Centre for Internet & Society

Call for Participation: Conferences and Reader on critical insights and experiences on the Wikipedia

CPOV - Critical Point Of View : WikiWars

Call for Participation: Conference and Reader


CPOV (Critical Point of View) Context: The Wikipedia has emerged as the de facto global reference of dynamic knowledge. Different stakeholders – Wikipedians, users, academics, researchers, gurus of Web 2.0, publishing houses and governments have entered into fierce debates and discussions about what the rise of Wikipedia and Wiki cultures means and how they influence the information societies we live in. The Wikipedia itself has been at the centre of much controversy, pivoted around questions of accuracy, anonymity, vandalism, expertise and authority.

The Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore, India) and the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam, Netherlands) are working together to produce a critical Reader on Wikipedia and to build a Wikipedia Knowledge Network. Under the rubric CPOV, we propose two events that bring together different perspectives, approaches, experiences and stories that critically explore different questions and concerns around Wikipedia. The proceeds from these two events will result in a Reader that consolidates critical points of view about Wikipedia.

WikiWars Conference: The first conference to be held in Bangalore, called WikiWars, invites participation from users, scholars, academics, practitioners, artists and other cultural workers, to share their experiences, ideas, experiments, innovations, applications and stories about Wikipedia. The WikiWars conference embodies the spirit that guides an open encyclopaedia like the Wikipedia, by referring to the edit battles that users enter into over topics that have many points of view. WikiWars also refers to the contradictory positions adopted by different stakeholders on the various issues of credibility, authority, verifiability and truth-telling, on the Wikipedia. This conference calls for diverse and varied knowledges to come together in a critical dialogic space that informs and augments our understanding of the Wikipedia.

Conference Themes: The possible themes and areas for presentations (projects, experiences, experiments, stories or documentation) can include but are not limited to:

  • Wiki Theory: Endorse, question/contest or delineate the theoretical approaches and view points on the Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia and Critique of Western Knowledge Production: The predominance of textual or linguistic cultures, post-western knowledge production systems, and indigenous knowledge systems
  • Wiki Art: Art that uses Wikipedia models, structures or data to explore and expand the practice of Wikipedia project; and accounts that document Wikipedia based art practices or debates
  • Designing Debate: Suggestions, innovations, critiques and ideas that focus on the design and form of the Wikipedia, to explore the claims of neutrality, objectivity, emergent hierarchy, control and authenticity on the Wikipedia
  • Critique of Free and Open: Areas like Wikipedia governance, economic practices of and around Wikipedia, and the nature of freedom in usage, production and participation on the Wikipedia
  • Global Politics of Exclusion: Exploring questions of non-western material inclusion, language, connectedness, oral histories, women, non-geeks, and alternative material that cannot be documented on Wikipedia etc.
  • The Place of Resistance: Space of resistance and dissent in the Wikipedia, structures that allow for alternative voices, experiences and ideas
  • Wikipedia and Education: Wikipedia usage in classrooms as a teaching resource, and its effect on pedagogy, the role of Wikipedia in the knowledge production sector, and mobilisation of academic communities around the Wikipedia

For detailed information on each theme, please go to http://cis-india.org/publications/workshops/conference-blogs/Wikiwars

Who Should Apply: The conference in Bangalore aims to bring together an interesting mix of diverse voices from different cultures, geo-political spaces, and context-based practices from around the world, to start consolidating the approaches, experiences, and impact of the Wikipedia:

  1. Students and Wikipedia users who belong to different local chapters or have editorial/contribution experiences on the Wikipedia,
  2. Academics and publishers who are exploring the changes caused by Wikipedia, both in classroom pedagogy and in knowledge production systems,
  3. Researchers and theoreticians, practitioners and proponents, artists and social activists, who are interested in Wikipedia cultures and their socio-political conditions, should be attending this conference.

How To Apply: To apply for the conference, please send the following information by email to [email protected] by the 15th of October, 2009. 1. A note of interest (450 - 700 words) detailing your ideas and possible contribution 2. Your updated resume 3. A sample of your work (term papers, published articles, peer-reviewed papers, books, art-projects, social intervention projects etc.)

Conference time-line:

Announcement of short-listed proposals – 21st October, 2009.

Sharing of Detailed Proposals with all participants – 15th December, 2009

Announcement of Conference Schedule and Logistics – 30th December 2009

Online Registration for non-presenting participants –  3rd  January 2010

Conference Dates – 12th, 13th January 2010


Travel support: Travel support is available for some of the conference participants (national and international). The selected participants will be provided with the basic travel and accommodation costs for the duration of the conference from their home-countries/cities to travel to Bangalore for the conference. If you are applying for travel support, please indicate clearly in your “Note of Interest” any of these three options: 1. Full travel support required. 2. Partial travel support required with estimate. 3. Travel support not required. Travel support will be provided by the conference organisers on a case-by-case basis.

Conference Organisers: Sunil Abraham ([email protected]) and Nishant Shah ([email protected] ), Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. If there are any queries regarding the WikiWars conference please write to us.

Research and Editorial Team: Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer (Amsterdam), Nathaniel Tkacz (Melbourne), Johanna Niesyto (Siegen), Sunil Abraham and Nishant Shah (Bangalore).

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