Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: March 13, 2023, 6:50 a.m. Humanist 36.435 - events cfp: Wikipedia & memory

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 435.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2023-03-13 00:23:39+00:00
        From: Michael Falk <>
        Subject: CFP closing this Friday: wikihistories 2023

wikihistories 2023: Wikipedia and its implications for memory (and forgetting)

CFP closes Friday 17th of March


Online on the 8th and 9th of June Australian time.
Day 1 will take place from 1000-1300 AEST, for participants in the Asia Pacific
Day 2 will take palce from 1600-1900 AEST, for participants in Africa and Europe


Dr Shira Klein, Associate Professor of History at Chapman University, and co-
author of the blockbuster “Wikipedia’s Intentional Distortion of the History of
the Holocaust” (

Dr Simon Sleight, Reader in History at King’s College London, co-editor of
“History, Memory and Public Life: The Past in the Present” (Routledge, 2018) and
author of “Young People and the Shaping of Public Space in Melbourne, 1870-1914”
(Routledge, 2013).


From its earliest beginnings shortly before 911, Wikipedia has documented
history as it happens. Revolutions, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, 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”
mean for history-making on the platform? Researchers have noted that recent
events are covered more than early history, and stories are more often presented
from colonialist rather than local perspectives. More recently, Wikipedia has
been uncovered as a site of both conscious forgetting and the “frenzy of
commemorations,” 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?
- 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?

In this first annual workshop of the wikihistories project, we will take stock
of what we know and what we still need to know about Wikipedia as a history-
making platform. We do this because Wikipedia’s representation of history
matters. Its facts travel through knowledge ecosystems and rest as answers to
questions provided by digital assistants, search engines and other AI-enhanced
tools. Wikipedia’s claims to neutrality are more a hope than a promise, a guise
that hides the dreams and ideologies of the individuals and groups that
understand its power and are determined to master its form.


Send an abstract of 250-300 to<> We expect a mixture of
both analytical and methodological contributions for the event which will be
held annually for the 3 years of the wikihistories project.


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