Nexus Lab hosts HASTAC 2016 Conference

The Nexus Lab organized and hosted the 2016 HASTAC Conference, themed around "impact, variation, innovation, and action in the digital humanities," on ASU's Tempe campus from May 11-14, 2016. HASTAC '16 brought together over 200 participants from across the U.S. and the world for four days of events, including...

  • an "unconference" workshop for early-career scholars to share ideas and tools;
  • two days of paper presentations, interactive panels, poster displays, plenary addresses, meet-ups, and receptions;
  • and two post-conference workshops on telling stories from data, as well as making, designing, and using wearable devices and technologies.

The conference featured papers, interactive workshops, and birds-of-a-feather sessions that sought to answer the question, "if the digital humanities are one successful configuration of humanistic and technological research domains, what other configurations are available, resurgent, or necessary?" Through this agenda, scholars presented research that impacts and intersects with the concerns of local communities, national conversations, or worldwide systems.

Conference participants attended two plenary sessions, each featuring talks from distinguished scholars and leaders in transdisciplinary research. On Thursday, May 12, ASU President Dr. Michael Crow delivered opening remarks for the conference, highlighting Arizona State's "new American university" charter, and emphasizing the university's community-engaged mission to measure success "by who we include and how they succeed." Dr. Gary Dirks, director of the Global Institute of of Sustainability and ASU LightWorks, followed President Crow with reflections on the large-scale challenges of energy use and sustainability, and how humanistic thinking can be mobilized to solve such globally sweeping "wicked problems." On Friday, May 13, Dr. Liza Potts delivered a talk on "Experience Architecture: How the Humanities Goes to Work." Dr. Potts, an associate professor in Michigan State University's Department of Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures, drew upon previous experience at Microsoft and in tech startups to create an interdisciplinary undergraduate program combining digital humanities, computer science, rhetoric, philosophy, and user-centered design. Videos of both Dr. Dirks' keynote on solutions, scale, and sustainability (along with Dr. Michael Crow's introductory remarks), and Dr. Potts' keynote on experience architecture and the humanities are available on Vimeo.

Several ASU faculty and graduate students also presented their research at HASTAC 2016 sessions, including...

  • Susan Bernstein, Stretch Program Co-Coordinator and Department of English Lecturer, Shillana Sanchez, Department of English Lecturer, and James Wermers, College of Letters and Sciences Digital Humanities Course Manager, who facilitated a session on "Blended Stretch Writing at ASU"
  • Michael Burnam-Fink, Human & Social Dimensions of Science & Technology PhD student, who spoke on "Eventuality: Imagining a Future for the Humanities Through Collaborative Storytelling"
  • Kristin Koptiuch, Associate Professor of Anthropology (ASU West Campus), who presented on "Taquerías Conversos: Digital Visualization of Latino Immigrant Impact on Arizona Cityscapes"
  • Sean Moxley-Kelly, Writing, Rhetorics & Literacies PhD Student, who presented on "Wikipedia in the Classroom: A Window on Technical Communication Praxis"
  • Allegra W. Smith, Writing, Rhetorics & Literacies PhD student, who spoke on "Technoliterate Lives: Troubling the Digital Native/Immigrant Binary," as well as presenting a poster on technofeminist research methodologies that won the top prize in the HASTAC graduate student poster competition
  • Lori Talarico, Learning, Literacies & Technologies PhD student, who presented research on "#writersofinstagram: An Online Affinity Space for Visual Writing"
  • Geoffrey Way and Valerie Fazel, Department of English Instructors, who spoke on "A Digital Renaissance: Innovating in Medieval and Early Modern Studies"
  • Jacqueline Wernimont, Assistant Professor of English, who presented on "Disrupting the Archive: Multi-media approaches to Latina/os and Eugenic Sterilization in 20th century California," "Critical Design, Deviant Critique," and "Towards a Diverse and Different DH: An Open Forum to Discuss Protocols and Procedures for the Global Transdisciplinary Digital Humanities"

HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and practitioners changing teaching and learning, and the first and oldest academic social network. Additional information about individual conference sessions and workshops has been curated by the HASTAC and Futures ED initiative fellows, and is available in the #HASTAC16 group on the HASTAC website.

The Nexus Lab would like to thank HASTAC for the opportunity to host their annual conference, as well as all of the university and community partners whose donations and time made the event possible. Sponsors of HASTAC '16 included...

  • Github Education
  • ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • The Institute for Humanities Research at ASU
  • ASU LightWorks
  • ASU Department of English
  • ASU College of Science and Imagination
  • The MLA Connected Academics initiative
  • The Arizona Science Foundation

Photo courtesy of Dr. Bruce Matsunaga, Department of English Director of Digital Technology. For more photos of the HASTAC 2016 conference, see Dr. Matsunaga's Flickr album.

Promoted on slideshow: 
on