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Digital Media and Learning Competition Reflections

MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan F. Fanton:: HASTAC Co-Directors

HASTAC co-founders Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg offer their observations on the 2008 Competition. Davidson and Goldberg administered the Competition.


Cathy N. Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson served as Duke University's (and the nation's) first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies from 1998 to June 2006. In this capacity, she had administrative responsibility for over sixty research programs that operate between and among Duke's nine academic and professional schools. She continues to lecture and consult widely on interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and innovative learning-applications of new technologies. She is currently the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English. She is past President of the American Studies Association and past editor of the journal American Literature. She is also a co-founder, along with David Theo Goldberg, of HASTAC ("haystack"), Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, an international consortium of leading humanities organizations and science and technology institutes. Davidson is the author or editor of eighteen books, several on the social history of technology. Among the most recent is Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory (a collaboration with documentary photographer Bill Bamberger), recipient of the Mayflower Cup Award for Non-Fiction. The photographs from Closing traveled to museums around the U.S. for four years, including to the Smithsonian Museum of American History where the exhibit was viewed by over three million visitors. Her classic Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America was republished in an expanded edition by Oxford University Press in 2005. It is a study of cultural, educational, and political hopes and fears occasioned by the invention of mass printing in the years after the American Revolution. Along with Goldberg, she wrote and published a first draft of "The Future of Learning in the Digital Age" on a collaborative website hosted by the Institute for the Future of the Book in January of 2007. They will synthesize this into a multimedia web publication as well as into a traditional book publication sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. An advisor to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative, she is co-PI of the HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition. Her current project is a book on cognition, on how we come to know the world from infant synesthesia to contemporary digital learning. She blogs as Cat in the Stack on the www.hastac.org website.


David Theo Goldberg

David Theo Goldberg is the Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute. He holds faculty appointments as Professor of Comparative Literature and of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also a Fellow of the Critical Theory Institute. Professor Goldberg's work ranges over issues of political theory, race and racism, ethics, law and society, critical theory, cultural studies and, increasingly, digital humanities. Together with Cathy Davidson of Duke University, he founded the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) to promote partnerships between the human sciences, arts, social sciences and technology and supercomputing interests for advancing research, teaching and public outreach. Goldberg is a leading scholar of critical race theory and has delivered invited lectures on this subject at universities across the world; his books include The Racial State (2002); Racial Subjects: Writing on Race in America (1997); Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning (1993); and Ethical Theory and Social Issues: Historical Texts and Contemporary Readings (1989/1995). He initiated the University of California (UC) Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Technology Council, a system-wide committee reporting to the UC Office of the President, and serves on the University of California committee overseeing stewardship of research information and data (including libraries and digital libraries) for the university system.


For more reflections, see these blog posts.