I wanted to take a bit of time today to share my take aways from the wonderful collection of papers published in a special issue of ‘HCI and the Body’ dl.acm.org/toc/tochi/2020…
In ‘the menstrual entrepreneur’ dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/33… Sarah Ng, Shaowen Bardzell and Jeffrey Bardzell show how design can create social and political change. They show the lobbying and the ‘on the ground’ work required to make change happen in how bodies are treated.
In ‘reimagining (women’s) health’ doi.org/10.1145/3404218 Oz Keyes, Burren Peil, Rua M Williams and Katta Spiel, offer an analysis of women’s health research in HCI. Showing the many identities overlooked, they highlight the problem of centring a research agenda on women’s health
Neha Kumar, Naveena Karusala, Azra Ismail and Anupriya Tuli reflect on 6 cases studies of their research in India dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/33… I love the breadth of work on show, from maternal health to countering sexual harassment and the emphasis on impact over the long term.
Laura Devendorf, Kristina Anderson and Aisling Kelliher present beautiful, heart wrenching design memoirs in dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/33…. The ways they show the contradictions of mothering is inspiring and a stark contrast to the perfection coded into many mothering technologies.
In ‘Troubling Design’ dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/33… Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard showcases her design program for women’s health. She does something I love, uses her design to make trouble, to ask difficult critical questions and challenge the status quo.
Sarah Fox, Amanda Menking, Jordan Eschler, and Uba Backonja explore menstrual tracking technologies in dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/33…. Making use of historical analysis and design they highlight how existing frames are inadequate for the multiple bodies which use these technologies.
And in Woman Centered Design Teresa Almeida, Rob Comber and myself reflect on several years of research in women’s health dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/33…. We try to argue that although difficult and full of potential missteps, designing for women’s bodies and experiences is essential.
So if you’re writing for .@sig_chi here’s a bunch more papers to read and more importantly cite, particularly if you’re working on topics related to health, the body, gender, and activism.
This was a great learning experience for me. It made me question the very heart of the research I choose to do. It forced me to see both the value of this work, but also the violence that it might do.
And thanks once again to @ttrreezzaaa @koefoed and Shaowen Bardzell for being wonderful co-editors on this journey.

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