(pronounced “haystack”) is an acronym for Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory. It is an entirely voluntary consortium of leading researchers and nonprofit research institutions worldwide. Its primary members are universities, supercomputing centers, grid and teragrid associations, humanities institutes, museums, libraries, and other civic institutions. HASTAC members have been co-developing software, hardware, and cyberinfrastructure systems since early 2003. Members have developed tools for multimedia archiving and social interaction, gaming environments for teaching, innovative educational programs in information science and information studies, virtual museums, and other digital projects. HASTAC’s mission is to promote expansive models for thinking, teaching, and research. To become a part of the HASTAC network, one only needs to register
as a user on the HASTAC website (http://www.hastac.org), which provides the ability to create a blog, post to forums, and submit various works.
Founding and Steering Committee
HASTAC was founded by Cathy N. Davidson
, former Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and co-founder of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute
at Duke University
, and David Theo Goldberg
, Director of the University of California
's state-wide Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI
). At a meeting of humanities leaders held by the Mellon Foundation
in 2002, it was clear that Davidson and Goldberg had been working on a variety of projects with leading scientists and engineers dedicated to expanding the innovative uses of technology and to thinking together about social, ethical, and access issues of cyberinfrastructure in parallel with the process of creating it. Each of them also knew of leaders at other institutions who shared that vision and, within a few months, the HASTAC consortium was born.
The 2008-2009 Steering Committee also includes Ruzena Bajcsy of the University of California, Berkeley; Anne Balsamo, Tara McPherson, and Douglas Thomas of the University of Southern California; Allison Clark, Kevin Franklin, and Brendesha Tynes of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Simone Brown and Geraldine Heng of the University of Texas at Austin; Wendy Hui Kyong Chun of Brown University; Sharon Daniel of University of California, Santa Cruz; Daniel Herwitz of University of Michigan; Julie Klein of Wayne State University; Thomas MacCalla of National University; Nick Montfort of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology; Tim Murray of Cornell University; Kathleen Woodward of the University of Washington; and Mark Olson, Director of New Media at the Franklin Center at Duke. Mark Olson also spearheads technology vision and infrastructure for HASTAC. Communications among all HASTAC member institutions are coordinated by HASTAC Project Manager Jonathan E. Tarr, based at Duke University. Dozens of other scholars, administrators, and technology designers support HASTAC projects at the individual institutions. HASTAC leaders have served as consultants to U.S. and international organizations and governments on grid computing and cyberinfrastructure.
Past Steering Comittee members include Henry Lowood of Stanford University and Stephenie McLean of RENCI
Events and Programs
Members have been meeting twice a year, writing grants together, holding forums, and developing new research initiatives, both at their individual institutions and across them. In its short existence, HASTAC has received funding from Digital Promise, the National Science Foundation
, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
HASTAC's members individual projects led up to a national InFormation Year of programming running from June 2006 to May 2007. All of the events were webcast, and archived version are available free on the HASTAC website
for nonprofit educational purposes.
HASTAC I conference: "Electronic Techtonics"
The featured event of the 2006-07 InFormation Year was HASTAC's first international conference, entitled "Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the Interface." The conference took place April 19-21, 2007 at Duke University and in downtown Durham, North Carolina. The keynote speakers consisted of Former Xerox PARC
Director John Seely Brown
, Duke Law Professor James Boyle
, and artist and UCLA Professor of Design/Media Art Rebecca Allen
An online archive of conference materials and proceedings can be found on the HASTAC website here, as well as the link to its paperback counterpart, available for purchase or download from Lulu Press.
HASTAC II conference: "Techno Travels"
The second annual HASTAC conference, entitled "Techno Travels," was held on May 22-24, 2008, on the campuses of University of California, Irvine
and University of California, Los Angeles
. The keynote speakers were writer Howard Rheingold
and Curtis Wong of Microsoft Next Media Research. A full agenda is available on the UC Humanities Research Institute's website
HASTAC Scholars program
Also in 2008, HASTAC initiated the HASTAC Scholars Program, an annual fellowship program that recognizes graduate and undergraduate students who are engaged in innovative work across the areas of technology, the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences. The inaugural group of approximately 50 Scholars was nominated by leading participants from HASTAC institutions. The HASTAC Scholars are the “eyes and ears” of the HASTAC network, functioning as links between their home institutions and the virutal community they foster on the HASTAC site.
HASTAC III conference
HASTAC '09 will be held in April 2009 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Digital Media and Learning Competition
Supported by MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning initiative
, which aims to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life, HASTAC administers the Digital Media and Learning Competition
This open Competition is intended to mobilize emerging leaders, communicators, and innovators in these fields.
Year 1: 2007-2008
Awards were divided into two categories: Innovation and Knowledge-Networking. The Innovation Award] (with grants of $100,000 or $250,000 to each award-winner) was designed to support learning pioneers, entrepreneurs, and builders of new digital learning environments for formal and informal learning. The (with grants ranging from $30,000 to $75,000 to each awardee) is designed to support communicators in connecting, mobilizing, circulating or translating research around digital media and learning.
The competition closed on October 15, 2007. Over 1000 applications were received and the 17 award winners were announced on February 21, 2008. These awardees received grants totaling $2 million, in addition to an extensive support network and the opportunity to showcase their projects at a conference.
An archive of the 2007-08 Competition cycle, with more information about the winners and their projects, is available here
Year 2: 2008-2009
The 2008-2009 Digital Medial and Learning Competition
cycle launched August 18, 2008, with a theme of participatory learning
There are two award categories. Innovation in Participatory Learning Awards
(with awards ranging from $30,000 to $250,000) encourage organizations and institutions as well as individuals to develop large-scale projects and models to advance new learning environments. This category also welcomes eligible international applicants as part of an international pilot program for the Competition. Young Innovator Awards
(with awards ranging from $5,000 to $30,000) are designed for youth aged 18 to 25 active in thinking and contributing to "what comes next in participatory learning.
Based on feedback from last year's Competition, Competition administrators have opened a site titled " Scratchpad" where potential applicants can share and discuss ideas.
Submissions are due October 15, 2008, and winners will be announced in April 2009.