Adrianne Wadewitz

academic and Wikipedian

Adrianne Wadewitz (January 6, 1977 – April 8, 2014) was an American feminist scholar of 18th-century British literature, a noted Wikipedian, and commenter upon (particularly) gender issues in Wikipedia.

Adrianne Wadewitz in 2012
Photo by: Ragesoss

Quotes edit

  • When I used my real name, all of a sudden there was a lot of commentary. 'Oh, you're a woman' or 'You can't really be a woman' or 'You don't write like a woman.' Or all of a sudden my arguments were not taken as seriously or were judged as hysterical or emotional.... So I got much more interested in why this was happening.
Wadewitz discussing the impact of Wikipedia (2012)
Video by Vgrigas
  • So I think one thing that Wikipedia has to do as a culture is ask itself, 'Are we willing– to be this– this self-selecting– and– and be this small?' We can have many more people if we’re willing to be a more welcoming community.
  • I know something about how the first encyclopedias were developed in the 18th century. And those encyclopedias almost completely excluded the history of women. And it’s one argument that we make all the time.
  • When we’re talking both to Wikipedians and people outside of Wikipedia, we say, 'Look, if we want to include all of these other narratives besides the typical narrative that we usually tell of dead white men, we’ve gotta get it in there now.'

About edit

Adrianne Wadewitz in 2012
Photo by Karen Sayre for Wikimedia Foundation
  • When Wadewitz showed Wikipedia's main page to her class one day, she found that the women featured were largely sexualised or portrayed as victims of a crime, while people of colour were represented as perpetrators of a crime.
  • Unlike the Wikipedia editor stereotype, Wadewitz was not a young male who was tech-obsessed. Still she found Wikipedia appealing as a way to spread her academic knowledge, which was sometimes seen by few, whereas her encyclopedic entries might be read by millions.
  • While nearly all of us use the Internet to fact check, learn about topics and read the news, some of us contribute more than others to the knowledge pool. Adrianne Wadewitz was one such woman.
  • Wadewitz was an educator who did not live to make money from her knowledge. Instead, she chose to spread her knowledge as freely as possible for the good of readers everywhere.
  • Dr. Wadewitz wrote and edited extensively on Wikipedia during the final 10 years of her life, contributing 36 featured articles and more than 49,000 edits.
  • Legendary in the Wikipedia world, Wadewitz had more than 50,000 'edits' or contributions to her credit. She also was the author of 36 'featured' articles, the highest distinction bestowed by other Wikipedians based on accuracy, fairness, style and comprehensiveness.
  • Wadewitz eventually came out as a Wikipedian, the term the encyclopedia uses to describe the tens of thousands of volunteers who write and edit its pages. A rarity as a woman in the male-centric Wikipedia universe, she became one of its most valued and prolific contributors as well as a force for diversifying its ranks and demystifying its inner workings.
  • Archivists take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. You think there's a troll behind the screen and don't know what's going on, what's the accountability. She walked us through this great unknown, Wikipedia land. She put us at ease.

See also edit

External links edit

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