Changing Higher Ed to Change the World!
The HASTAC Scholars fellowship program is a student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate students who are working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences. Their work centers on rethinking pedagogy, learning, research, and academia for the digital age. HASTAC Scholars discuss new ideas, projects, experiments, and technologies that reconceive teaching, learning, research, writing and structuring knowledge. Broadly speaking, Scholars are interested in the intersection of technology and learning, applied and interpreted in incredibly varied ways. We are building a community of the next generation of scholars, makers, thinkers and teachers.
We welcome a new cohort into the program each year. As HASTAC Scholars, we write about our own work and research questions, discuss pedagogy, report on the work happening on our campuses and in our own regions, host local workshops, and build digital resources for others.
As Scholars, we are generally interested in questions such as:
- How do we use technologies in our teaching & learning, not only to replace traditional media and assignments, but to fundamentally address different student approaches, needs, and possibilities afforded by new ways of thinking?
- How is publishing changing in the digital world, and what does this mean for peer reviewing, open access and support for projects beyond book manuscripts?
- What kinds of projects and ideas are considered to be part of the Digital Humanities, New Media Arts, or Science & Technology Studies? How are those delineations useful or out-dated? How do they reimagine specific notions about culture, knowledge, aesthetics, science, the body or communication?
- What might our research, technology design, and thinking look like if we took seriously the momentous opportunities and challenges for learning posed by our digital era?
- How do we work across and transform our own disciplines and fields?
More than 800 graduate and undergraduate HASTAC Scholars have been sponsored by 145 colleges and universities from several countries. Scholars make professional and intellectual connections beyond their institutions and disciplines by collaborating, blogging, and sharing research and opportunities on HASTAC.org.
Scholars come from a range of departments including American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Communication, English and Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Education, Gender and Women's Studies, History, Library and Information Sciences, Media Arts and Practice, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Rhetoric, Sociology, and Theatre and Performance Studies.
New students enter the program each September. Most Scholars are completing a M.A. or Ph.D., and we are also thrilled to welcome the ~10% of Scholars who are undergraduate students. The Scholars are mostly based in the US and Canada, but we have had several scholars based in Spain, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, India, and of course the Scholars themselves come from all over the world.
The HASTAC Scholars program is especially renowned for our rigorous digital forums. Each forum engages with a particular theme and is developed by a couple of our current Scholars. The forums are open to the entire academic community and the public at large, and foster incredibly rich dialogue on timely issues related to digital media and learning and the digital humanities more broadly.
One of the defining characteristics of these forums is that they not only span disciplines and universities, but range of scholars: tenured professors, junior faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students and members of the general public. This kind of cross-pollination is incredibly rare and many students remark that it is the only time they interact with faculty as peers. These forums have taken on a life of their own beyond HASTAC’s website: they are now used in classrooms, discussed at conferences, and have formed the foundation for a number of workshops, conference panels and other types of collaborative projects.
Some recent forums have included:
- Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Realities and Decolonial Futures of Digital Media
- See Me Like I Do: A Forum on Selfies
- Pixels and Print: Redefining Academic Publishing & Scholarly Communication
- Race After the Internet
- Critical Code Studies
- Living Mediations: Biology, Technology and Art
- Pedagogical Ethics in a Digital Age
- Feel the Noise: Sound, Music and Technology
- Openness in Academia
- Queer & Feminist New Media Spaces
Each year, Scholars also team up and come up with themes for our popular webinar series. Sometimes led by students from the group, sometimes by invited professors, junior faculty, or invited programmers, project managers, or educators, the webinars aim at discussing tools and strategies for using technology in the classroom as well as in research. We have also had some webinars on mindfulness in feminist research. We archive all of the webinars on our YouTube channel.
Why Becoming Part of the Scholars Community
The HASTAC Scholars Program began in 2008 with a small pilot program, and has proven to be an amazingly energetic and successful program. Scholars are nominated by faculty (or other university staff) from their home institution. Each scholar receives a small fellowship for their contribution, funded by their home institution. Previous Scholars have seen that being part of the program meant they would:
- Receive invitations to join conference panels, classes and workshops;
- Build your own network of like-minded scholars and academics beyond traditional departments;
- Be part of an academic movement committed to openness and collaboration;
- Stand out in the academic job search - involvement with Scholars was frequently identified as the tipping point in the search;
- Be successful on the #alt-ac job market (i.e. jobs at university organizations, non-profits, museums, and other jobs outside of the tenure-track market);
- We able to help to develop new fields and directions in academic inquiry: forums and conversations have been used to justify preliminary exam fields and dissertation topics;
- Could collaborate on projects beyond your university: digital humanities projects, civic advocacy groups, public policy advisories, university technology consulting;
- Had a beneficial experience learning to explain and justify your own research and interests to an interdisciplinary audience;
- Kept up with new technologies for teaching, research, writing and creative endeavors;
- Had an opportunity to meet and interview high profile academics, authors, developers, policy makers.
HASTAC Scholars 2015–2016
Our 112 Scholars this year are supported by the following institutions:
Bard Graduate Center
College of William & Mary
Illinois Institute of Technology
Louisiana State University
Michigan State University
Nanyang Technological University
North Carolina State University
Queen's University Belfast
St. Cloud State University
St. John's University
The Catholic University of America
The Graduate Center, CUNY
The Open University UK
The University of Rhode Island
University of Alberta
University of Borås
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Florida
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina
University of Oregon
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Southern California
University of Texas at Austin
University of Victoria
University of Washington
University of Waterloo
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wayne State University
Testimonials from HASTAC Scholars
“The sad news is, I can’t be a Scholar anymore. But the happy news is, I was just offered my dream job! Everyone wanted to hear about my teaching, and the work I've done with HASTAC, and using technology and civic engagement and team-based learning in the classroom. What really got me the job, was a presentation I gave on using open-source technology to teach basic writing and speaking skills at college and in the community. Every single one of the tools that I talked about was one that I somehow learned from HASTAC: from forums I read, from interviews or conferences I wrote blog posts about, from people or projects that I became involved with as a result of HASTAC. You have been so generous and supportive with me and all the HASTAC scholars, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't be here without you and without HASTAC! Thank you for everything you do to give people like me opportunities like this. My dream really is coming true!” -- Assistant Professor at a Liberal Arts College
"The Scholars program has been invaluable for me in terms of the networking opportunities it has provided. Through the program, I’ve been able to find other grad students with my research interests, which has led to productive conference collaborations and other professional affiliations. I have also had the opportunity, through conference sponsorships and online discussion, to meet high-profile senior scholars in the field. This is proof that the academy is changing for the better.” -- Ph.D. student, University of California
Being a HASTAC Scholar "most certainly helped me on the job market. During interviews and the like, a number of people mentioned my involvement with HASTAC. Also, many people already knew of my work based on what we --- & that's key (we!) --- were discussing at hastac.org. Plus, in preparation for things like job interviews and talks, the Scholars forums became spaces for me to articulate my perspectives on emerging issues and to actively learn from and listen to others. If you said something in a forum, then you knew people were listening! And often, they would respond directly to you. Such was not always the case for me and graduate seminar essays. That is, HASTAC translated one-to-one exchanges of information into many-to-many relationships for me. Without that change, I would've remained in an abject state throughout grad school." -- Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, Dept. of English