Contemporary history of Europe

Creating a “Living Book about History” on Women, Gender and ICTs

This lightening talk is part of the panel "Teaching history of technology: experiments, innovative methods, and approaches". It aims to discuss the experiment Prof. Schafer conducted over 14 weeks with her master students in creating a Living Book intertwining sources and research articles on the topic “Women, Gender and ICTs”.
The plan of the anthology as well as the choice of sources was made by the students, who were however constrained to introduce a certain number of designated works by the teachers. The selection of sources also had to meet the constraints of accessibility and openness of the resources, as it is to be published online (, thanks to a collaboration with a historical association, Infoclio. The students were instructed to try to vary the types of sources (films, advertisements, posters, web content, oral interviews, etc.). They were also asked to write the descriptions, which were reviewed as a group to harmonize the narrative. These moments of collective rereading allowed the introduction of the notion of peer- review.
This experience went through some trial and error. However, at the crossroads of the history of computer science and gender, but also of digital and public history, this Living Book has allowed for scientific learning and reading, and for the development of skills related to source criticism, to scientific mediation, and to digital publishing (openness, licenses, etc.).

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