What is Hastac?

Hastac.org is a social network that is meant for academics, rather than reconnecting with high school friends. The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory brings together academics from all fields to share knowledge and work on projects together. This includes collaborating on projects in the Digital Humanities, which is one of the reasons that we as a class are utilizing it. We can be exposed to work outside of what we examine during class and for homework, and we can converse with others as well. For many classes, every student will write up a homework assignment and the professor is the only other person who reads it. However, the use of a blog allows us all to look through each other’s responses and thoughts, and have a conversation about them.

While exploring the site, one of the articles of interest that I came across was Sustainable DH, or: Smashing things with Hammers. It was written by a HASTAC scholar at the Vanderbilt Digital Humanities Center, and he poses questions about the “emerging nexus between the digital humanities and the ecological humanities” and in doing so discusses an interesting point in that the new digital age, and by proxy the digital humanities, have an enormous ecological impact during the production and disposal of all our devices. While we as a society search for greater sustainability in our lives, we must not exclude scholarship from this search. I found this interesting because I spend a large portion of my life working with computers: between studying computer science, working in tech support, and my personal hobbies as well. Despite that, the ecology of the “Internet of Things” is a topic that I have never heard addressed in the past. Re-use of older technology can not only help us work towards more sustainable computing, but can also help spread the Digital Humanities beyond socio-economic boundaries.