I’m going to be teaching a new course this fall titled “Nerds, Geeks, and Bros.” It’s DTEM 3444, Wednesdays 2:30-5:15. Please take a look at the course description and consider taking it!
This course looks at the rise of the ‘nerd’ as a way to investigate shifts in masculinity, race, and power with the rise of the digital economy. Part of the course investigates how men, starting in the 1960s to the “Brotopia” of Silicon Valley today, dominate digital technologies and the STEM field. We will examine the historical and cultural shifts that changed computer work from a feminine job to a masculine one. From examinations of popular culture, such as movies, students will trace how the nerd figure became a new hero. The nerd hero is overwhelmingly male and white and represents shifts in gender and racial politics. Students will read from history, social science, communications, as well as study popular media such as movies, television, and advertisements. Through an investigation into the nerd, geek, and bro, figure students will see how women and minorities’ innovations have been left out of history, as well as left out of the industry. By the end of the course, students will advance potential solutions to the inequalities in the technology industry.