Our picks for International Women’s Day

Highlighting just a few of our female authors from recent months

The MIT Press is proud to publish groundbreaking books by women working at the forefront of their fields, from STEM subjects to management to design. For International Women’s Day, we are featuring just a few of our female authors from recent months—with books covering topics from bias in the tech industry to the ethical implications of living in outer space.

Read on to explore these books and even more below, and find more books from diverse voices here

More than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech by Meredith Broussard

The word “glitch” implies an incidental error, as easy to patch up as it is to identify. But what if racism, sexism, and ableism aren’t just bugs in mostly functional machinery—what if they’re coded into the system itself? In the vein of heavy hitters such as Safiya Umoja Noble, Cathy O’Neil, and Ruha Benjamin, Meredith Broussard demonstrates in More Than a Glitch how neutrality in tech is a myth and why algorithms need to be held accountable.

“Everyone who cares about the future of tech and society should read this book yesterday.” —Ruha Benjamin, author of Race after Technology and Viral Justice

Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus by Maia Weinstock

As a girl in New York City in the 1940s, Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus was taught that there were only three career options open to women: secretary, nurse, or teacher. But sneaking into museums, purchasing three-cent copies of National Geographic, and devouring books on the history of science ignited in Dresselhaus (1930–2017) a passion for inquiry. In Carbon Queen, science writer Maia Weinstock describes how, with curiosity and drive, Dresselhaus defied expectations and forged a career as a pioneering scientist and engineer. Dresselhaus made highly influential discoveries about the properties of carbon and other materials and helped reshape our world in countless ways—from electronics to aviation to medicine to energy. She was also a trailblazer for women in STEM and a beloved educator, mentor, and colleague.

“A fitting tribute to a scientific legend.” —Jess Wade, Imperial College London; author of Nano

Forthcoming: Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance edited by Sophie Hamacher and Jessica Hankey

The tracking of our personal information, activities, and medical data through our digital devices is an increasingly recognizable field in which the lines between caretaking and control have blurred. In this age of surveillance, mothers’ behaviors and bodies are observed, made public, exposed, scrutinized, and policed like never before. Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance gathers together the work of fifty contributors from diverse disciplines that include the visual arts, legal scholarship, ethnic studies, sociology, gender studies, poetry, and activism to ask what the relationship is between how we watch and how we are watched, and how the attention that mothers pay to their children might foster a kind of counterattention to the many ways in which mothers are scrutinized.

Building a New Leadership Ladder: Transforming Male-Dominated Organizations to Support Women on the Rise by Carol J. Geffner

When it comes to the gender gap, it is not enough to ask women to “lean in” and demand promotions and raises. Organizations have an obligation to level up and provide women with more opportunities for advancement. In this book, leadership and governance expert Carol Geffner makes a strong case that for women to reach their full potential, workplaces and their leaders must take a more proactive role in combating gender discrimination.

“It is time for leaders to take action, and this book shows us how.” —Laura Yeager, Major General, United States Army National Guard, retired

Women and Climate Change: Examining Discourses from the Global North by Nicole Detraz

When you think “climate change,” who comes to mind? Who’s doing the science, the reporting, the protesting, the suffering? In Women and Climate Change, Nicole Detraz asks where women in the global North figure in the picture, what that means, and why it matters. Her answers fill critical gaps in what we know about the politics of climate change and gender.

“In beautifully illuminating the myriad roles that women play in climate change work, Detraz reminds us that representation of women’s work is crucial for the future of sustainability and justice.” —Sikina Jinnah, UC Santa Cruz; coauthor of Greening through Trade

Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall

From the excesses of world expositions to myths of better living through technology, modernist design, in its European-based guises, has excluded and oppressed the very people whose lands and lives it reshaped. Decolonizing Design first asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the harmful project of colonization—then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories.

“A once-in-a-decade book. An inspiring, informative, and powerful blueprint that can enable any of us to engage with a topic of our time—decolonization.” —Rama Gheerawo, Royal College of Art; author of Creative Leadership

Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space by Erika Nesvold

We’ve pinpointed the destination, refined the technology, designed the habitat, outfitted our space residents. Are we forgetting something? A timely reminder that it’s not just rocket science, this thought-provoking book explores the all-too-human issues raised by the prospect of settling in outer space. It’s worth remembering, Erika Nesvold suggests, that in making new worlds, we don’t necessarily leave our earthly problems behind. Accordingly, her work highlights the complex ethical challenges that accompany any other-worldly venture—questions about the environment, labor rights, and medical ethics, among others.

“Nesvold engages the pivotal social, cultural, and ethical questions overlooked in most books on space settlement, demonstrating that expertise from humanities and social science is needed to sustain humans in space.” —James Schwartz, Wichita State University; author of The Value of Science in Space Exploration

Technology’s Child: Digital Media’s Role in the Ages and Stages of Growing Up by Katie Davis

What happens to the little ones, the tweens, and the teenagers, when technology—ubiquitous in the world they inhabit—becomes a critical part of their lives? This timely book Technology’s Child brings much-needed clarity to what we know about technology’s role in child development. Better yet, it provides guidance on how to use what we know to help children of all ages make the most of their digital experiences.

“This thoughtful and deeply researched account will inform parents, educators, and (hopefully) designers, too.” —Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise

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