Build a better list of code experts

I’ll admit that I post this in frustration. I’ve been watching several prominent conversations on social media that seem to argue (from the distance that is always social media) that everyday misogyny is ok, that gendered/sexed derogatory language is a cute example for corpus analysis, and that there just aren’t any good women out there doing “hard core” code work we can point to (I don’t support that formulation, nor the idea that all people need to code – but it’s dumb to say there isn’t anyone out there doing it already).

Then came Scott Weingart’s annual analysis of the Digital Humanities conference, in which he observes that 1% of authors selected “gender” and 10% selected “cultural studies” as topics in their presentations. I’m grateful for the work that Scott does on this, but every year I feel like I need a drink to read it, and then maybe two after. As Scott notes, not only are topics a concern, but since he’s been doing the analysis the percentage of women presenting has held steady at roughly 1/3. As he put it “The fact that the status is pretty quo is worthy of note, because many were hoping that a global DH would seem more diverse, or appreciably different, in some way.”

Yeah, that’s an understatement.

So, I’m not going to sugar coat this – in addition to “congratulations you have an all-male panel” and the new “Congrats, you did not cite any feminist work” – we could now have a “congratulations, you have all male programmers”. I don’t have time to start that tumblr, because I’m getting ready to go talk about online misogyny. But please, feel free to take that idea and run with it.

For now, here’s a starter guide for all of those who would like to do better and include the many talented people who do codework within Digital Humanities who don’t identify as men. This is a tactical response to a crap situation and was a collaborative, distributed effort accomplished in under 24 hours. Please feel free to add more people in the comments and I’ll move them up as time allows.

  • Elisa Beshero-Bondar
  • Annie Swafford
  • Beth Coleman
  • Melissa Terras
  • Loretta Auvil
  • Carolin Odebrecht
  • Bridget Almas
  • Anouk Lang
  • Whitney Trettien
  • Karen Gregory
  • Sharon Howard
  • Micha Cardenas
  • Micki Kaufman
  • Lynn Cherny
  • Jen Lowe
  • Giorgia Lupi
  • Stefanie Posvec
  • Zara Rahman
  • Hannah Wallach
  • Cait Sydney Pickens
  • Michaela Malhberg
  • Beatrix Busse
  • Allison Parrish
  • Nat Buckley
  • Melody Kramer
  • Terttu Nevalaienen
  • Jacque Hettel
  • Bess Sadler
  • Elli Mylonas
  • Jean Bauer
  • Bethany Nowviskie
  • Wendy H.K. Chun
  • The 551 people on this list: and
  • The 317 people on this list:
  • From comments (thanks and keep ’em coming!:)
  • Tassie Gniady
  • Wendy Hsu
  • Marissa Gemma
  • Bridget Almas
  • Amanda Visconti
  • Michelle Davison
  • Wanda Eugene
  • Connie Harper
  • Mia Ridge
  • Loren Scherbak
  • Rebecca Sutton Koeser
  • Elizabeth Bonsignore
  • Kirsten Keister
  • Tanya Clement
  • Lisa Rhody

14 Replies to “Build a better list of code experts”

  1. Not only do I code, but I teach students how to code, and I’m talking about two different coding projects at DH-2015. Nice meeting you at the rawkin’ Digital Diversity conference last month.

    1. Ditto 🙂 I I code too and teach coding. I program PHP and love making APIs/web services

  2. Thanks for making this. Here’s some more, from the 12/32 female devs at the 2013 NEH/Scholars Lab Speaking in Code symposium of DH developers (
    Michelle Davison
    Wanda Eugene
    Connie Harper
    Mia Ridge
    Loren Scherbak
    Rebecca Sutton Koeser
    Amanda Visconti

  3. Yes! We exist! And we kick ass! Also, for your list: Wendy Hsu, Marissa Gemma, Bridget Almas, Michelle Davison, Wanda Eugene, Connie Harper, Mia Ridge, Loren Scherbak, Rebecca Sutton Koeser, Amanda Visconte.

  4. […] this, how do we proceed? At an individual level, obviously, people are already trying to figure out paths forward, but what about at the ADHO level? Their efforts, and efforts of constituent members, have been […]

  5. Tassie Gniady says: Reply

    I sometimes hesitate to identify as a full-fledged programmer, but I’ve built big databases, do R and Python, and definitely work with big data.
    Thanks so much for this list.

  6. […] Build a better list of code experts by jwernimont […]

  7. I’m still a Ph.D candidate but I’ve built my own MySQL database for my dissertation, and starting to build my corpus of primary texts by web scraping with Python to then topic model and analyze with n-gram. My coding skills are limited but growing every day!!

  8. It’s so great to see this list growing! (For search purposes, by the way—my last name is spelled Visconti, not Visconte as above.) Some more doing codework in DH (from present and past MITH staff): Elizabeth Bonsignore, Kirsten Keister, Tanya Clement, and Lisa Rhody.

  9. […] you can add to the spreadsheet here). Pro-tip: the “Build a Better DH Syllabus” and “Build a Better List of Code Experts” are also great resources for […]

  10. […] have gathered together and made a set of resources. There’s the Build a Better DH Syllabus, Build a Better List of Code Experts, and now Build a Better Panel. You have over 100 women from across the globe, representing a range […]

  11. I code! Mostly XSLT (I know, right?) but also bits of whatever I need to learn in order to get things done.

  12. I code too, and just like Dot I work mainly with XSLT, but whenever I need something else, I learn and use new stuff. Thanks for building this list!

  13. I code (Rails, C, C#, PHP) and run my own freelance UX/web design & development business (front-end: HTML5, CSS3, Sass, Liquid, jQuery, javaScript). I’ve also built and managed mySQL databases. Much of this overlaps with my DH/academic work, too.

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