Blog Post

HASTAC News Update, May 2011

Greetings, friends of HASTAC,


We hope that the approach of summer finds you in good spirits as the 2010-2011 academic year draws to a close.  In this issue of the HASTAC newsletter we'd like to take the opportunity to announce the details of the 2011 HASTAC Conference to be held this December 2 & 3 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Conference planners have issued a description of a Call for Proposals. More information and an online application systems will be announced soon. We also have some exciting successes to report from HASTAC Scholars and community members.

Table of Contents

 
I. 2011 HASTAC Conference: Digital Scholarly Communication

II. HASTAC in the news: Times Higher Ed features Cathy Davidson

III. Newest HASTAC Scholars forums sustain momentum

V. Anne Balsamo Receives Digital Start-Up Grant from the NEH for AIDS Memorial Quilt

VI. MLA Creates Scholarly Communication Division led by HASTAC member Kathleen Fitzpatrick

I. 2011 HASTAC Conference: Digital Scholarly Communication

Dec. 2-3, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: deadline July 1, 2011

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor will host the 2011 HASTAC Conference on Dec. 2 & 3, 2011. This year's conference theme is Digital Scholarly Communication, and keynote speakers have already been selected: Siva Vaidhyanathan (The Googlization of Everything), Dan Cohen (Open Access and Crowdsourcing), Josh Greenberg (Public Digital Display), Dan Atkins (Cyber-Infrastructure), and Cathy Davidson (Reading, Writing, Critical Thinking, and Data Mining: Reclaiming the Information Age). The conference planning group has issued a description of a Call for Proposals. More information and an online application systems will be announced soon.  

II. HASTAC in the news: Times Higher Ed features Cathy Davidson

Last week the Times Higher Education featured HASTAC co-founder Cathy Davidson's article, So Last Century, on its cover. Davidson stresses the need for restructuring higher education in order to better prepare today's college graduates for the twenty-first century workplace, and highlights both the HASTAC Scholars program and the proposed Master's in Knowledge Networks, an innovative new Duke degree program currently pending approval by University faculty and administrators. Read the full article here.

III. Newest HASTAC Scholars forums sustain momentum

Living Mediations: Biology, Technology, and Art

On March 29, HASTAC Scholars Mary Karcher and Kim Lacey of Wayne State University, along with Dana Solomon and Lindsay Thomas of UC Santa Barbara launched this provocative forum that has since garnered nearly 8,000 views. The forum aims to examine the biological through the critical lens of media studies by considering projects at the intersection of these fields: for example, Gunther von Hagens Body Worlds exhibits and the Human Genome Project. Visit the forum to read HASTAC Scholars and community members responses to the following probing questions:

  • How can we understand life as the transmission and storage of information?
  • How do digital technologies and media change our understandings of life and death?
  • How do networks harness both biology and information technology?  How can we understand networks themselves as living?

Critical Code Studies

Launched in January, this forum hosted by HASTAC Scholars Max Feinstein (USC), Clarissa Lee (Duke), Jarah Moesch (U. Maryland), Jean Bauer (UVA), Peter Likarish (U. Iowa) and Richard Mehlinger (UC Riverside) continues to attract much attention.  Critical Code Studies is the practice of looking at code from a humanistic perspective, asking the questions:

  • What does it mean to look at the code not just from the perspective of what it does computationally, but how it works as a semiotic system, a cultural object, and as a medium for communication?
  • How do issues of race, class, gender and sexuality emerge in the study of source code?
  • What insights does code offer to the cultural critique of a digital object?

IV. DML Winner & HASTAC Scholar Team Up to Win STEM Video Game Challenge

The first annual National STEM Video Game Challenge, run by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media, was implemented to motivate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning by tapping into the natural passion of youth for playing video games.  HASTAC is proud to announce that NumberPower: Numbaland!, produced by Digital Media & Learning Competition Winner Derek Lomas of Carnegie Mellon University and HASTAC Scholar Dixie Ching of New York University, was the winner of the Collegiate and Impact Prizes this year. The Numbaland! games allow children in grades K - 4 to develop their understanding of math concepts, and will be available on a number of different platforms, including the iPad, starting this spring. The prototype can be viewed at http://numbaland.com.

V. Anne Balsamo Receives Digital Start-Up Grant from the NEH for AIDS Memorial Quilt

HASTAC Steering Committee and founding member Anne Balsamo (University of Southern California) received a Digital Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for 2011-2012 to build a mixed-media tangible browser for use in viewing digitalized images of the panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The grant involves collaboration with the NAMES Project that currently archives and maintains the physical quilt panels. The broad objective for the grant is to create an innovative tangible interface that augments the process of cultural remembering.  In this way, the mixed-media device is described as an example of a cultural technology.  The long-term objective is to generate interest and support for an interactive exhibition on the Cultural Chronicle of Aids. For more information, contact annebalsamo@gmail.com.

VI. MLA Creates Scholarly Communication Division led by HASTAC member Kathleen Fitzpatrick

The Modern Language Association has announced the creation of an office of scholarly communication, which will expand the association's publications program and also explore new forms of scholarly communication. The office will be led by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, who is currently a professor of media studies at Pomona College, and a co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons. Her next book, entitled Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, is forthcoming from New York University Press this fall.

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