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Friday, June 9 • 2:45pm - 4:15pm
HASTAC Scholars: Digital Fridays & Collaborative Book Review

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This session will feature presentations by current HASTAC Scholars Paulina Hernández-Trejo, Waleska Solórzano, and Ian G. Williams, and a group presentation led by participants of HASTAC Scholars Collaborative Book Review of Cathy Davidson and Christina Katopodis' The New College Classroom. Moderated by Shaun Lin, HASTAC Scholars co-director.

Creating the Borderlands Folklore Digital Archive, Paulina Hernández-Trejo
The Borderland Folklore Digital Archive is a project that aims to preserve Borderland folklore, mainly that of cultural hauntings through personal testimonies, literature, landscapes, newspaper clippings, music, and more. In this project, the Borderlands are categorized as the states along the U.S/Mexican border, and can also extend to an Anzaldúan psychological understanding of borderlands that includes regions and spaces “wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory” regardless of class. One of the most notable figures of this project will be la Llorona but will potentially also include ghosts in Chicanx literature, la Lechuza, el Chupacabra, ghosts, and many other haunted spaces that exist within Borderlands imaginary and folklore. During this presentation, I will walk through the archive’s theoretical approach(es), archival methodology, collections, and the ongoing work of putting together a folkloric archive.

Life in Oscillation as a Living Archive: Rebeca Huntt’s BEBA, Waleska Solórzano
Afro-Latinx filmmaker Rebeca Huntt’s pulsating cinematic memoir, BEBA, opens with her riveting voiceover, “You are now entering my universe. I am the lens, the subject, the authority. As a product of the new world, violence is in my DNA”, whichs claims subjecthood while disidentifying from the colonial, white gaze’s racial binaries and visual language. Shot on saturated 16mm film, BEBA was eight years in the making, and it builds on a four-chapter journey tracing her parent’s migration to New York City, her years at Bard College, and her post-college years. Huntt calls attention to minoritarian world-making properties by turning the camera on herself in this visceral 80-minute documentary portrait to show a living archive of her dual cultural heritage and her multifaceted world as she grows into existence in New York City’s Central Park West. Her coming-of-age story acts as a coming into Afro-diasporic existence as she navigates life in oscillation between her American, Dominican, and Venezuelan roots to break the cycle of generational trauma and heal from remnants of personal and historical distress from both sides of the family. I argue that Huntt’s BEBA makes herself what bell hooks (2014) calls a “radical subject” through her performance of self-portraiture as she resists and subverts majoritarian documentary styles and storylines, thus developing an alternative form of legibility and community. Moreover, I employ what I call oscillatory acts as an analytic for understanding migration as one of the focal points of the film vis-à-vis her familial histories and the framing of her family and friends as they move in and out of the camera’s frames.

The Pleasures and Perils of Generative AI Imagery: Remarks from Social Work, Ian G. Williams.
Algorithmically generated imagery (“AI Art") is seemingly ubiquitous on social media today, yet still a relatively new and emergent phenomena. Its existence stirs up and reconfigures familiar debates about the relationship between creativity, machinery, property, and economic structures. This presentation will reflect on observations from two collaborative image generation processes the presenter participated in between September 2022 and March 2023, where discourse about the ethics and politics of AI art was interwoven with the pleasures of playful exploration.

Collaborative Book Review: The New College Classroom, TBD.
Over the course of the Spring 2023 semester, a group of 10-12 members of the HASTAC Scholars program will read the book, The New College Classroom, by Cathy Davidson and Christina Katapodis (2022), and compose book reviews following group discussions of the book’s content. Throughout the writing process, the Scholars will share their drafts with each other, providing multiple rounds of feedback, improving their communication skills, and building community along the way. The conference workshop will be facilitated by HASTAC Scholars who participate in the Collaborative Book Review, with support from the lead facilitator of the project, HASTAC Scholars Co-Director, Hilary Wilson. In addition to sharing their reflections on the semester-long project, they will also lead a number of activities that diverge from conventional pedagogical approaches, ideally incorporating insights from The New College Classroom. These activities could include collective brainstorming about best practices in giving feedback, a “think-pair-share” activity, and practicing (or role-playing) a peer-review. Attendees will be encouraged to bring a work in progress with them to the workshop, which they can use in the peer-review practice activity. Attendees will leave with practical tools they can implement in their own classrooms and for their own growth as writers.

About HASTAC Scholars
The HASTAC Scholars fellowship program is an innovative student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate students. Each year, around 100 new Scholars are accepted into a new 2-year cohort of the program. Scholars come from dozens of disciplines and have been sponsored by over 200 colleges and universities - ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large Research 1 institutions - working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences. As HASTAC Scholars, we write blog posts; interview leaders within the digital research and digital humanities fields, host online forums, organize events around the future of higher education; organize collaborative book reviews; and much more. Much of our work here centers around rethinking pedagogy, learning, research & academia for the digital age.

avatar for Shaun Lin

Shaun Lin

HASTAC Scholars co-director, Futures Initiative, CUNY
Shaun Lin is pursuing a PhD in geography at the CUNY Graduate Center, where his research interests include immigrant communities, food and foodways, and abolition geography. He is an adjunct lecturer in Urban Studies at Queens College.

avatar for Ian G. Williams

Ian G. Williams

PhD student, CUNY Graduate Center
Ian G. Williams, LMSW is a student in the Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare and the Certificate Program in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and is a Program Social Media Fellow with the Graduate Center Digital Initiatives. He is also a 2022-2024 HASTAC Scholar. Ian researches the... Read More →
avatar for Waleska Solorzano

Waleska Solorzano

Graduate Student, Cornell University

Friday June 9, 2023 2:45pm - 4:15pm EDT
ARC E-02