Submissions:2015/Edit Histories and Literary Turf Wars: Literary Scholarship and Wikipedia
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- Edit Histories and Literary Turf Wars: Academic Criticism and Wikipedia
- Jim McGrath
- E-mail address
- John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University
- This presentation will examine debates about the value of academic criticism that are present in Wikipedia edit histories, highlighting moments where academic modes of literary criticism are embraced, rejected, or challenged by Wikipedia editors. I am interested in reading particular discussions about the credentials (or lack of credentials) and merits of critics who publish with academic publishers, literary journals, major newspapers and magazines, and born-digital contexts like blogs and social media when they are cited (and, at times, removed from or challenged) by Wikipedia editors. I became interested in this topic after examining the Wikipedia page of American poet John Ashbery and finding a contentious debate about particular literary scholars and public figures in the page’s edit history. Given the prominence of Wikipedia pages on literary subjects in search results and their use by a range of readers (students of various levels, scholars, as well as more general readers curious about particular authors), discussions over whose ideas about the value of literature are credible and authoritative (and whose voices should be silenced or removed from pages) have far-reaching implications and can shape large numbers of readers in implicit and explicit ways. I am interested in discussing how communities of literary scholars and educational institutions might pay more attention to Wikipedia pages and editors working on topics in their field, and I am also curious about how the editing community of Wikipedia views particular authors, publishers, institutions, and other sites of cultural production when its members are revising pages. Are there more opportunities for collaboration? Reasons to more closely monitor which individuals and groups are more frequently cited than others? I hope to address these and other questions by looking at particular edit histories and trends in citationality.
- Length of presentation
- 15-30 minutes
- Special schedule requests
- Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
- If I can secure travel funds from my university, yes!
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