Linda J Vigdor

I recently received my PhD for my dissertation, "An Intersectional Reading of Gender & Technology." My thesis deconstructs a gender-technology story in education and policy that focuses on women's underrepresentation in computing and argues that this concern masks the ways that women-gender are co-opted as a kind of mediator in managing our societal anxieties over technological progress.

My background is in the arts (painting, sculpture, theatre design, and computer graphics/animation). Seeking a better 'day job' to finance my art, in the mid 1990's I became fascinated by the emerging possibilities in 3D modeling and animation software. I had long been interested in the interconnections of visual, conceptual, and psychological space and digital 3D presented an irresistible challenge. I became quite adept at bringing a sophisticated visual aesthetic to early real-time 3D environments. After a stint developing a 3D massively multi-user online 'chemistry' game for a low-budget startup in Texas, I became interested in two interrelated threads: (1) the nature of learning in emerging 3d worlds and games and (2) why gender and women, in the context of this new technology, represented such a "problem". These questions foreshadowed my decision to pursue a PhD. My dissertation is an extensive investigation into the nature and significance of the gender and technology "story."

In August I begin a Postdoctoral Research Associate position on the project "Art-Science Collaborations, Bodies, and Environments" through the University of Arizona, in association with Aberystwyth University. I also teach online for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - "Adult Learning and Development with Technology."

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