historical themes and events, an understanding of past cultures and social organizations, and also knowledge of how the past pertains to the present.

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The Department of History was formed in 1969 from the division of the Department of History, Government, and Philosophy.

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Personal stories from archives are essential to understand the historical gendering of American science, medicine, technology, and innovation. Advocates promoted science, medicine, and engineering to young men, yet the twentieth-century brought increasing numbers of women into STEM education and employment. This paper illustrates the above by offering guidance to key archival and digital collections that show how women (individually and as groups) made places for themselves in modern science, technology, and medicine. Sources illustrate complex intersections for women simultaneously shaping professional and personal identities. This paper suggests how historians can reach beyond individual biographies to build broader analyses that deploy insights about personal experiences to parse cultural understandings of STEM and diversity. It models pedagogy foregrounding women’s lived experiences for classwork analyzing science, technology, and innovation. By integrating archival stories, educators can bridge gaps between STEM majors and other students through engaging dialogue about the past/present/future gendering of intellectual life and work.

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This proceedings is published as Amy Bix, “The Personal is Archival: Researching and Teaching With Stories of Women Engineers, Scientists, and Doctors,” NYU Center for the Humanities for STEM: Using Archives to Bridge the Two Cultures Divide. Brooklyn, NY. April 6-7, 2018. Posted with permission.

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Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018