I’ve been discussing this in email with a fellow Difference Engine reader and I thought it would be interesting to see what you all have loved reading.
To be fair, I’ll start. I think I’ll pick Suchman’s book “Plans and Situated Actions.” (I almost picked Haraway’s “Situated Knowledges” though.) P&SA isn’t an overtly feminist book, but I think it did a very feminist thing — perhaps intentionally. It was a major part of a successful intervention to problematize Good Old Fashioned Artificial Intelligence (GOFAI), which aimed to create computational representations of human intelligence. Some of these systems even aimed to encode “knowledge” statements for positivist processing. Suchman used ethnomethodological studies of human-copier usage to show how difference and the challenge of seeing through another being’s eyes (technically, intersubjectivity) are the way intelligence is enacted everyday. She also took making copies, a feminized task at the time, reputedly menial, and showed the invisible, creativity and sensemaking it took to actually do that work. She even got AI heavyweights responding to her in journal pages.
What works really did it for you?