ADVANCING EQUITY AND INNOVATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Thank You, Jacque Wernimont (HASTAC Co-Director, 2016 – 2024)

We are sad to announce that Professor Jacqueline D. Wernimont, Distinguished Chair in Digital Humanities and Social Engagement and Associate Professor Film & Media Studies at Dartmouth, will be stepping down from nearly a decade as CoDirector of HASTAC. Jacque has left an indelible imprint on every aspect of  “the world’s first and oldest academic social network.” We cannot thank her enough and wish her the very best on all that comes next.

Jacque became HASTAC’s Co-Director in 2016, after a national search. At the time, she was a professor at Arizona State University, which was in the midst of planning HASTAC’s 2016 international conference. In 2018, when she was recruited to Dartmouth College, she negotiated very generous institutional, technical, student, and fiscal support for HASTAC. Such generosity is extremely rare in our profession.

She and her teams at both ASU and Dartmouth took charge of rebuilding the HASTAC Drupal-powered website and online community. This included updating the entire Drupal infrastructure in 2016, and the migration of communications, content, and backend materials from Duke with the help of Elizabeth Grumbach and several ASU graduate students. 

Once at Dartmouth, Jacque’s team helped maintain the original HASTAC.org infrastructure- deflecting an onslaught of spambots while managing social network communications and technology during a massive transformation in both platforms- all while our academic habits were shifted entirely online during COVID. Starting in 2020, led by Jacque and Nikki Stevens (now Dr. Nikki Stevens, having finished their Ph.D. at ASU), HASTAC undertook a comprehensive self-study to understand what HASTAC.org had been, our community’s experiences both online and in person, and desires for the future of HASTAC as an academic social network.

Faced with mounting technical costs, staffing changes, and bids for an upgrade that were well beyond academic/humanities oriented funding structures, Jacque and Nikki investigated new models, including the well-aligned intellectual commons structure used by Humanities Commons (currently in the process of being renamed the “Knowledge Commons”: https://hastac.hcommons.org/), housed at Michigan State University. In 2022, again led by Nikki Stevens, the Dartmouth team collaborated with the Knowledge Commons team to manage the migration of all post-2017 HASTAC content to the Humanities Commons and design the new operations of our commons site. At the Graduate Center, doctoral fellow Chris McGuinness directed the archiving of pre-2017 content in the rare book archives at Duke University Library, where HASTAC had resided organizationally from 2001-2016. 

The “1055113200” installation created by artist-in-residence Molly Morin and Stevens for the Pratt 2023 HASTAC Scholars Conference.

Jacque also took a leading role in collaborations with the local programming committee for three international HASTAC conferences: at the University of Central Florida (2017), the University of British Columbia (2019), and Pratt Institute (2023). Jacque’s commitment to expanding our engagement with speculative arts and critical making practices lead up to her funding of the Creative Futures cohort of HASTAC Scholars for the Pratt 2023 conference and commissioning the “1055113200” installation created by artist-in-residence Molly Morin and Stevens. The piece wove together receipts for the 1055113200 hours that people have given to create and sustain HASTAC.

Please join us in offering Jacque our most sincere and hearty appreciation for her wisdom, insight, foresight, support, and leadership. We at the Graduate Center CUNY will miss her enormously as a lively, witty, engaged, compassionate, and simply brilliant partner.

Thank you, Jacque!

Cathy N. Davidson, HASTAC CoFounder and CoDirector (2001-present)

Adashima Oyo, HASTAC Director of Programs and Administration

Shelly Eversley, Incoming HASTAC CoDirector (July 2024-) 

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The Futures Initiative
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