Wikistorming in Progress
By Adrianne Wadewitz
For the past two months, students in DOCC’s Wikistorming projects have been contributing information on women and feminism to Wikipedia, bringing their voices to the larger cultural conversation about what it means to write about underrepresented topics.
- At The New School, students have added content to a variety of articles about women and topics which had previously undeveloped articles. For example, one student is researching the Soviet filmmaker Esfir Shub. As the student writes, she “was an incredibly influential pioneering documentary filmmaker and editor in post-revolutionary Soviet Russia…Her best known film, Fall of the Romanov Dynasty, was the first Soviet documentary to employ sound. I am thrilled to a part of this course as delves into the depths of my interests. It has been an interesting experience thus far.” Another student is expanding the article on Brenda Laurel, who is, as the student explains, “known for her involvement and enthusiasm for female gaming and was the vice-president and founder of Purple Moon, a gaming company that was dedicated to creating games for young girls.”
University of Illinois Students editing Wikipedia, October 2013
- At Pennsylvania State University, students have posted their plans for articles. One student, for example, has tied her interest in the politics of Comfort women to her account name; “I have created an account named “Comfort Zone” in order to embrace the controversial meanings of Comfort women.” She aims to add intersectionality to the article about Comfort women. Overall, her goal is to “articulate social inequalities regarding gender and sexuality of Comfort women.”
- At Brown, the program in Science and Technology studies hosted a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in honor of Ada Lovelace Day to improve articles on women in science, technology, and mathematics. The approximately 65 local and remote participants expanded or created more than 75 articles, including Sibyl M. Rock, a pioneer in mass spectrometry and computing, Gladys Emerson, a biochemist and nutritionist, and Vera Kistiakowky, a physicist and nuclear arms activist.
- At the University Illinois, students have made plans to improve a wide variety of articles related to women, from comedian Tig Notaro to vegetarian food writer Deborah Madison to Betty Crocker. All of these articles are in serious need of improvement and the students’ work will dramatically improve their visibility and completeness.
- At the Claremont Colleges, students have organized a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to be held Friday December 6th in conjunction with students from Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Luis Obispo, where they will share their expertise and editing knowledge, followed by a collegial dinner. While FemTechNet aims to show the possibilities of distributed efforts of online communities through its DOCC, it does not neglect the importance of the physical presence and rejoices in the connections that can be made in these physical spaces.
While a great deal of work was completed, there is more to do. See our lists of open tasks at WikiProject Feminism to help out!