Together with my friends Sophia Kier-Byfield and Mikaela Assolent, and as a member of the Centre for Doctoral Training: Feminism, Sexual Politics, and Visual Culture at Loughborough University, I am setting up a Feminist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in the Pilkington Library of the university, located in the idyllic Loughborough in the Eastern British Midlands. The event has three parts: on 14, 21 and 28 March, and is open to anyone (registration is required for 14 and 21 March, 28 March will be a drop-in session). It is designed to improve articles about (local) cis and trans women as well as on non-binary people who are underrepresented on Wikipedia.
The edit-a-thon will include tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, ongoing editing support and reference materials. Participants will also update Wikipedia entries collaboratively. People of all gender identities and expressions are invited to participate.
In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as women. This lack of inclusive participation has led to an alarming gap of content in the world’s most popular online research tool. Some key articles about women are missing, the content about them often demonstrates a sexist bias and gender identities (especially concerning transgender people) are inaccurately stated.
This event is part of the international Art+Feminism campaign to improve content on cis and trans women on Wikipedia, and to encourage women to participate on the online encyclopedia. Since 2014, Art+Feminism edit-a-thons have taken place across the world, creating and improving over 11,000 articles.
Other Art+Feminism events have taken place at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; Yale University, New Haven; McGill University, Montreal; Archives Nationales, Paris; and many more.
In preparation of the edit-a-thon that will take place 28 March between 1pm and 5pm, two sessions in smaller groups (10-12 persons) will be organised on 14 March from 6pm to 9pm and on 21 March from 2pm to 4pm. Participants are invited to reflect on their own relationship to the production of knowledge. Researchers and students will question how the tools that are available to them (Pilkington Library’s collection, and online content such as Wikipedia) are biased and how they can inadvertently reproduce bias or on the contrary disrupt it.
Feminism, Sexual Politics, and Visual Culture CDT
The Centre for Doctoral Training: Feminism, Sexual Politics, and Visual Culture was established in 2018. The main catalyst for it is the deepening and rapidly changing global complexity of the relationship between feminist praxis and culture, particularly in politics, arts, and academia. The recent tsunamis of feminist activism, from sport to science, government to entertainment, are the most public evidence of this new complexity.
The CDT is radically integrative, in many ways:
- we aim for an inclusive, intersectional definition and practice of feminism;
- ‘visual culture’ or ‘arts’ to us is inclusive of all practices where visuality is significant, including performative and written modes;
- we have a trans-disciplinary staff team, with expertise including Fine Art, Graphics, English Literature, Drama, Art History, Art Criticism, Politics, and Sociology;
- the research that is undertaken will have immediate implications for areas such as social policy, pedagogies, and cultural industries as well as feminist thinking and the arts.
Facebook event page: here.