Janet Abbate

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Janet Abbate is an associate professor of science, technology, and society at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on the history of computer science and the Internet, particularly on the participation of women.[1][2]

Academic career[edit]

Abbate received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994.[2] From 1996 to 1998, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the IEEE History Center, where she conducted research on women in computing.[3] She joined the faculty of Virginia Tech's Northern Capital Region campus in 2004[4] and is now associate professor and co-director of the graduate program in Science, Technology, and Society.[1]

Prior to her academic work, Abbate was herself a computer programmer, and her background has been cited in reviews of her work as relevant to her research approach.[5][6]


Abbate is the author of two books: Inventing the Internet (2000)[7] and Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing (2012).[8] Inventing the Internet was widely reviewed as an important work in the history of computing and networking, particularly in highlighting the role of social dynamics and of non-American participation in early networking development,[5][9] although others pointed to Abbate's background in computing as causing difficulty in presenting a non-technical narrative.[6] Recoding Gender also received positive reviews, especially for its incorporation of interviews with women in the field.[10] The book received the 2014 Computer History Museum prize.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Janet Abbate". Department of Science and Technology in Society. Virginia Tech, Northern Capital Region. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Abbate, Janet. "Personal website". Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Oral History: Women in Computing". Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Janet Abbate explores history of female computer programmers; offers perspective on gender imbalances and future strategies". Virginia Tech News. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  5. ^ a b Trinkle, Dennis A. (2000). "Inventing the Internet (Janet Abbate)". Journal of the Association for History and Computing. 3 (3). 
  6. ^ a b McKim, Joel (2001). "Review: Inventing the Internet by Janet Abbate". Canadian Journal of Communications. 26 (1). doi:10.22230/cjc.2001v26n1a1202. 
  7. ^ Abbate, Janet (2000). Inventing the Internet (1st MIT pbk. ed., 2000. ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts [u.a.]: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262511155. 
  8. ^ Abbate, Janet (2012). Recoding gender : women's changing participation in computing. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262018067. 
  9. ^ Alger, Jeff. "Book Reviews: Inventing the Internet". Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. doi:10.5062/F4222RR4. 
  10. ^ Colatrella, Carol (2013). "Review of 'Recoding Gender: Women's Changing Participation in Computing' by Janet Abbate". International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology. 5 (1). 
  11. ^ "2014 Computer History Museum Prize". Special Interest Group: Computers, Information, and Society. 2014-11-16. Retrieved 2015-08-23.