:::: the hidden layer

16 Feb

By drawing on interviews with 16 users of the English, French and German language versions of the Wikipedia, my brief talk at Wikiwars explored the hidden layer of the translingual. In the interviews I included users with different roles as well as user with different translingual experiences.

In the interviews, disconnecting aspects are spelled out in the first place in terms of what is actually happening on the Wikipedia. Looking at the connecting aspects in particular the manual and bot-based setting of interlanguage links is often understood as common practice and technique and said to be the central and technological basis of Wikipedia as a project in which different language versions are linked.

Besides, the ‘trans’ of translingual knowledge production is described by the interviewed users in subtle ways as a hidden layer of knowledge production, most of all in terms of ideas about the Wikipedia’s key principle NPoV. In my talk I introduced the two main user definitions of the principle as SPoV (Scientific Point of View) and PPoV (Pluralistic point of Views). Based on this distinction I raised questions about how these principles may be ‘scaled up’ by creating a space of knowledge production across language versions.

Ideas about the translingual are not obvious across language versions but best described as latently existent in the sense of being hidden in the background. Already Bernhard Peters has argued that one should trace changes in “public culture” instead of hunting established consensus within the deliberative framework. I would like to refer on this idea in the sense that change implies contentious interaction of discourse and counter discourse and different constellations of latency and manifestation. So what is latent may become apparent…

A summary of my talk written by Stuart Geiger you find here (but please note that I did not use the notion of ‘cosmopolitanism’).

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