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As we continue to grow and evolve, Heterodox Academy has shifted from primarily raising awareness about the challenges facing colleges and universities with respect to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity and constructive disagreement towards mobilizing and empowering people within higher ed institutions to tackle those problems head-on. In this spirit, HxA is excited to announce a new service, HxDisciplines, intended to support and accelerate reform efforts within particular fields of study.

While a commitment to open inquiry and viewpoint diversity unites all HxA members, each discipline faces unique challenges. The HxDisciplines initiative exists to promote the values of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in specific disciplines by creating spaces where scholars discuss research and ideas, share strategies and resources, and foster collaboration.

What Are the Benefits to Participating in HxDisciplines?

HxDisciplines offers a variety of ways to connect with disciplinary colleagues. Here are some ways current participants have engaged up to now:

  • Sharing their publications and articles with fellow scholars
  • Sharing others’ publications and articles for group discussion
  • Posing questions about challenges they’re facing at their institutions
  • Posing questions about hot topics in their discipline
  • Requesting collaborators for conference panels and research projects
  • Notifying their fellow scholars about events and opportunities of interest
  • Arranging informal mixers at disciplinary conferences, which HxA may be able to support

At the moment, HxDisciplines primarily facilitates remote engagement. However, as the initiative grows, we hope and expect to support in-person and discipline-oriented networking and events as well. Join now to get in on the “ground floor” and help us figure out some of the particular challenges and needs of your discipline, and the ways HxA can be of service.

Who Can Take Part in HxDisciplines?

Scholars who either have a PhD within the group’s discipline — or who are (or have been employed) in a department that serves that discipline — are currently eligible to join.

HxA membership is not required to participate in HxDisciplines; however, prospective participants are asked at signup to confirm their alignment with HxA’s values (and of course, we encourage you to join HxA if you haven’t already!). That said, HxA membership is required to serve as the moderator for an HxDisciplines forum; although welcoming to non-members, they are provided primarily a service to our members.

How Does HxDisciplines Work?

HxA supports closed Facebook and Google groups through which HxA members and their disciplinary colleagues can connect and exchange information or ideas. An HxA member (possibly with help from other members, if needed) oversees and moderates each of the HxDisciplines. HxA maintains administrator status in the groups to assist with any issues and to facilitate an easy changeover in the event of a moderator transition.

All prospective participants of an HxDisciplines forum complete a simple Google form that allows them to request to join the Facebook group, the Google group, or both (some disciplines may use just one platform). The form also asks prospective members to confirm their academic status and discipline, affirm the HxA statement of values, and agree to the moderation policy.

Which Disciplines Currently Have an HxDisciplines Platform?

As of August 2019, there are seven HxDisciplines forums:

We are also piloting HxCommunities forums to help organize members who live outside the United States:

If there is not yet an established forum for your discipline and you would like to start one, please contact us (membership@heterodoxacademy.org) with “HxDisciplines” in the subject line.