EVENT: wikihistories2023 Wikipedia and its implications for memory (and forgetting)

Registration is now open for the first annual wikihistories symposium: Wikipedia and its implications for memory (and forgetting), a free virtual conference that will be re-run across a number of time zones between June 7th and June 9th to best accommodate registrants around the world. The symposium will feature keynotes by Dr. Shira Klein, author of “Wikipedia’s Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust,” and Dr. Simon Sleight, co-editor of History, Memory and Public Life: The Past in the Present. 

From the event description:

From its earliest beginnings shortly before 911,[1] Wikipedia has documented history as it happens. Revolutions,[2] terrorist attacks,[3] earthquakes,[4] fires and floods have been written about on the platform, often within minutes of the first recorded protests, attacks, and blazes. This practice of documentation, conducted by volunteers who are connected by shared interest rather than shared expertise, falls between the disciplines of digital journalism and history. What does Wikipedia’s coverage of events “that haven’t even stopped happening yet”[5] mean for history-making on the platform? Researchers have noted that recent events are covered more than early history[6], and stories are more often presented from colonialist rather than local perspectives.[7] More recently, Wikipedia has been uncovered as a site of both conscious forgetting and the “frenzy of commemorations,”[8] a venue for nationalist propaganda projecting particular stories that favour particular ideologies and social groups.

  • How does Wikipedia construct history and collective memory?
  • Does Wikipedia enable the forging of a collective memory via consensus?[9]
  • How are some versions of the past pushed to the fringes?
  • What gets remembered and what gets forgotten?
  • How can we study history-making on the platform?

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Rebecca Saunders, Ruth Carpenter, Stephanie Mahar, Basia Kapolka, Mimosa Shah, David Sye, Jina DuVernay, Jennifer Sterling, and Marissa Friedman (Editors-at-large for the week), Claudia Berger and Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (Editors for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Linsey Ford, Pamella Lach, Hillary Richardson, John Russell, and Rachel Starry (dh+lib Review Editors).