18th C Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon at ASECS meeting March 2016

Friends and colleagues: please join us in honoring Adrianne Wadewitz at this year’s ASECS meeting in Pittsburgh while contributing to an important collaborative project. Feel free to distribute this call widely.

2nd Annual Adrianne Wadewitz Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

(sponsored by the Indiana University Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies)
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting
March 31 – April 3, 2016 / Pittsburgh, PA

This special session will again honor our beloved, brilliant colleague, Adrianne Wadewitz, who died in 2014 in a tragic rock climbing accident. (Her New York Times obituary can be found here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/business/media/adrianne-wadewitz-37-wikipedia-editor-and-academic-dies.html?_r=0 )

An 18th-centuryist, Wadewitz was also an innovator in digital humanities, a rising star in both fields.  In particular, she worked tirelessly to increase the representation of women and minorities on Wikipedia–an online resource which historically has been dominated by the contributions of men. Concerned with content, she wanted to ensure that a diversity of stories and voices were being recognized.

This conference session will be an active editing session where we will add new entries and expand incomplete (“stub”) entries for important figures, works, and key terms or concepts—literary, historical, artistic, philosophical, religious, scientific, etc.—from our period. In essence, we hope to continue contributing to an Encyclopédie project for the 21st century, following Diderot’s aim: “to change the way people think.”

Like last year, we are soliciting proposals for specific content, and well as for participation in this digital humanities event. As eighteenth-century scholars, we have a signal opportunity to make accessible material that has been inadequately represented—some of it effectively “lost” to any but a small group of specialists by not being included in the world’s largest and most utilized reference work—to the widest possible audience of readers.

We will be collaborating with experienced Wikipedians, so no prior editing experience with the encyclopedia is necessary. Instead, we can channel our collective energy into deciding what to add—including fresh entries as well as significant expansion of existing ones. We anticipate writing at least some of the content in advance, although this preparation is not required. The number of entries we add or revise will depend on the total number of participants, but our goal is to contribute substantially to anywhere between a dozen and two-dozen entries. Last year we were able to create or expand around 15 entries. Obviously, this will be a highly collaborative endeavor, and our hope is to draw a wide range of contributors from senior scholars to graduate students. No time commitment is too short or too long — feel free to drop in for part of the session or to stay for the entirety. You may also contribute throughout the conference, of course, but without the same convivial element that those of us gathering face to face will enjoy.

Please send preliminary inquiries as well as requests to participate and ideas for proposed entries by October 1 to:

Courtney Wennerstrom (cwenners@indiana.edu) AND Christopher Nagle (cnagle@wmich.edu)

We can then match participants with content in time to prepare for the annual meeting in March.

Vickie Cutting
Office Manager
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies


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