Blog Post

Thank you, HASTAC Scholars, for an Inspiring Year

It's the end of the academic year at many universities and almost at the end for those of you on the quarter system.   For HASTAC Scholars, the official term as a Scholar is ending----but the unofficial membership in the HASTAC community is lifelong.  And we hope you will continue to contribute all you do.   It's been an incredible year.   And I know you Scholars and other HASTAC network members will join me in thanking Fiona Barnett for her expert and innovative leadership as Director of the HASTAC Scholars this year.  Fiona is herself a doctoral student and many a time she has put her own work aside (I hope not too often) in order to work with HASTAC Scholars on their own projects and Forums.  She is a brilliant thinker in her own right and a great collaborator and a wonderful member of the HASTAC team.  We are really excited that Fiona will continue as Director next year (hurrah!) as she finishes her dissertation.   And we hope 2010-2011 will be an even more incredible year for the HASTAC Scholars Program but that won't be easy.  The 2009-2010 HASTAC Scholars will be a hard act to follow.



The topics this year have ranged from the practical and the pedagogical to the theoretical and the political.  All forms of grading, social interactivity, evaluation, and assessment were the subjects of forums that were was thoughtful as any conducted anywhere.   We covered race and ethnicity, democratizing knowledge, queer and feminist spaces, and many other substantive, controversial, provocative, and hot-button issues, all covered with intellectual depth, courage, and community respect.   What you HASTAC Scholars have modeled is the Web as a place of real and sustained intellectual interchange.  What you HASTAC Scholars have modeled is the academy not as a space of turf wars and reaction but of generosity, respect, and strong engagement.  


I tried to count up the number of comments, really deep and thoughtful comments, in the forums this year but there were so many threads within threads that I gave up.   The total amounts to thousands and enough content for several monographs.   The number of visitors you've had to your forums this year will probably exceed the readership of most books and scholarly monographs you publish in your careers.   It's probably somewhere around 100,000 in total to all the forums this year.  Several of you also participated in the HASTAC@meetups at conferences around the country and then blogged and tweeted your participation there.  Others also participated in the Virtual HASTAC meeting hosted by UIUC this year.   We hope to see many of you next year at HASTAC 2011 which will be held at the University of Michigan.  


You have, in other words, been public intellectuals and helped to create a public intellectual transdisciplinary online forum where real issues can be discussed as well as an actual network of scholars who can collaborate together in the future.   We hope it has been a fulfilling year for you.  We hope to see you again contributing whenever you wish to the site.  And, most of all, we thank you for a year contributing your ideas to the HASTAC community which you have so substantially and substantively helped to create.  


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