A Day of Public Talks & a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon!
April 9th 2019, 11am-3.45pm
Digital Scholarship Commons, Mearns Centre for Learning, McPherson Library

How can those who work and study at the university engage with everyday online practices? At “Online Engagement Within and Beyond the University,” the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL; etcl.uvic.ca) and the University of Victoria Libraries (libraries.uvic.ca) bring together talks and a Wikipedia-edit-a-thon to explore this concept, with a thematic focus on women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. This day-long event on April 9th runs from 11am-3.45pm in the Digital Scholarship Commons, with lunch provided. A light reception at the Grad House will follow.


  • Dr. Constance Crompton (U Ottawa), 2017-19 Honorary Resident Wikipedian at the ETCL and U Victoria Libraries will give a public talk titled “Present in All: Introducing the Humanities to Machines”
  • Over a provided lunch, ETCL Open Knowledge Practicum participants will do digital demonstrations of their work.
  • Following lunch, participants are invited to a “Women in STEM” Wikipedia edit-a-thon, where you can learn how to edit the global, online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Dr. Matt Huculak and Michael Radmacher will facilitate this session, and current members of the ETCL’s Open Knowledge Practicum program will be on-hand to assist with editing as well. Participants are welcome to put their personal knowledge to work online, or to work with the holdings of the U Victoria Libraries or the U Ottawa library to create or improve Wikipedia pages on women working in STEM fields.
  • To conclude the day, U Victoria alum Jen Polack will give a public talk titled “Social Media for Social Enterprises.”

Many still wonder whether Wikipedia is a legitimate source for finding information. Can a free, “amateur” encyclopedia be trusted? We think so. Wikipedia attracts 70,000 active contributors who work on 41,000,000 articles in 294 languages. Constance Crompton speaks on the relationship between Wikipedia and academia and how it can be harnessed by academics to provide a well-researched, free resource to the public. Jen Polack will speak to social media practices from the perspective of an Indigenous organization, Animikii.

This event is free of charge and open to UVic students, staff, faculty, librarians, administrators, and the general public. Edit-a-thon participants are kindly asked to bring a laptop (laptops may be borrowed from Music & Media in the library) and to register via http://bit.ly/UVicOnlineEngagement

Participants are welcome to bring their own material to contribute to Wikipedia, or else to draw resources from the UVic Libraries or U Ottawa Women in STEM collection that Dr. Crompton will provide access to. Please let us know if there is a specific subject matter or artifact from U Victoria’s Special Collections and University Archives that you would like to work with so that the archivists may have it on hand for you on the day of.

Schedule – all events to take place in Digital Scholarship Commons, with reception at Grad House to follow

  • 11am-11.10am, Welcome by Margaret Cameron (U Victoria)
  • 11.10am-12pm, Constance Crompton (U Ottawa) talk & discussion, “Present in All: Introducing the Humanities to Machines”; Introduction by  Lisa Goddard (U Victoria)
  • 12pm-1pm, Lunch (provided) and ETCL Open Knowledge Practicum digital demonstrations
  • 1pm-3pm, Wikipedia overview by Matt Huculak (U Victoria) & Michael Radmacher (U Victoria) and edit-a-thon, theme: Women in STEM
  • 3pm-3.45pm, Jen Polack (Animikii) talk & discussion, “Social Media for Social Enterprises”; Introduction by Sara Humphreys (U Victoria)
  • 4pm-5pm, Light reception, Grad House

“Present in All: Introducing the Humanities to Machines” (Constance Crompton, U Ottawa)
Speaking in 1965 James Baldwin reminded us that “history, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read… the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.  It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.” As researchers engaged with the Humanities, Baldwin’s reminder seems natural enough to us, indeed it may even echo the sentiments that motivated us to take up Humanities work. But, in the age of unsupervised AI, what do computers know about the Humanities, and specifically, about human history? This talk introduces Wikidata, a Wikimedia project that feeds over 280 non-English Wikipedia. Initially funded by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Google, Wikidata is the first new Wikimedia project since 2016, and one of the largest repositories of structured data in the Humanities. The talk concludes with the introduction of Humanities projects that contribute to and draw from Wikidata, to keep history present in all that we (digitally) do.

“Social Media for Social Enterprises” (Jen Polack, Animikii)
Words have power. What you say and write can influence how others see you, help you understand different sides of an issue, and even influence how you think about yourself. In today’s age where writing has moved beyond that of novels and poetry and into the realm of social media, what we write has the power to make change – either positive or negative – on a broad scale. Social media has integrated itself into our lives to a degree where we have almost forgotten its power and influence. But the question is whether we use this power to meet our own needs or harness the power of words to help our communities and families.​ ​This talk will show how social media can be used by a business in a socially conscious way. At Animikii, we base every aspect of the business on the 7 Grandfather Teachings, including digital communications. Through this talk attendees will learn how to successfully implement a social media campaign, use analytics to your advantage, and discover best practices for launching, maintaining, and analyzing your social media accounts. Attendees will also learn how to ensure your communications comes from a place of love, respect, truth, humility, honesty, wisdom, and courage which will, in turn, make your campaigns more authentic, sincere, and effective.

Dr. Constance Crompton is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa. She is also co-director, with Michelle Schwartz, of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada project, and a researcher with the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership. Dr. Crompton serves as the Vice-President English of the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques, Associate Director of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and Research Collaborator with The Yellow Nineties Online, housed at Ryerson University’s Centre for Digital Humanities. Dr. Crompton received a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University. Her research interests include digital humanities, queer history, Victorian visual and popular culture, prosopography, and code as a representative medium, and her work on these topics and others has appeared in a number of edited collections as well as the Victorian Review, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, Digital Humanities Quarterly, UBC Law Review, and Digital Studies/Le champ numérique.

Jen Polack manages content, social media, and multimedia projects for both Animikii and their digital communications clients. She is I’sga (Nakota Sioux) and Danish with relations from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation in Alberta on Treaty 6 territory. Jen began her journey with Animikii as a freelance copywriter and later worked as a co-op student while she was pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English, Professional Communications, and Cooperative Education. Jen is a passionate advocate for women – particularly Indigenous women – working in technology and strives to promote and celebrate the female voice in a predominantly male industry. When experiencing writer’s block, Jen likes to spend the day baking bread, gaming, and exploring Vancouver Island. Jen lives and works on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees) Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.

The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) and UVic Libraries are pleased to host Dr. Crompton as their 2017-19 Honorary Resident Wikipedian, a role that was previously held by Dr. Christian Vandendorpe from 2014–2016. This initiative is co-sponsored by the ETCL, UVic Libraries, Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Please direct any inquiries to the ETCL via Alyssa Arbuckle (<alyssaa@uvic.ca>), and / or to the UVic Libraries via Matt Huculak (huculak@uvic.ca).

Registration, for lunch, Wikipedia edit-a-thon, and reception:<http://bit.ly/UVicOnlineEngagement> Please write to Alyssa Arbuckle (<alyssaa@uvic.ca>) directly if you have any food allergies or specifications that we should be aware of.