About the HASTAC Scholars Program

About the HASTAC Scholars Program

Changing Higher Ed to Change the World!

The HASTAC Scholars fellowship program is an innovative student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate students. Each year, around 100 new Scholars are accepted into a new 2-year cohort of the program. Scholars come from dozens of disciplines and have been sponsored by over 200 colleges and universities—ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large Research 1 institutions. We are building a community of students working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences. As HASTAC Scholars, we write blog postsinterview leaders within the digital research and digital humanities fieldshost online forumsorganize events around the future of higher education; organize collaborative book reviews; and much more. Much of our work here centers around rethinking pedagogy, learning, research & academia for the digital age.

This program is designed to be shaped by the HASTAC Scholars each year. The HASTAC Scholars program is directed by Kalle Westerling (Ph.D. Candidate, Theatre and Performance, CUNY). The director provides leadership and arranges opportunities for the cohort of Scholars.

What do HASTAC Scholars actually do?

  • Participate in our annual University Worth Fighting For series—online or in person
  • Blog about your own work and research projects, questions, ideas
  • Report on activities at your local institution and department
  • Share insights from conferences and performances
  • Network both online and at local meet-ups or conferences
  • Conduct interviews, book reviews, project reviews—your status as a HASTAC Scholar can give you a sense of standing to reach out to major people in your field!
  • Are you interested in a new tool or pedagogical idea? You could host a small video chat with other Scholars to work through how you can implement it!
  • Other ideas: Create an app, co-ordinate the development of a small DH project, work with your university library on a digitization project, etc.
  • In short: every student ends up being active in a different way. We are open to how you want to help build this community or develop a supportive community on your campus!

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.

Why Become 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.

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

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