HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is committed to changing the way we teach and learn. This group runs on “collaboration by difference,” bringing people from different backgrounds together to bring new perspectives to bear on research, teaching, and learning. Founded in 2002 by Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, HASTAC is reputed to be the world’s first and oldest academic social network, predating Facebook, Myspace, and nanoHUB. An entirely open and free online community, HASTAC is a place for engagement across disciplines.
While HASTAC was born out of academic networks, the leaders of the network are certainly the yearly Scholars cohorts, composed of graduate and undergraduate students. Though many Scholars do go onto roles in universities, many of them follow “alternative academic” careers and pursue non-academic careers in the non-profit, public and private sectors. The community’s commitment to students is indicative of HASTAC’s overall approach to non-hierarchical learning. HASTAC Scholars and other community members strive to bring interdisciplinary approaches to the fore, as multiple perspectives drive innovation.
As more people join HASTAC with a primary interest in teaching and learning, the community has been working to share resources, particularly for use in education. HASTAC offers several collections and groups that are focused on tool sharing, including The Pedagogy Project and the Engaged Scholar. These resources may prove to be of the most interest to those who work with Ammal and Chayn.
In addition to the online site, HASTAC holds an annual conference. HASTAC 2017: The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities, will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, a premier game site, 2–4 November 2017.
The Futures Initiative is working to advance equity and innovation in higher education. Embedded in the Graduate Center campus of the City University of New York, the Futures Initiative has partnered with HASTAC on the University Worth Fighting For series of events that began in 2015 and is ongoing.
While the Futures Initiative looks at higher education in particular, it shares several goals with its partners, including a commitment to public engagement, student-centered learning, empowering communities through learning, and bringing marginalized voices to the fore.
Leveraging technology to serve the greater public good, the Futures Initiative conducts much of its work in public, sharing educational methods, lecture series, and resources online through its site futuresinitiative.org.