83 Students and Faculty Attend Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Posted on 4/25/2019 11:26:58 AM

IUP's third annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, hosted by the English Department, was held April 23, 2019, in Stabley Library.

The Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon is a critical response to Wikipedia’s gender gap which invited the IUP community to help improve coverage of interdisciplinary subjects related to women’s representation in the encyclopedia across intersections of race and art.

Wikipedia’s gender gap, which results in problems of representation attributed to the lack of women and non-male editors participating in the encyclopedia’s production, is both well-known and well-documented. A groundbreaking survey, conducted in 2011 by the Wikimedia Foundation, found that less than 10 percent of Wikipedia editors identify as women and less than 1 percent as transgender. Another startling statistic: only 17 percent of all biographical articles on Wikipedia focus on women.

Student participants at this event improved Wikipedia articles such as “Gender Roles in Islam,” “Women in Film,” “Intersectionality,” “AfriCobra,” and “Women in the Enlightenment.” Overall, participants edited a total of 60 articles, adding 11,900 words to improve Wikipedia's coverage of women, race, and the arts.

The Edit-a-thon was collaboratively organized by Matthew Vetter (English), Lynn Botelho (Women’s and Gender Studies), Theresa McDevitt and Elin Woods (IUP Libraries), and Oksana Moroz (English). Graduate students in Vetter’s English 632: Composition Theory and Practice course helped facilitate, and the following professors incorporated the event into their spring courses: Laurel Black, Emily Wender, Bryna Siegel Finer, Lara Hauer, Jiawei Xing, and Jialei Jiang.

The Edit-a-thon was supported by a $2,000 grant from the Wikimedia Foundation.