Submissions:2018/Strategies to Counter Systemic Bias: Writing Campaigns, New Maps, and Informed Review

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Strategies to Counter Systemic Bias: Writing Campaigns, New Maps, and Informed Review
Theme (optional)
Inclusion & Diversity
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Carwil Bjork-James
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Wikimedia username
Affiliation(s) (optional)
Vanderbilt University
Systemic bias limits Wikipedia's completeness and quality of coverage of people with marginalized identities. It also systematically reduces their visibility within the narratives of larger entities of which those marginalized people played a role, and often distorts the role they did played. As such, any systemic bias based on social marginalization—which may occur along the lines of gender, race, language, sexuality, disability or other status—requires a multifaceted campaign to write the affected people back into the world's largest encyclopedia. Success means going beyond the heroic efforts of individual editors to expand coverage.
This talk considers four strategies that can be pursued either through classroom teaching or coordinated editing campaigns: (1) campaigns to write new articles on marginalized people, (2) campaigns to rewrite articles on topics that affect them, (3) the introduction of new maps that literally include communities that have been written out of history, and (4) the application of scholarly understandings of systemic bias to systematically review, and eventually improve, Wikipedia articles. Thus far, most Wikipedia inclusion drives have focused on the first strategy. I suspect that many teachers within the Education program have pursued the second strategy. In this talk, I lay out some possible assignments or online campaigns to move forward the third and fourth. Using existing public domain maps, could facilitate putting indigenous communities back into US history at all levels. And drawing on scholarship in history, women's and gender studies, and ethnic studies, we can identify a variety of ways that marginalized people can be written back into history that differ from the "Add marginalized people and stir" model.
As presenter, I draw on three rounds of teaching a "Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples" course and twelve years of experience as a Wikipedia editor.
Length of presentation
30 min
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Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?
Semi-formally, to Wiki Education board meeting.
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