Blog Post

Farewell #HASTAC2019, Hello #HASTAC2020 and #HASTAC2022

Photo of carved wooden Musqueam house poles

Thank you, #HASTAC2019

Some academic conferences are simply professional trade shows by another name.

Some are gatherings of the minds.

Occasionally--once or twice in an academic lifespan--one comes along that nourishes the spirit in ways that one will never forget and that, in memory, one returns to over and over, for many years to come.

That was HASTAC2019, “Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education.”  

The brilliance of #HASTAC2019 for me was the syncopated rhythms--all together now, then separate points of discussion, then a chorus again as we came together once more for plenaries in the beautiful Long House on the unceded Musqueam Territory of the University of British Columbia.

400+ on one room, a Long House filled with power and community, welcomed graciously and powerfully by the Elders, and then participating, together, as an audience and a community in eight truly astonishing plenary talks, each by another Indigenous woman, whose scholarship and politics came in word, art, music, poetry, and, of course, stories. 

The small break out sessions both in the Long House and at the Nest at UBC, the art installations, the media exhibits, all provided counter ways of “decolonizing technology and reprogramming education.” They gave us research, solid data, facts, experiences, narratives, models, and examples.

Photo of four people sitting at a table and smiling

The plenaries simply taught us. Differently.  The eight Indigenous women who where the plenary speakers all, most generously and pointedly, shared Teachings.  I hope I was an attentive learner. I am not sure I could begin to paraphrase what I learned but I know I have been changed by what I learned. Indelibly. Reprogrammed. For a lifetime.

Thank you to all who participated--literally dozens of leaders, participants, paper reviewers, administrators, funders, volunteers, discussants, panelists, media artists, installation directors, IT staff, caterers, hotel and university housekeepers, golf cart drivers, distinguished plenary speakers, and engaged participants (I heard less conference grumbling than I have ever heard!).  #HASTAC2019 was rich with research, art, music, politics, ideas, and good spirit. 

Thank you to all who made this a glorious coming together, a time of teaching, a time of learning. 

My colleague Dr. Katina Rogers, HASTAC’s Director of Programs and Administration, has already written in detail about this inspiring, unforgettable event. 

So I will simply add another note of thanks to everyone who made this amazing event possible, including onsite leaders Jentery Sayers (U Victoria) and Dave Gaertner (University of British Columbia) and the amazing team that they assembled, that supported this conference in every way, and all of those at the Long House and the Nest who gave of their talents and efforts to make this a spectacular event. 

We bid farewell to all of you at #HASTAC2019 who participated in this wonderful incursion into deprogramming and decolonizing, imagining and envisioning together.  From all our hearts:  THANK YOU!


Every Farewell Is A New Beginning: Announcing #HASTAC2020 and HASTAC 2022

Before the closing plenary of #HASTAC2019, we were able to announce two exciting upcoming HASTAC conferences.  This is a first for us, to have two future conferences already slated in advance. What a luxury this is and how exciting!  

Screenshot reading October 15-18, 2020 ATEC at UT Dallas

Mark your calendars now for October 15-18, 2020!  Led by Dean Anne Balsamo, one of HASTAC’s original founders, a team at the exciting, visionary new School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas will host #HASTAC2020.  Playing on the idea of hindsight as twenty-twenty vision, #HASTAC2020 will embrace the theme: “Hindsight, Foresight, Insight,” to think about where we began in 2001 and where technology in general was at that time.  We will also think forward, meditate on the path we have taken, and include final workshops where, together, we plan new projects, new actions, new forms of collective engagement.   In the Fall, you will begin to see more information about #HASTAC2020 and then calls for proposals. We are thrilled and grateful to Dean Balsamo and her team and to the University of Texas at Dallas.  Thank you.

And then, in Spring 2022 (tentatively set as May 26-28), #HASTAC2022 comes to Pratt Institute in New York City, led by Chris Alen Sula, a professor in the School of Information and Coordinator of Digital Humanities and M.S. in Data Analytics & Visualization.  We could not be more excited. Thank you to Prof Sula and to his team at Pratt and the administrators supporting this effort.

So goodbye #HASTAC2019.  You will never be far from us because we carry your meaning and message and vision forward. That’s what learning is. 

Hello #HASTAC2020 and #HASTAC2022! We eagerly embrace the next adventure.


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