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NEW YORK, February 24, 2014 — The Graduate Center, City University of New York, has announced that leading interdisciplinary and technology scholar Cathy N. Davidson will join its faculty effective July 2014. Professor Davidson is currently the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University. She is also cofounder of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), a coalition of individuals and institutions dedicated to collaborative thinking about teaching and learning innovation. She and HASTAC cofounder David Theo Goldberg, director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, lead the HASTAC/John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition.

Beginning this summer, the Graduate Center will become a central administrative hub of HASTAC.  The HASTAC-administered MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition will remain split between Duke and the University of California Humanities Research Institute.  HASTAC will also continue to have a hub at Duke.

Professor Davidson will hold an academic appointment in the Graduate Center’s English Ph.D. program. She will also direct, from the Graduate Center, the Futures Initiative, a CUNY-wide program that will advance collaborative and participatory innovation in higher education, and involve both faculty and graduate students from affiliated institutions.

“I am coming to the GC because it is an incredible opportunity. The Graduate Center has some of the best scholars and graduate students in the country as well excellent leadership in the areas of innovation, technology, and the future of higher education,” noted Professor Davidson. “It proves that a public, urban university is both accessible and exemplifies the highest possible intellectual standards. CUNY does that. My dedication to public higher education, while always strong, has grown in the last few years. How can the most affluent nation on the planet not invest in the future of public education? The Graduate Center and the entire CUNY system can be, and will be, the world leader in higher education innovation. I’m so proud to be part of the effort at such a fine public urban university system.”

“We are thrilled that Cathy Davidson will be joining the Graduate Center and the City University of New York,” noted Chase F. Robinson, Interim President of the Graduate Center. “In combination with other faculty appointments and academic initiatives, her presence will accelerate the Graduate Center’s emergence as a national leader in the digital humanities, interdisciplinary scholarship, and Ph.D. education. As the largest public urban university system in the nation, the City University of New York is the ideal incubator for her visionary ideas about twenty-first-century learning and teaching.”

Professor Davidson brings wide experience and expertise to the Graduate Center and the CUNY system. Appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities, she has published more than twenty books, most recently Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking Penguin, 2011) and The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age (with David Theo Goldberg , MIT Press, 2010). Professor Davidson also served as Duke’s first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and helped to create the Program in Information Science + Information Studies and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She will retain a visiting professor status at Duke and continue to direct the portion of the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning team that will remain there.

Media Contact:  Tanya Domi, 212-817-7283,

About the Graduate Center

The Graduate Center’s (GC) mission is to prepare the next generation of scholars for careers in the academy, cultural institutions, and public service, to carry out advanced research and scholarship, and to increase public understanding of pressing matters of local and global significance. Approximately 4,500 students are enrolled in forty doctoral and master’s programs, sustained by a wide range of financial support. Recognized for its scholarly leadership across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, the GC is also a platform for influential public intellectuals, who, through the GC’s public programs, inform and enliven debate, and enrich the cultural life of New York City.


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Cathy N. Davidson

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