Call for proposals

Deadline: October 31, 2022 extended to November 15, 2022

On June 8–10, 2023, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), in partnership with Pratt Institute, will be guests on Lenapehoking—the traditional and unceded homeland of the Lenape people, past, present, and future—facilitating a conference at the intersection of thinking, making, and justice work. The conference is planned as an in-person experience, with some opportunities for online participation.

Conference theme

This conference marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of HASTAC, convened in 2002–2003 as a community—a network—based on ideas of participation, equity, diversity, public contribution, and especially the notion that humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists, and technologists have crucial insights for our age of digital technology. Among these contributions, according to HASTAC Co-Founders Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, are attention to history, relationality, creativity, diversity, and social policy—values and practices resonant with the theme of HASTAC 2023: “Critical Making and Social Justice.”

By “critical making,” we imagine careful attention to how things are made, to the processes and social embeddedness of our work, and how we teach and enact those processes with others. First described as an area of “interwoven material and conceptual work” (Ratto), critical making draws upon the critical design movement and its opposition to design that “reinforces the status quo” (Dunne & Raby), especially through metrics of efficiency, optimization, and purely commercial worth (Hertz). Instead, critical design and critical making open up theoretical, speculative, and reflective space to consider the values inherent in design and making, and the value of design itself. Critical making invites questions around the “politics of design” (DiSalvo) and “the increasingly technologically and digitally mediated experience of our everyday lives, of labor in an information economy” (Ratto & Boler). It has a way of “reintroducing a sense of criticality back into post-2010 maker culture: to un-sanitize, un-smooth and re-politicize it” (Hertz). In so doing, critical making may even reflect Ruha Benjamin’s recent (2019) provocation: “Design is a colonizing project….What, I wonder, are the theoretical and practical effects of using design-speak to describe all our hopes, dreams, qualms, criticisms, and visions for change? What is gained and by whom?”

In employing the language of social justice, we recognize that “justice” is a human urge manifesting in various ways across cultures, and that many encounters with actual and historical justice systems are unfair, unequal, and corrupt. Our focus on justice is intended to create a space for critique of existing structures and practices and to highlight examples of critical making that contribute to better worlds. We also note that “social” justice converges with other forms of justice, including economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice. Accordingly, work submitted to this conference should reflect a broad commitment to scholarship, activism, and/or creative practices that challenge oppressive power structures, including racism, capitalism, sexism, gender bias, ableism, nationalism, colonialism, and their many intersections.

Conference scope

HASTAC 2023 welcomes submissions from practitioners at all stages of their careers; from all disciplines, occupations, and fields; and from groups as well as individuals, including independent scholar-practitioners, artists, and activists. Commensurate with the broad theme of “Critical Making and Social Justice,” we seek proposals for a wide range of papers, posters, workshops, roundtables, exhibits, etc. related to such topics as:

  • art and activism, and their relationship to scholarship
  • interventions in design justice, data justice and data feminism, algorithmic accountability, (digital) literacies, open knowledge, and accessibility in all its forms
  • community-based projects and learning, participatory research and design
  • praxis, as the enactment of theory, and socially-engaged learning
  • critical uses and non-uses of technology, including resistance to technology, creative misuses, subversions, etc.
  • creative, educational, and social implications of emerging technologies, including robotics, automation, rapid prototyping, wearables, “smart” devices, and extended reality (AR/VR/MR)
  • craft and other forms of making that support justice work
  • research and teaching that reflects emerging conversations on racism, capitalism, sexism, gender bias, ableism, nationalism, colonialism, and their many intersections with humanities, arts, design, (social) sciences, and technology
  • progressive pedagogy and educational engagements with issues of social justice
  • work undertaken by, with, and for the Lenape people and other Indigenous peoples
  • sustainability and environmental justice in projects, pedagogy, design, and other areas
  • public humanities and the evolution of public discourse and media

About Pratt

Specializing in art, architecture, and design education, Pratt Institute makes vital and creative use of technology in addressing contemporary problems. Central to this approach is an education that blends theory with practice, art and design disciplines with liberal arts and sciences. This combination of thinking and making animates the theme of this conference, which invites participants to consider the design and use of technologies, to engage with social implications of design and technology, and to reflect on processes of making, building, teaching, learning, and other creative activities.

Pratt Institute is situated on Lenapehoking, the traditional and unceded homeland of the Lenape people, past, present, and future. As learners and educators, we recognize Indigenous Peoples and Nations’ long-time traditions of making art and storytelling. We acknowledge the significance of their creativity and how often they are unrecognized as artists, designers, and writers, while their culture is appropriated and taken by others. For this conference, we especially invite work by, with, and for the Lenape people.

About HASTAC and HASTAC Commons

HASTAC has been called “the world’s first and oldest academic social network.” Founded in 2002–2003, from its inception it embraced the idea of equity and innovation being necessary components of a networked, collaborative community. Race, gender, sexuality, class, and other social justice issues are at the core of this network that is dedicated to privacy and non-exploitation of its users while also managing to remain cost-free to its members thanks to the generous support, in both money and labor, of a number of institutions. For several years, HASTAC has been led by groups at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Dartmouth College, including in the recent, monumental migration of HASTAC.org to the Humanities Commons (located at Michigan State University) and its new iteration as “HASTAC Commons.”

Submission information

All submissions to the conference must be filed at https://www.conftool.pro/hastac2023 by November 15, 2022.

Guidelines

  • All submissions will require a title, abstract (500–1000 words, depending on submission type), topics, and keywords.
  • File uploads are optional.
  • Proposers may also describe any space or technology requirements in a separate field (this is required for workshops, posters, exhibitions, installations, demos, performances, and alternative formats).
  • Accessibility and presenter needs can also be noted in remarks to the program committee.

Formats

HASTAC 2023 is planned as an in-person experience, with some opportunities for online participation. In reviewing proposals for in-person presentations, the programming committee will consider how presenters plan to use place and the physical environment to engage with conference participants. In reviewing proposals for remote presentations, the committee will consider issues of accessibility, inclusion, and solidarity with colleagues across the globe. The committee is also open to hybrid proposals that blend in-person and remote audiences with intention.

Presentations may take the form of:

  • Papers (15–20 minutes, including discussion): Traditional paper presentations should share results of completed work, describe significant work in progress, and/or offer sustained reflection on a relevant topic. These talks should be accessible to a broad audience and foster connections and dialogue with attendees.
  • Short talks (5–8 minutes, including brief discussion): Lightning talks should be highly focused and may introduce completed or ongoing work, or offer provocations for further reflection. These talks should invite follow-up conversations with attendees.
  • Panels and roundtables (90 minutes). Panels and roundtables should facilitate dialogue among 3–7 participants working on interrelated topics, and allow time for discussion with attendees (at least 15–30 minutes). Please consider diversity in composing panels/roundtables; we will not accept all-male panels/roundtables for this conference.
  • Workshops (45 or 90 minutes): Workshops should include at least one facilitator and may be discussion-based, interactive activity-based, and/or technology-based. Proposals should describe the intended participants for the workshop and what they will gain.
  • Posters (print or electronic, in-person only). Posters should present visual overviews of completed or ongoing work. Participants should be available in-person for at least 45 minutes to present alongside their poster.
  • Exhibits, installations, demonstrations, and performances (varies): Artwork, creative data visualizations, performances, project demonstrations, and other critical interventions will be displayed on one or more days of the conference. Proposals for these types of work should describe their relationship to the conference theme, as well as their physical/technical requirements. We anticipate that these presenters will be mainly in-person, but are open to proposals describing alternative modalities.
  • Alternative formats (varies): Given the experimental nature of work in this area, we invite proposals for sessions in alternative formats to those described above. Proposals for alternative sessions should describe clearly the nature of the session and indicate a preferred time length.

The Program Committee gratefully acknowledges the example of the DH Unbound program committee and guideline authors, which were used to develop these submission type descriptions.

Languages

While our CFP is being released in English, we welcome proposals in other languages and will work to accommodate review and presentation accessibility in other languages. Please contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for a proposal.

Scheduling

Please note that for the purposes of scheduling, we may suggest an alternative submission type or collaboration between related proposals.

Review process and criteria

All proposals will be anonymously peer-reviewed by the programming committee and volunteers from HASTAC’s network.

Everyone who submits a proposal to the conference will have the option to sign up as a reviewer when they create an account in the submission system. Others may express interest in reviewing by creating an account at the link below. Reviewers will be able to select priority topics, bid on proposals to review (optional), and specify a maximum number of review assignments. We anticipate that the review phase will open December 1, 2022 and close January 20, 2023.

Review criteria

All submissions to the conference will be reviewed using the following criteria:

Relevance to Conference Theme
The proposal is explicitly connected to issues of critical making and social justice, broadly construed (see theme for details).
20%
Scholarly Context
The proposal engages with relevant scholarship and provides context on the fields, methodologies, or disciplines in which it is situated. Formal citations (in the author’s preferred style) are encouraged, and required for direct quotations.
20%
Development & Organization
The proposal articulates a clear line of questions, problems, inquiries, etc. and presents a well-organized discussion surrounding them.
20%
Impact
The proposal addresses the applicability, significance, and value of the work, whether theoretical, methodological, practical, and/or pedagogical. There is explicit discussion of the sociopolitical implications of this work.
20%
Overall
Considered holistically, the proposal represents high-quality work and makes a scholarly contribution.
20%

The Program Committee gratefully acknowledges the example of the DH Unbound program committee and guideline authors, which were used to develop these review criteria

Creative Futures – Call for Participation

Graduate students and junior faculty are invited to participate in a mentored creative project development group. This group is for scholars interested in doing or presenting research through visual, material, or otherwise creative means.

HASTAC 2023 invites us to “engage with creative and design-based approaches to technology and education, particularly around issues of social justice and allied movements of design justice, data justice, algorithmic accountability, (digital) literacies, open knowledge, and accessibility, broadly construed.” This call for participation invites HASTAC Scholars and early-career academics to build creative, design-based scholarship and representations of research with the support of experienced mentors and a community of peers.

Creative Futures participants will be supported in making artistic visualizations, presentations, and interpretations of their research data for exhibition at the HASTAC 2023 Conference. Participants will meet twice monthly for one hour with mentors Nikki Stevens and Molly Morin, and will have access to office hours and group critiques (focused group discussions of work in progress) from October 2022 – June 2023. Those who complete a work for exhibition will be invited to join us at the conference for installation and guest reviews of the work.

HASTAC has long been a network for innovative interdisciplinary scholarship and new approaches to pedagogy. This call presents an opportunity to look towards the future, support new scholarship, and find new ways of thinking about research. The Creative Futures program will nurture new creative research projects for exhibition at HASTAC 2023.

Note: Creative Futures is currently full. Please fill out the application below to be added to the waitlist. We will add people on a rolling, first-come, first-serve basis as spots become available until mid-December. Questions? Email molly.c.morin@dartmouth.edu

More details

Who can participate?

Graduate students and junior faculty who are new to making, or would like help developing their projects 

What do I need?

  • A seed of an idea (however small) that you would like support to develop
  • About 2 hours/month for synchronous meetings
  • Time and desire to work on a project for the HASTAC 2023 conference

I’m not an artist and have never been to a critique (crit). What are they like?

A crit is a discussion of an artist/maker’s work, usually done with peers, mentors, and/or outside experts. For our crits, participants will bring their work to a zoom meeting and our group will offer their questions, interpretations, suggestions, and references that may be helpful to improving the work. This should be a generative process in which you have an opportunity to better understand how others perceive the work and to learn from peers. After the first few crits lead and structured by Molly and Nikki, the group will work together to decide how to best structure these meetings.

What is the application process?

We are accepting the first 20 people who apply with complete applications. Participants will be notified by October 15, 2022. Projects completed through Creative Futures will automatically be included in the conference; you do not need to submit this work separately through the main submission system. Creative Futures participants may submit additional work to the conference through the main submission system.

What if I’m not selected?

If people withdraw, we will contact folks and invite them to join. We will consider people withdrawn after they miss several meetings, and after we email them to  confirm.

Who are Nikki and Molly?

About Nikki Stevens: Nikki Stevens (they/them) is a software engineer, award-winning open source contributor, and critical technology researcher. Stevens’s research focuses on ways that data models uphold systems of white supremacy and cisgender normativity and the interventions that are possible. In industry, Stevens led the architecture of software products that have won numerous awards, including at SXSW. In open source, Stevens work in the Drupal community earned them the 2017 Aaron Winborn Award and recognitions by Red Hat and The Linux Foundation. They are currently a researcher at Dartmouth College.

About Molly Morin: Molly Morin (she/her) is an Arts Researcher in Residence at Dartmouth College. Morin’s work teases out long held cultural assumptions influenced by Enlightenment logics that we accept as true, neutral, and necessary, and explores ways in which recent advances in computation can amplify and extend power imbalances already present in social, political, and art-world systems. Morin has given invited lectures at the Center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame, The Society for Science, Literature and the Arts, and the National Academy of Science. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions at The Collaboratory at UC Santa Barbara, the University of Dallas, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. She was a 2020 Utah Visual Arts Fellow and her work is included in the state’s Alice Merrill Horne collection.