Submissions/An interdisciplinary approach to Wikipedia: literary criticism, linguistics, anthropology, and sociolinguistic research


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
An interdisciplinary approach to Wikipedia: literary criticism, linguistics, anthropology, and sociolinguistic research.
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
J. Gustavo Góngora (User:Góngora)
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Uruguay, but I'm currently living in Spain.
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
UNED (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia), Amical.
Personal homepage or blog
Me on
Me on
One of the aims of this dissertation is to explain briefly how Wikipedia has fulfilled a crucial role in minor cultures. For the introduction, I would like to include and to praise, if allowed to do so, two great pioneer examples of what has become a worldwide phenomenon. When I was thinking of it, two ideas immediately came to my mind, one of them was, “Is Wikimedia the legacy of a Poststructuralist movement?” Authors and proficient thinkers such as Barthes and Foucault advocated for the end of what can be understood as the author-text connection. No more authors, no more copyrighted work to claim rights on it. What it really matters after all is the text. This was primarily exposed in the 1980s in essays such as The Death of the Author and What is the Author? Roland Barthes held that the reader (the recipient) begins with the metaphorical death of the author. I am convinced that their points of view, even if summarized for the purpose of this introduction, shaped, indirectly, what Wikimedia is about.
Then, I would like to comment on some interdisciplinary approach to the project. My emphasis will be on the linguistic/literary field of the humanities, and then, to finish with, a brief sociolinguistic study to show how Wikipedia has helped to shape, to enrich and to make different varieties of a same language coexist. A brief survey would consist on analyzing a few samples of articles in more than one language, compare, and contrast significant and important linguistic variations which will eventually reflect the scope of outreach of Wikipedia, since this research will be based on geographical and idiolectal varieties of their editors.
Finally, the study of Wikipedia can be undertaken as an anthropological concern. In this sense, there is much to say on Levy-Strauss and, more specifically, on how the well-known Saussure’s concept of signifier/signified can be reflected on Wikipedia (Fusions, redirections, conventions of style, etc.)
As you all may see, the aim of this proposal is to make a brief and general survey on how the humanities can be applied to a concise analysis of this worldwide phenomenon and also how Wikimedia sister projects have opened a very new field of investigation.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted? Yes.
Slides or further information (optional)
This investigation is based on my field of study, English Philology, and on my own experience as a Wikimedian.

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  1. --Mafoso 13:39, 29 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Jodi.a.schneider 18:24, 13 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. El Ágora 05:08, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --Lucien leGrey 10:09, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  5. --Ivanmartinez 14:48, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  6. B1mbo 16:46, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Marinna 01:10, 23 May 2010 (UTC).[reply]
  8. --Gomà 10:26, 25 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  9. --Isha 14:35, 25 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Kocio 11:44, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Mayooranathan 20:13, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Amir E. Aharoni 06:39, 22 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Jon Harald Søby 18:33, 26 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Cdani 12:13, 27 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Zack 03:20, 2 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]