ASTR Commons

August 13, 2020

Dear ASTR Colleagues and Friends, 

Welcome to the ASTR Commons.

The Commons is a virtual space where scholars and artists at every stage of their careers can connect with each other, offer their expertise, and share resources. It complements work already underway by ATHE, MATC, ATDS, and other organizations in our field. We welcome input from members about features and functions the Commons might offer in the future. Write to us.

During this first phase of the Commons, we aim to:

  1. Connect guest lecturers, especially contingent faculty, graduate students, and BIPOC scholars, with instructors seeking in-class guests or speakers for virtual colloquia.
  2. Connect faculty and graduate students navigating changing formats and environments for teaching with peers who have relevant pedagogical experience (e.g., in online course design and instruction).

The spirit of the ASTR Commons is to foster visibility, connections, and experience for scholars with insufficient resources and/or whose work has been undervalued. Often, instructors invite friends and known colleagues to serve as guest speakers and artists; we encourage ASTR members to use the opportunity of guest lectureships to invite new voices into our programs and classes. We hope the ASTR Commons will function as a space of mutual benefit for those providing and seeking resources.

Guest lecturers, speakers, and those providing pedagogical development should be paid for their time and labor. We also recognize that different institutions have different budgets and that many departments and institutions are in financial peril. We urge faculty—especially tenured faculty—to commit to and advocate for paying those providing resources through the ASTR Commons and to think creatively about how to compensate their guests if regular sources are currently unavailable.

How it Will Work:

Join us! If you are are looking to either connect with someone who has resources to share or you wish to share your research, fill out this Google Form. In order to protect the data of participants, the information entered on this form will populate a spreadsheet that will live on the ASTR website in a members-only area. Colleagues can then reach out directly to one another by email to discuss opportunities, compensation, and next steps. If you are not an ASTR member and you would like to participate in the Commons, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

All best,

Marla Carlson
ASTR President

ASTR Commons Task Force
Paige McGinley, Chair
Sarah Bay-Cheng
Rhonda Blair
Kate Bredeson
Baron Kelly
Shayoni Mitra
Margaret Werry
Aimee Zygmonski

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