Blog Post

I Have Found Myself in the HASTAC, and it Bristles with Needles: an Introduction

Hello Folks,

I am not entirely sure what to reveal in this introductory blog-post so I will burn up some white-space with the technicalities while I think:

My name is Cole Heyn. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin--Green Bay, where I am pursuing a degree in English with a minor in Education. My emphasis within my discipline is Creative Writing, and with my minor I wish to attain certification in Secondary Education. My academic goals and aspirations have been ever changing, and I'm still not entirely sure where I will end up; I am considering graduate school, but my mind is not made up (any thoughts on this?). My first true and indepth experience with the digital humanities began this semester.  I have become a part of this community to explore my chosen discipline through the digital humanities and learn as much as I can.

I have thought.

The old cliché, "a needle in a hay-stack," often refers to something valuable that is lost within the grander scheme. The odd adaptation of this old cliché that I have employed as my title best describes my feelings on becoming a member of this community; I have been lurking around the groups and forums secretly "getting to know" my fellow scholars, and I am awestruck and intimidated by the caliber of folks I have encountered. It would seem that this hay-stack is chockfull of needles--sharp ones at that! You folks seem--pardon my break from the "formal"--pretty rad!  As a few others have mentioned in their introductions, I also, am not entirely sure of my purpose/qualification to be here, though I am thankful for the opportunity. I feel a bit like a pin-head among all these fine needles. I do not have a whole lot of experience with the digital humanities, or, I feel at least, a whole lot to offer. But, then this may be, for me, the best possible place. I think the digital humanities are something that we as scholars can not ignore, and are useful tools with which we may utilize to educate those that come after us. So I must learn. Learn, I will. And, thank you for the opportunity to be in such an amazing community.


--Cole Heyn  



. . . some of the most famous interpreters of media and culture have confessed that they are intimidated by the HASTAC Scholars!   Me too!   Some of the Forums, for example, have so sophisticated and knowledgeable that it is daunting for any of us to jump in.


But the HASTAC Scholars are a very kind and generous bunch.   I think you will find yourself not only welcome but welcomed . .  .   And there are 240 HASTAC Scholars, huge diversity in all ways, and you'll find your network buddies and you'll make connections and open doors you didn't even know where there.  Needles . . . in all senses!   You've already contributed with candor and wit.  That's precious.   Thank you---and welcome!


Cole, welcome to the group, and thanks so much for the stunning image.

I'm noticing an enormous trend among these introductions (including mine) asking the question: Who am I to be here? What qualifications can I possibly have? I don't know what I'm doing yet - what contribution can I possibly make? My sense is that the impostor syndrome runs deepest among the most creative and innovative students (and probably more so among humanists than others).

Of course some will have more years of experience with digital humanities than others; of course some will use these tools more extensively in their work than others; but basically, I think, we're all here because the field is still full of questions. We're all here to inquire, and you don't need an intimidating résumé for that.


Thank you guys for the very warm welcome.

I hope I did not come across as too intimidated/overwhelmed :P

I am actually very excited to begin this explorative process. I feel honored to be here, and as mentioned above: what better way way explore and learn about the digital humanties than immersing myself in a community, contribute whatever I can, and learn from the sharpest.

Thanks again