Conference logo, mimicking an eye chart that spells out HASTAC 2020

On 15-18 October 2020, the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas (ATEC @ UTD), will convene the international conference of HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory, or “haystack”), in Richardson, Texas. HASTAC 2020: Hindsight • Foresight • Insight in ATEC @ UT Dallas will feature the practices of intentional and inclusive future-making that take culture—in all of its forms and with all of its complexities—seriously as the catalyst, context, and, sometimes, a conundrum for technological innovation. Of particular importance is the commitment to innovative endeavors that take up matters of access and inclusion in generative ways.

Conference Theme

Imagining the year 2020 as an abstraction of 20/20, and embracing, by extension, this metaphor for visual acuity, the 2020 HASTAC conference will focus on Hindsight • Foresight • Insight. In the 18 years since the founding of HASTAC, much has changed in the academy; we’ve watched technology fads come and go, seen cross-disciplinary programs launch and shut down, and witnessed the adoption of the term “digital humanities” as a respected domain of expertise. HASTAC—a virtual organization of over 17,300 dedicated and diverse individuals and dozens of resourceful institutions—provided the inspiration for many people and projects to take risks, experiment, and explore un-disciplined questions, questions that open onto conversations with a wide range of voices. The range of efforts is impressive: from the creation of new digital archives and the development of new authoring platforms, to the broader cultural challenges to reimagine learning in the 21st century. HASTAC participants have been critically and creatively engaged in doing things differently in their technology development, research, teaching, and art.

The 2020 conference will provide opportunities to share insights from dead ends and projects that made a difference. As we take time to reflect, we also confront new threats and troubles. Hindsight is important, but limited in helping us understand what to do now that will make a difference tomorrow. Foresight understands that the future is already with us, present in the present. Taking stock of what we now understand, the successes (and failures), how do we anticipate what will need to be done? What possibilities and problems are emerging that require our attention and action such that we make a difference for tomorrow? Insight will arise out of these questions and engagements. What insights might we glean regarding the practices and projects that will support the futures we want to inhabit? What do we need to commit to the effort? What forms might commitment take? This conference will make time to reassess, to recalibrate, and to recommit to doing things differently.

Conference Location

The conference will take place on the campus of the University of Texas at Dallas located in Richardson, Texas, a suburb 15 miles north of downtown Dallas. Most activities will take place in the Edith O’Donnell Building for Art and Technology (ATC), a 155,000 square-foot mixed classroom / lab / studio facility that houses the School of Art, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC). The building includes classrooms, computer labs, specialty research labs, studios, break-out spaces, and a large lecture hall. Located in the center of campus, it is near to the student center which offers a variety of fast-food dining options, general services, and leisure activities.

About ATEC: Future-Making Begins in the Imagination

Artists, humanists, scientists, roboticists, programmers, designers, and innovators at ATEC think critically and creatively about the entanglement of technology and culture. We study history to understand context and human becoming; we engage the present to participate in conversation, address problems, and pursue opportunities; we create the future in our imagination, our scholarship, our art, our research, our practice, and our technologies.

We explore the possibilities of the future and the way those possibilities emerge from the present. ATEC future-making is the result of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research, creative practice, capstone projects, and course projects.

About HASTAC: Changing the Way We Teach and Learn

HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an interdisciplinary community of humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists, and technologists changing the way we teach and learn.  Our 16,000+ members from over 400+ affiliate organizations share ideas, news, tools, research, insights, pedagogy, methods, and projects–including Digital Humanities and other born-digital scholarship–and collaborate on various HASTAC initiatives.

Founded in 2002, HASTAC is reputed to be the world’s first and oldest academic social network with annual pageview counts approaching the half-million mark. HASTAC is governed by a dynamic, interdisciplinary Steering Committee. Go here to learn more about current leadership.

HASTAC’s leadership and administration is shared between hubs located at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Dartmouth College. Learn more about HASTAC’s leadership and administration here