We are excited to share with you that Savannah Cragin has just been appointed as the ‘Wikipedian In Residence’ and Peer Consultant for Summer 2020. In consultation with the AC Center and the University Library, Savannah will hold online office hours and be available for individual appointments to help coach all instructors and students who are editing, interested in editing, or learning to edit Wikipedia pages as well as to communicate the norms and expectations of the Wikipedia community to first-time editors. The American Cultures Center has a long history of supporting curriculum-based Wikipedia editing, including its’ collaboration with Wiki Education and the hiring of the first Wikipedian in Residence at an American college or university. Savannah comes to us having received her training in Wikipedia and on the topics of privacy, cybersecurity, and surveillance from the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Privacy. IRGP will also join the AC Center and Wiki Education in the ongoing training and support of the newest Wikipedian in Residence. IRGP is one of the campus's most consistent training grounds for Wikipedians and a driving force on the campus towards efforts to diversify who edits Wikipedia.
According to Naniette H. Coleman, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Sociology Department at Berkeley and the Executive Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Privacy who has hosted projects on Wikipedia since 2016: “In an environment where the line between real and fake news appears to be thinning, Wikipedia is critical in the spread of just and well researched, rhetoric free speech, especially for populations who lack access to journal articles ubiquitous at universities, but are tucked behind paywalls. In our current times, developing Wikipedia articles is critical and the digital literacy skills especially useful. Beyond just creating and editing Wikipedia articles that allow students to create collaborative online work with a visible impact on a global audience, projects like those done by AC Center and IRGP continue to ensure that the people have access to the most ink. Whether adding new sources to existing Wikipedia pages or creating new pages or angles on notable topics currently missing (e.g. Whitewashing and whitesplaining), students gain deeper insight into their course material and learn to evaluate critically the reliability of sources. In the case of our work at IRGP, which means that whenever you Google “social profiling” the first thing that comes up is a widely viewed Wikipedia page created by a young woman of color from Berkeley.”
In our current times, developing Wikipedia articles is especially useful. Creating and editing Wikipedia articles allow students to create collaborative online work with a visible impact on a global audience. Whether adding new sources to existing Wikipedia pages or creating new pages on notable topics, students gain deeper insight into their course material and learn to evaluate critically the reliability of sources.
It is our hope that this position, will develop the infrastructure to continue to support Wikipedia pages as assignments and to train future Wikipedia peer consultants. Savannah brings years of experience as a Wikipedia editor as an undergraduate researcher in the URAP, SURF/SMART programs at UC Berkeley.
Savannah's Office Hours are Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. If you would like to schedule an individual appointment with Savannah, please email wikipedian(at)berkeley.edu. Please join us in welcoming Savannah Cragin as the AC Wikipedia Peer Consultant for Summer 2020.