Re-writing the Hack

Re-Writing the Hack Award
Last year (21 and 22 November 2015) I took part in Re-writing the Hack, a Women only Hackathon exploring the theme "Industrial and Post Industrial North East England". The hackathon was curated and produced by digital artist Shelly Knotts and curator Suzy O'Hara with support from Victoria Bradbury. It was a very interesting event - I have never worked in an all female environment and this is also likely not to happen again very often, but I really enjoyed the experience.

During the last years I edited a lot of artists’ and professors’ biographies. While doing this, I was struck by the difference in choice of words between male and females. For instance: while a ♂-professors’ prestigious achievements often span from (decade to decade), a ♀-professor is more likely to ‘teach her research interests’. 

For this project, Aude Charillon and I worked together on exploring more of the dynamics of this gendered bio-writing and at the end of the 2 days,  we presented our speed project, A Professors’ Vocabulary quiz.

To create the quiz Aude and I scraped biographies from the Northumbria University (a local university), which, at the time, had 91 male professors and 30 female professors in staff. Aude and I collected all words of interests in tables, separated per gender. From some of the most striking cases we build the quiz, which was meant as playful way to create more awareness of the choice of words when writing a biography. 

Here are some of questions
(to understand who wins the usage number, triple the female outcome value) 

Over (as in: « over so many years experience » or « written over [number] articles ») (♂: 64 vs ♀: 8)
Research(…) (♂: 443 vs ♀: 140)
Interest(…) (♂: 122 vs ♀: 636)
Teach(…) (♂: 132 vs ♀: 180) 
Lead  (♂: 49 vs ♀: 10)
Member (♂: 53 vs ♀: 32)
Expert (♂: 39 vs ♀:  9)
Award (♂: 43 vs ♀: 5)
Book, article, citation (♂: 45 vs ♀: 6)

The winners of the Re-writing the Hack bio-vocabulary quiz, won an award, graced with a special, prestigious biography

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