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Hackathon for the HumanitiesInvisible Cities: 24-hour Student Design Challenge

Friday, April 9, 2021
12:00 pm
Virtual, with Registration

Registration is Required

The pandemic has put pressure on the form of the city – exposing racial and class inequities that have exacerbated the uneven effects of the virus – while at the same time offering unique opportunities to break with the past and imagine our world anew. Arundhati Roy writes that pandemics can serve as portals between one world and the next – gateways into imagining and conceptualizing new models of communal living. Fredric Jameson, in a review of Margaret Atwood, suggests a similar notion:  “[T]he post-catastrophe situation in reality constitutes the preparation for the emergence of Utopia itself.”

To explore these possibilities, we invite undergraduate students from across universities to participate in a virtual “Hackathon for the Humanities” taking place Friday, April 9 – Saturday, April 10, hosted by the Institute for Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Following a short workshop, participants will have 24 hours to explore a theme related to the urban landscape of the contemporary city and to devise a speculative alternative model for an imagined future city. Submissions across a variety of media are welcome – from written text to visual renderings, video, music, and others – and will be limited to a max length of two pages/two minutes. Submissions must be made by 12:30pm EST on Saturday, April 10. Submission directions will be given during the 12:00pm Friday, April 9 zoom.

Eligibility requirements:

The Hackathon for the Humanities is open to all undergraduate students at U.S. institutions and can be entered individually or in teams (max. four students). In order to compete, you must register for the Friday, April 9 zoom meeting at 12:00pm EST. This meeting will be recorded for participants who cannot join the workshop but you must register and verify your undergraduate standing by the start of the challenge to participate. Submissions must be made by 12:30pm EST on Saturday, April 10. Submission directions will be given during the 12:00pm Friday, April 9 zoom.

First place prize will be $500, followed by $350 for second place and $250 for third place. Submissions may also qualify for a future group publication. The projects and awards will be presented in an event on Thursday, April 20, 2021.

Faculty Facilitators:
Lan Li (Medical Humanities, Rice University)
Anthony Acciavatti (Architecture, Yale University)
Alumni Facilitators: Malvika Jolly (GS’19), Adam Lee John GS’18)
Open to all undergraduates at U.S. institutions.

Prizes will be awarded on Tues 4.20.21.
Visit for more details.