Public Archaeology's Mammoth in the Room: Engaging Wikipedia as a Tool for Teaching and Outreach

Katherine M. Grillo, Daniel A. Contreras
2019 Advances in Archaeological Practice  
Although archaeology has become increasingly concerned with engaging diverse publics, and has embraced the internet as a means of facilitating such engagement, attitudes towards Wikipedia have—understandably—been more ambivalent. Nevertheless, we argue here, Wikipedia's popularity and reach mean that archaeologists should actively engage with the website by adding and improving archaeological content. One way to do this is in the classroom: this paper provides a detailed how-to for instructors
more » ... to for instructors interested in having students create new Wikipedia content. We provide a case study in Wikipedia engagement from an advanced undergraduate course on African Archaeology, assess a program (Wiki Education) designed to help, and suggest further avenues for future outreach. We conclude that Wikipedia's utopian mission aligns with many of the goals of public archaeology, and argue that archaeology has much to gain by engaging with—rather than ignoring or even shunning—Wikipedia.
doi:10.1017/aap.2019.8 fatcat:oomivdknd5aejpnhon7hw4koae