Arizona State University to Join the Graduate Center as New HASTAC Leader

Press Release
Cross-posted from

Logos of HASTAC partners ASU and CUNY Graduate Center

November 11, 2016

Duke University, Durham, NC — The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) announced today that Arizona State University has been selected as HASTAC’s new institutional partner. Starting July 1, 2017, ASU will join the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), in leading and administering HASTAC, including its state-of-the-art Drupal-based online social network and the 15,000-member HASTAC community dedicated to “changing the way we teach and learn.”

The announcement comes at the conclusion of a competitive nationwide search in which three semi-finalists were invited to submit detailed proposals offering their vision for HASTAC. ASU was chosen as a partner uniquely positioned to advance HASTAC’s core mission and values: innovative, collaborative, open, transdisciplinary research and teaching made stronger by diversity. HASTAC’s Steering Committee made the final selection.

At Arizona State University, HASTAC will be embedded within the Nexus Lab for Digital Humanities and Computational Informatics. The Nexus Lab was created by Dr. Michael Simeone in 2013 as a hub for digital humanities collaborations at ASU. In the past three years, the Nexus Lab has created new research collaborations and pathways both on campus and off, played a key role in several major research grants, and attained national prominence by hosting the HASTAC 2016 conference in Tempe.

Dr. Jacqueline Wernimont, Assistant professor of English and Interim Director of the Nexus Lab at ASU, will be HASTAC’s new co-director. Wernimont has more than a decade of experience in digital humanities and digital cultures. She is a nationally recognized leader in digital archives, feminist digital media, histories of quantification, and technologies of commemoration. Wernimont also has a long track record of working with HASTAC, having received a Digital Media and Learning grant in 2015, administered by HASTAC.

“ASU’s leadership will extend Duke University and continuing HASTAC director Cathy N. Davidson’s foundational and innovative role in building HASTAC,” reports Julie Thompson Klein, Professor Emerita of Humanities at Wayne State University and Chair of the Search and Selection Committee for a new institutional home. “Jacqueline Wernimont brings a robust portfolio of ideas for bridging humanities, arts, sciences, and technology in inclusive communities, anchored by strong institutional support and expanding connections across ASU and HASTAC’s international network.”

“HASTAC is an extraordinary network with a powerful vision to change the ways we teach and learn. Among its many remarkable features is the distribution of that vision throughout the network, from the founding co-directors, to the dedicated staff, and everywhere in the communities of HASTAC thinkers, makers, and advocates. Arizona State University shares this vision, and we’re eager to work alongside our friends at the Graduate Center, CUNY to lead and expand the network. It’s a fantastic opportunity.” —George Justice, Dean of Humanities, Associate Vice President of Arts and Humanities, ASU

“We are very pleased to see HASTAC entering this exciting new phase. HASTAC has always thrived as a forward-looking organization that embraces innovative approaches to scholarly communication and community-building. Duke University is proud to have hosted HASTAC during a period of impressive growth and influence. We have no doubt that Arizona State University will build on that success in years to come.” —Edward Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University.

“We at the Graduate Center and throughout CUNY are proud to be leading the innovative HASTAC network and pleased to welcome our new partner, Arizona State University,” said Dr. Joy Connolly, Provost and Senior Vice President of the Graduate Center, CUNY. “We are confident the pioneering HASTAC network has found in ASU an excellent partner to continue to push the boundaries of what makes the most exciting new research and teaching for our time while also embracing inclusiveness as a goal. We are especially pleased to continue our support of the HASTAC Scholars, one of the most visionary interdisciplinary student leadership networks in academe.”

ASU will be the fifth leading partner in HASTAC’s long, collaborative history. The world’s first and oldest academic social network (founded before Facebook, MySpace or NanoHub, the oldest science social network), HASTAC was founded in 2002 by Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, along with a cadre of eminent scholars and innovators across academe and the technology sector (many of whom continue to serve on HASTAC’s Steering Committee.) The HASTAC network site was first developed in 2002-2003 and housed at Stanford University and then moved to Duke two years later. HASTAC has run in partnership with the University of California’s Humanities Research Institute, including co-administering the annual Digital Media and Learning Competitions (starting in 2007), supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2014, when Davidson moved to the Graduate Center CUNY to direct the Futures Initiative, directorial and leadership duties for HASTAC became shared between Duke and CUNY.

Arizona State University will be HASTAC’s first partner in the southwestern U.S., and will bring a strong emphasis on Hispanic and Native American communities, as well as an institutional focus on access and inclusion. “Arizona State University has been an important voice for innovative higher education curricular and pedagogical change, especially in supporting greater equity, inclusion, and access. These are HASTAC’s deepest values and are also deeply held values of the Graduate Center. We are thrilled to be starting this new partnership together, and I very much look forward to working with Jacque Wernimont and the NEXUS lab and other colleagues at ASU in taking HASTAC in new directions and to new heights,” Davidson notes.

HASTAC is grateful to the Selection Committee for overseeing this complex process. Special thanks go to Julie Klein, Professor Emerita of Humanities, English/Interdisciplinary Studies at Wayne State University; Jade Davis, Associate Director for Digital Learning Projects at LaGuardia Community College; and Richard Marciano, Director of the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) College of Information Studies (“Maryland iSchool”) University of Maryland.

A consortium of humanists, artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers from universities and other civic institutions across the U.S. and internationally, HASTAC is committed to new forms of collaboration for thinking, teaching, and research across communities and disciplines fostered by creative uses of technology. More information is available at

About the the Graduate Center, CUNY, and The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center (GC) is the focal point for advanced teaching and research at the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest urban public university. Devoted exclusively to graduate education, the GC fosters pioneering research and scholarship in the arts and sciences, and trains students for careers in universities and the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. With over 35 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, and 20 research centers, institutes, and initiatives, the GC benefits from highly ambitious and diverse students and alumni—who in turn teach hundreds of thousands of undergraduates every year.

Located at the Graduate Center and with a mission that extends throughout CUNY and beyond, the Futures Initiative advances greater equity and innovation in higher education and promotes reinvestment in higher education as a public good. More information is available at

About the Nexus Lab at Arizona State University
The Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University hosts The Nexus Lab, which supports and advances interdisciplinary research collaborations that bring together humanities, science, and technology—particularly those in digital studies, new media art and criticism, and digital humanities. Nexus is focused on addressing “wicked problems” such as inequality and discrimination in digital cultures, sustainability, and disparities in technological innovation, access, and empowerment. By combining collaborative work with training and capacity building, the Nexus Lab works as an intellectual incubator, creating space for experimental new approaches to research, as well as a seedbed for a growing community of scholars and practitioners who are incorporating digital and computation methods into their work. More is available at


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