The Wikimedia Foundation has recently employed its first research analyst and provides spaces for “Wikipediology”, including projects such as the Wiki Project on vandalism studies. Nonetheless, critical Wikipedia research should also be done outside the self-reflexivity of the Wikimedia Foundation and its community. There is an urgent need for quantitative and qualitative research from an Humanities and Arts perspective that could benefit both the wider user base and the active Wikipedia community itself.
The Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore, India) and the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam, Netherlands) are working together to produce a critical reader on Wikipedia and to build a Wikipedia Knowledge Network. Under the rubric CPOV, we propose two events that bring together different perspectives, approaches, experiences and stories that critically explore different questions and concerns around Wikipedia. The proceeds from these two events will result in a reader that consolidates critical points of view about Wikipedia.
The first conference to be held in Bangalore on 12-13 January 2010, called WikiWars, invites participation from users, scholars, academics, practitioners, artists and other cultural workers, to share their experiences, ideas, experiments, innovations, applications and stories about Wikipedia. The WikiWars conference embodies the spirit that guides an open encyclopaedia like the Wikipedia, by referring to the edit battles that users enter into over topics that have many points of view. WikiWars also refers to the contradictory positions adopted by different stakeholders on the various issues of credibility, authority, verifiability and truth-telling, on the Wikipedia. This conference calls for diverse and varied knowledges to come together in a critical dialogic space that informs and augments our understanding of the Wikipedia.
The possible themes and areas for presentations (projects, experiences, experiments, stories or documentation) can include but are not limited to:
- Wiki Theory: Endorse, question/contest or delineate the theoretical approaches and view points on the Wikipedia
- Wikipedia and Critique of Western Knowledge Production: The predominance of textual or linguistic cultures, post-western knowledge production systems, and indigenous knowledge systems
- Wiki Art: Art that uses Wikipedia models, structures or data to explore and expand the practice of Wikipedia project; and accounts that document Wikipedia based art practices or debates
- Designing Debate: Suggestions, innovations, critiques and ideas that focus on the design and form of the Wikipedia, to explore the claims of neutrality, objectivity, emergent hierarchy, control and authenticity on the Wikipedia
- Critique of Free and Open: Areas like Wikipedia governance, economic practices of and around Wikipedia, and the nature of freedom in usage, production and participation on the Wikipedia
- Global Politics of Exclusion: Exploring questions of non-western material inclusion, language, connectedness, oral histories, women, non-geeks, and alternative material that cannot be documented on Wikipedia etc.
- The Place of Resistance: Space of resistance and dissent in the Wikipedia, structures that allow for alternative voices, experiences and ideas
- Wikipedia and Education: Wikipedia usage in classrooms as a teaching resource, and its effect on pedagogy, the role of Wikipedia in the knowledge production sector, and mobilisation of academic communities around the Wikipedia
Last date for submitting note of interest and funding options : 31st August 2009
How To Apply: To apply for the conference, please send the following information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 31st of August, 2009.
1. A note of interest (450 – 700 words) detailing your ideas and possible contribution
2. Your updated resume
3. A sample of your work (term papers, published articles, peer-reviewed papers, books, art-projects, social intervention projects etc.)
For the detail call for participation see: http://cis-india.org/research/conferences/wikiwars
For more information about the broader research network cpov see: http://cis-india.org/research/conferences/conference-blogs/Wikiwars
Research and editorial group: Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer (Amsterdam), Nathaniel Tkacz (Melbourne), Sunil Abraham (Bangalore), Johanna Niesyto (Siegen), Nishant Shah (Bangalore).