Activities & off-campus events

Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

5:00 PM

CHANGED! Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine

Note: Rescheduled from March 14 to March 28.

Join Miriam "Duchess" Harris, professor of American Studies at Macalester College, for her seminar on her work Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA. Harris is a collaborator on the book, along with author Sue Bradford Edwards.

Hidden Human Computers relates the story of the Black women who did mathematical calculations to enable John Glen to go to the moon, a narrative Harris was motivated to assist with due to her grandmother's role in the group of the very first eleven Black women recruited to work at NASA.

This important story is included in the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and now Harris and others are telling the tale of how women like Harris' grandmother and namesake, Miriam Mann, were recruited to work as engineers for still-segregated NASA in the 1940s.

Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA received the Hollywood treatment via the 2016 film Hidden Figures, but Harris' real-life version is compelling all on its own.

For more about Duchess Harris, visit her faculty bio on the Macalester College website.

This event is sponsored by the Clare Boothe Luce Program at the Henry Luce Foundation and the St. Kate's Departments of Mathematics and Biology.

Questions? Contact Cindy Norton, Assistant Director of Collaborative Research, at