Marie Hicks
Historian & Author
Andrina Wood, an early British computer expert, at the console of a British Tablulating Machines computer.
Marie Hicks speaking at Stanford in 2016.

Photo credit: Prof. Tom Mullaney

Marie Hicks is an author and historian who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She does research on the history of computing, labor, technology, and queer science and technology studies. Her research focuses on how gender and sexuality bring hidden technological dynamics to light, and how the experiences of women and LGBTQI people change the core narratives of the history of computing in unexpected ways. Her first book, Programmed Inequality, recently came out from MIT Press. It looks at how the British lost their early lead in computing by discarding women computer workers.

Hicks writes for a number of academic and popular publications on topics ranging from computer dating to labor rights. She has been an invited speaker at universities like Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford, and has given talks at conferences around the world. She's also been a guest on BBC Radio, NPR, and numerous podcasts.

If you are interested in hearing her speak, check her book tour dates for 2017 or catch her speaking at the fall 2017 conferences of 4S, Grace Hopper, SHOT, or NACBS. Hicks also occasionally gives talks at tech companies about how we can draw useful insights from the past. If you'd like to inquire about booking her for a talk at your company, feel free to get in touch by email.

Hicks earned her BA in Modern European History at Harvard, and her Ph.D. and MA from Duke University in History, along with a graduate certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Before becoming a professor, she worked as a UNIX systems administrator for the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Harvard.

History is the process of deciding which stories to tell and which stories to hide.  Marie Hicks. She currently teaches courses on modern European history, the history of technology, gender and sexuality studies, STS, and disasters. Prior to coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hicks taught at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Duke University, and North Carolina State University. Hicks is committed to making academic history more accessible. She set up the Digital History Lab in order to give her students a forum to engage with the public, and to showcase some of the creative projects and writing they do on topics ranging from the history of pollution to women in computing.

Marie Hicks in her office with the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. She can be reached on social media, where she goes by "Mar" (rhymes with car). You can find her on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @histoftech, or on Facebook, Storify, and LinkedIn. See her university profile page here. She spends her spare time melting glass in the microwave, trying to open locked doors (not a metaphor), and watching documentaries. Her pet peeve is when people put her last name in the possessive case incorrectly (it's Hicks's). And yes, she is the same Marie Hicks who did that thing with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that went kind of viral. She fears it will be the most memorable thing she ever does.