Blog Post

THATCamp RTP Oct 16: Hold That Date!

It's definite.   We'll be holding a Research-Triangle-wide THATCamp here at Duke on October 16.   Hold that date!  You'll be hearing more from us as details become clear over the rest of the summer.  


For all the info on what a THATCamp is and does and who is hosting them, you can go here:


But before I leave you, I need to make a shout-out to the most extraordinary woman behind this.   Jade Davis, who we hope will join us as a HASTAC Scholar this year, is just starting her Ph.D. in the wonderful Communications Studies Department at UNC, after taking some time off after her previous studies at NYU.   She wrote us at HASTAC Central out of the blue and said, "Let's put on a THATCamp!"   We were excited, and we wrote people we thought would be excited too:  Victoria Szabo of ISIS, Christina Chia of FHI.   Before she even came to the meeting, Jade had posted the name, created a logo, secured the domain url, and set out some parameters on line for what THATCamp RTP might look like.  We met for exactly one hour and walked away with a date, a venue, partners, a communications plan, and even funding arrangements (THATCamps are intentionally designed to be low cost) all nailed down.  This is how a true, genuine collaboration should work.   Someone with a great idea takes a leadership role, finds the right partners, and uses both digital tools and strategic face-to-face to make something exciting happen.   Thanks, Jade Davis!    Thanks to our friends at George Mason and the Mellon Foundation for making THATCamp happen.  Thanks to Communications Studies at UNC as well as to our Duke partners FHI and ISIS for supporting this too.


I'm intrigued by spontaneous collaborations.   Of course, HASTAC has coined the term "collaboration by difference" to mark a particular kind of collaboration that can happen online, where the partners may not share disciplines, resources, spaces, backgrounds, or levels of official credentialing and authority (yes!  a doctoral student shall lead us!), but do share a desire to read a certain goal, even if all parties are aware that the goal itself may morph as it develops collaboratively.  


I'm writing about this here because what happened at that meeting was the ideal HASTAC partnership.  Someone has an idea and takes initiative and we come together and work to make it happen.  To my mind, that is how the best learning/teaching should always happen, and it is a skill for collaborative leadership that we need to be teaching as it is the way of the future.


Example:  last week the Mozilla Foundation reached out to HASTAC and asked if we wanted to partner with them on their upcoming Drumbeat Festival in Barcelona, November 3-5, on Learning, Freedom, and the Open Web.   This week, I'm already writing letters of invitation on behalf of the Festival.    Under the best of circumstances, this is how collaboration by difference works.   This is what makes a network of networks.   Thank you, Jade, for getting it so right.   And thanks Victoria, Christina, and the HASTAC team--Mandy, Nancy, and Ruby--for pitching in to make it work.


Mark your calendars, everybody.   THATCamp RTP, October 16! 





This is excellent news!


It was wonderful to meet all of you yesterday.  I am so happy that HASTAC, ISIS and FHI will be involved with THATCamp RTP.  I think it is going to be a wonderful mix of perspectives and approaches that will make for some very interesting and enlightening discussions.


. . . is a great phrase, and it perfectly encapsulates a lot of the kind of thing I've been seeing happen with and during THATCamps. I'm so grateful that HASTAC and so many other organizations around my own former NC stomping grounds are there to support Jade's intitiative. 


Jade has already set-up a blog and Twitter account so if you're interested please sign up at and follow @thatcamprtp.


Thanks, Amanda.  Isn't this the best ever analogy for how collaboration can work and how a graduate student with vision and will can lead as long as institutions are flexible and open enough to let that happen?  Jade is a wonder.  We feel lucky.  And I feel equally lucky to have great colleagues who will take Jade's leadership and her vision . . . and make it work.  We are also pleased, as always, for the cross-Triangle partnership.  We will, of course, be reaching out to friends not only at NCSU and NCCU but at the various other colleges and universities in the wider area where we have HASTAC Scholars (Elon, Guilford, and others) as well as to those no longer in school but who, best of all, always count themselves, creatively, as students of the world!   We are delighted to be hosting this.