Amy Bix

Professor [HIST]
Office:633 Ross
527 Farm House Ln
Ames IA

AMY SUE BIX is an associate professor in the History Department at Iowa State University and director of ISU’s Center for Historical Studies of Technology and Science. Originally from the Chicago area, she earned her Ph.D. in the history of science from Johns Hopkins University. She has been at Iowa State since 1993, where she teaches courses in women's history; the history of technology; history of medicine; history of American popular culture, the history of women in science, and more. Her most recent book is _Girls Coming to Tech: A History of American Engineering Education for Women_ (MIT Press, 2014). In 2014, Bix won the Betty Vetter Award for Research from WEPAN (the Women in Engineering ProActive Network), recognizing notable achievement in research related to women in engineering. She is currently writing her next book, which will explore the more recent history of women, gender, and engineering work.

Courses I Teach
  • History 380: History of Women in Science, Medicine, and Technology
  • History 386: US Women's History (both face-to-face and online formats)
  • 1994: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
  • 1987: A.B. Princeton University
Research Areas
  • History of technology and engineering
  • History of medicine and health
  • History of women in science, technology, and medicine
  • Current issues regarding women and gender in science, technology, engineering, medicine, and health
Recent Publications


  • Girls Coming to Tech!’: A History of American Engineering Education for Women; (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2014).
  • The Future is Now: Science and Technology Policy in America Since 1950; Alan I Marcus and Amy Sue Bix, (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books/Prometheus Press, 2007).
  • Inventing Ourselves Out of Jobs?: America's Debate over Technological Unemployment, 1929-1981, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000).

Selected recent and major articles and book chapters:

  • “Steve Jobs versus the Victorians: Steampunk, Design, and the History of Technology in Society,” Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology, Julie Taddeo, Ken Dvorak, and Cindy Miller, eds.; (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013): 235-253.
  • “Creating ‘Chicks Who Fix’: Women, Tool Knowledge, and Home Repair, 1920–2007,” Women's Studies Quarterly, v. 37, n. 1 & 2, Spring/Summer 2009, pp. 38-60.
  • “Bessie Coleman: Race and Gender Realities Behind Aviation Dreams,” Realizing the Dream of Flight: Biographical Essays in Honor of the Centennial of Flight, 1903-2003, Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles, eds. (Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2005): 1-27.
  • “Biology and ‘Created Nature’: Gender and the Body in Popular Islamic Literature from Modern Turkey and the West,” by Taner Edis and Amy Bix, Arab Studies Journal, v. XII no. 2/v. XIII no. 1 (fall 2004/spring 2005): 140-158.
  • “From ‘Engineeresses’ to ‘Girl Engineers’ to ‘Good Engineers’: A History of Women’s American Engineering Education,” National Women’s Studies Association Journal, v. 16, no. 1 (spring 2004): 27-49.
  • “Engendering Alternatives: Women’s Health-Care Choices and Feminist Medical Rebellions,” The Politics of Healing: Histories of Alternative Medicine in Twentieth-Century North America, Robert D. Johnston, ed. Routledge, 2003: 153-180.
  • “Equipped For Life: Gendered Technical Training and Consumerism In Home-Economics, 1920-1980”, Technology and Culture, v. 43, no. 4 (Oct. 2002): 728-754.
  • “Feminism Where Men Predominate: The History of Women’s Science and Engineering Education at MIT,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, v. XXVIII, no. 1 & 2 (Spring/Summer, 2000): 24-45.
  • "Diseases Chasing Money and Power: Breast Cancer and AIDS Activism Challenging Authority," Journal of Policy History, v. 9, no. 1 (1997): 5-32.
  • "Experiences and Voices of Eugenics Field-Workers: 'Women's Work' in Biology," Social Studies of Science, v. 27, no. 4 (August, 1997): 625-668.
Life outside University

Connecting to publication of her recent book on women's engineering education, you can find podcast interviews with Amy Bix at: Click here !! and at: Click Here !!

You can find a Slate article by Bix at: Click Here !!