Marie Hicks is an author and historian who is currently an assistant professor at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. She does research on the history of computing, gender, technology, and queer science and technology studies. Her first book, Programmed Inequality, has just come 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, Stanford, and Northwestern, 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 at the conference she is helping organize at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley in March.
After getting her BA in Modern European History at Harvard, Hicks earned a 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.
Hicks has taught at Duke and North Carolina State University. Currently, at Illinois Tech, she teaches courses on modern European history, the history of technology, gender and sexuality studies, STS, and disasters. 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. Hicks is committed to making academic history more accessible. She set up the Digital History Lab at Illinois Tech 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.
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.