The HASTAC 2014 conference is being held in Lima, Peru, this week! (April 24-27, 2014)

The conference is graciously hosted by the Peru Ministry of Culture in collaboration with HASTAC, the Organization of American States (OAS), and several other key partnering institutions from North, Central, and South America.

Below are reflections from the 2014 Conference written by some of the six PhD Lab Scholars presenting at HASTAC 2014 thanks to generous support from the PhD Lab.   You can read more of their blog posts + receive live updates at the following links: 


HASTAC 2014 Panel: Cathy Davidson & Students


On April 24 at 12pm, Dr. Cathy Davidson, Kaysi Holman and five of her graduate students filed into the Sala Paracas at the Ministry of Culture to present their panel “Open Learning, Open Access and the Digital Divide.” These authors of Fieldnotes (2013), presented their work in designing an open learning community and writing a collaborative book.

The panel, was both traditional and experimental. After introductions by Dr. Cathy Davidson, Barry Peddycord III of NC State University discussed his experience with designing computer programs and the culture of hacking. He focused on the theory of The Cathedral and the Bazaar and talked about how the open-access culture lends to collaboration across difference and innovation. Elizabeth Pitts, also from NC State University, discussed how the panelist used open-access theory and applied it to classroom design through collaboration. Each student in Dr. Davidson’s class, “21st Century Literacies” that took place during the Spring of 2013, brought a different expertise to the collaborative space. Pitts discussed how this diversity motivated students to take ownership of the class by sharing their unique perspectives and relying on each other to “fill in the gaps.” Tina Davidson of Duke University, then described the mechanics of the open-classroom through her discussion of the digital divide. She not only spoke on the problem of inequality in access to information, but also discussed how student’s in Dr. Davidson’s class were able to hold a discussion on this topic, highlighting various opinions across disciplines.

After these more traditional papers, the panel shifted its format. Jennifer Stratton of Duke University discussed creative design and the way that design allows us to think about space differently. She asked everyone to close their eyes and imagine “open.” She then asked the participants to share what they imagined with each other. Some people had thought of windows, other open fields. The point, as Jennifer stated, was that no one has the same idea of “open.” In the same way, there is no one way to design the classroom for openness.

Kaysi Holman of Duke University and Jade E. Davis of the University of North Carolina, continued this collaborative experiment by asking participants to divide into three groups. Panelists broke the “fourth wall” by joining participants in the large groups that formed circles in various places in the room.