Submissions:2019/The 1000 Women in Religion Project: Bridging the Divide Between the Academy and Wikipedia

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


The 1000 Women in Religion Project: Bridging the Divide Between the Academy and Wikipedia


Relationship Building & Support

Type of session:



This panel presents the 1000 Women in Religion wikiproject – a practical, hands on effort to raise up the unrecognized work of women in the world’s religious and wisdom traditions and transform the sources of knowledge that reinforce gender bias such as Wikipedia. The goal of 1000 Women in Religion is to increase the representation of women religious activists, leaders, and scholars on the English-language Wikipedia. The movement began during the 2018 Parliament of World Religions and continues under the auspices of the Women’s Caucus of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. This panel will focus on the challenges and benefits of creating a wikiproject that works to bridge the divide between academia and Wikipedia. Panelists will review key aspects of the project including 1) the 1000+ Women in Religion List which is currently being uploaded to Wikidata, 2) editing efforts including local, international and virtual edit-a-thons and 3) the creation of new biographical resources about women of influence in religion who lack the reliable sources required for a Wikipedia biographical entry. The members of this panel come from different locations within the academy: independent scholars, faculty members, and librarians. The panelists will discuss their contributions to key aspects of the project such as adapting their scholarly norms and writing styles, learning to interact with the broader community of Wikipedians, and seeking to bridge the digital “town-gown” divide, all in the pursuit of the goal to increase Wikipedia’s representation of women in religion. Additional themes will be addressed such as the creation of a wikiproject from the ground up, the importance of Wikidata to a large-scale Wikipedia project like 1000 Women in Religion and the challenges and rewards of collaborating with academicians and academic institutions. Panelists 1. Colleen D. Hartung Ph.D., Chair of the 1000 Women in Religion Project 2. Clifford Anderson, Associate University Librarian for Research and Digital Initiatives, Vanderbilt University 3. Mary (Polly) Hamlen, M.Div., Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Colleen D. Hartung

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

The Women's Caucus of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature and The 1000 Women in Religion WikiProject

Estimated time:

45 minutes

Preferred room size:

Conference Room

Special requests:

Audio visual hook up for Power Point

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

Atla (formerly the American Theological Library Association) annual meeting in Vancouver, June 2019

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)