Rewriting Wikipedia

The "Rewriting Wikipedia Project" (http://dhpoco.org/rewriting-wikipedia/) argues that editing Wikipedia is critical because Wikipedia is a commonly referenced source of information riddled with incomplete or missing entries on people from marginalized groups. Yet anyone can edit Wikipedia, so this openness represents tremendous opportunity to help shape global forms of knowledge. The following is from scholars Roopika Risam and Adeline Koh of the Rewriting Wikipedia Project: 

Why “global women”? If you’ve ever tried doing a Wikipedia search for important women theorists around the world, you might be surprised to note how short the entries are, particularly on their work and their ideas (for example, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gayatri Spivak, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, Vandana Shiva, and Sara Ahmed). Many important women of color, such as Oyeronke Oyewumi, lack entries or stubs in Wikipedia. Additionally, coverage of international events involving women is also brief or nonexistent (for example, the 1929 Aba Women’s Riots in Nigeria; Domitila Barrios de Chúngara; and Angkatan Wanita Sedar or “Force of Awakened Women,” an important feminist group in Malaysian history). 

Please visit the web page http://dhpoco.org/rewriting-wikipedia/ for more information about the Rewriting Wikipedia project and to find more resources on using Wikipedia in the classroom. 

Resources for Rewriting Wikipedia

Provided by Roopika Risam and Adeline Koh, through their website, dhpoco.org:

Adeline Koh's Powerpoint from a Recent Rewriting Wikipedia Workshop at Rutgers University

How to create Wikipedia Entries that will Stick

How to create Wikipedia Entries that will Stick, II

Useful links on learning and teaching with Wikipedia

For inspiration, here are some outcomes from an earlier Rewriting Wikipedia event co-organized by Risam and Koh

Further Advice

  • It is much easier to write entries if you have books/sources with you (or have them easily accessible online)--it's great if you have previous work you have written on the subject (with sources). Bring an academic paper you are working on, since those would have all the peer reviewed sources already.
  • Everyone participating should have a Wikipedia account created for themselves at least four days in advance. Wikipedia limits the number of people who can sign up from the same IP address at the same time, so if they don't sign up in advance, they may not be able to sign up the day of the event.
  • To gain some trust within the Wikipedia editors' community, it's a good idea to sign up in advance (see above) and make minor edits on uncontroversial articles to show that you are a good-faith, contributing member of the community.