Tribute to Adrianne Wadewitz
Written by Alex Juhasz and Anne Balsamo
It is with grief and shock that FemTechNet marks the untimely death of our remarkable collaborator and colleague, Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz. Within our community of feminist scholars, artists and activists, she was a leader, innovator, and expert. Her work for FemTechNet, collaborating with other instructors and students on our Wikistorming Committee, had deep impact for our community, and will have lasting effect as feminists around the world continue to follow her lead as they add feminist voices, influences, histories, and theories into Wikipedia.
Many of us first met Adrianne when she came to Claremont in December of 2012 to lead our “Feminist, Anti-Racist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon,” a precursor of what would become our feminist wikistorming campaign, under Adrianne’s leadership. We engaged her in her capacity as a Wikimedia Foundation Ambassador: she was to teach us how to edit Wikipedia. Little did we know that this Ambassador embodied an impressive and engaging mix of knowledge of and commitment to Wikipedia, feminist scholarship and politics, and an open, warm, and genuine public speaking style. She became one of us immediately.
Since that earliest engagement, Adrianne worked with the FemTechNet community to develop and then successfully guide the FemTechNet Storming Wikipedia Campaign. When the media learned of our courageous and radical engagements, Adrianne spoke up on behalf of the project. She served as our voice in our productive collaborations with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, who supported our efforts in large part because Adrianne translated FemTechNet’s goals so effectively and honestly to other members of the Wikipedia community.
Quite recently, one of our signature “video dialogues” about the Keyword Wikistorming was recorded as a conversation between Dr. Wadewitz and her friend, and colleague, Jacqueline Wernimont. We believe this video is the most fitting testament to all we admired, and loved about Adrianne: her clarity, intelligence, broad range of expertise, commitment, and openness. Although most of us in FemTechNet only knew Adrianne “virtually,” some of us had the honor to also engage with her in person. It is a testament to our shared commitments to feminist community, pedagogy, and politics—and Adrianne’s unique capacity to embody such goals in her work and daily life—that we so mourn her as a friend and colleague.
She leaves an impressive legacy of contributions to Wikipedia. Her guidance continues as other step forward to contribute content to Wikipedia and improve its citation practices that expand the inclusiveness and fairness of Wikipedia most broadly. We will continue such efforts in her name, ever grateful for her guidance and early inspiration.
Adrianne Wadewitz in FemTechNet Videos:
“Editing on Wikipedia,” Vimeo, April 27, 2013.
“Feminism, Technology, and Wiki Storming: A Video Dialogue with Jacqueline Wernimont and Adrianne Wadewitz,“ FemTechNet Commons, January 30, 2014.
Links for further information:
“Remembering Adrianne Wadewitz: Scholar, Communicator, Teacher, Leader,” HASTAC, posted by Cathy Davidson, April 10, 2014.
“Wikimedian activist Adrianne Wadewitz dies,” Wikinews, April 10, 2014.
Adrianne Wadewitz’s Wikipedia User page, “User:Wadewitz,” Wikipedia, April 10, 2014.
For updates on future events to remember and celebrate Adrianne Wadewitz:
Tribute to Adrianne Wadewitz by Alex Juhasz and Anne Balsamo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.