There is a sweet sadness in handing over the reins of the HASTAC Scholars Program. This past year has been such a marvelous experience, getting to know and work with (both virtually and f2f) so many extremely talented, creative, visionary people. I am sad to leave, but the true beauty of virtual community is that it is only my role that is shifting, not my ability to participate, and my ties with HASTAC will simply evolve along with me. What else is HASTAC about if not flexibility, change and new horizons?
Perhaps the sweetest part is that I am truly delighted to get to introduce to you the next Director of the HASTAC Scholars Program, Fiona Barnett. When we conducted the search for this position, Fiona's letter and resume were clear standouts to everyone who read them. We all thought, "wow, she not only gets HASTAC - she is HASTAC!" (whatever that means exactly... We may still be looking for that perfect explanation for HASTAC, but we recognize it when we see it -- someone innovative, creative, savvy, hooked in, open-minded, pushing boundaries -- not to mention that she's also brilliant, charming and funny!) During the interview, it was obvious just how perfect a fit Fiona was for the job, so much so that at the close of the interview as we told her "we'll let you know within a few days," we all looked around at one another as if to say "Don't we know already? Can't we just offer it to her?" And so we did offer her the job on the spot - and she accepted. Sometimes the fit is just that clear! Let me share with you a little more about Fiona...
Fiona Barnett is a Ph.D. candidate in the Literature Program andWomen's Studies at Duke University. She graduated with a B.A. in Modern Culture & Mediafrom Brown University in 2001, and then spent several years working ina multimedia studio in Vancouver, BC. Her scholarly work is at the intersection offeminist and queer theory, science studies, critical theory and visualstudies. She is currently at work on her dissertation, entitled Turning the Body Inside Out, which is a genealogy of the fantasy thatthe body requires investigation, and traces the attachment to the kindof knowledges that can be produced by examining the body (both insideand out). It considers the social, scientific, aestheticand theoretical practices which discursively produce the body as avisible ? and thus knowable ? object by repeatedly staging the sceneof its dissection. In particular, her project focuses on the historicalpractices and contemporary situations that reinscribe the desire for anopen and legible body, including the autopsy, dissection, lenstechnologies, museum exhibits, freak shows, serial killers, DNA andespecially critical theory itself. At Duke, Fiona also enjoys organizing theWomen's Studies Graduate Scholars Colloquium, a unique program that generates a supportive intellectual community for graduatestudents. In her free time, she loves topractice her photography, enjoy the vibrant Durham community and fosterdogs through a local rescue organization.
I know that Fiona is thrilled to be joining the HASTAC team - perhaps as thrilled as we are to have her on board! Please join me in welcoming Fiona to HASTAC!