The Subversive Potential of Wikipedia: A Resource for Diversifying Political Science Content Online
By Claire Timperley, Victoria University of Wellington
Wikipedia is a powerful tool that reinforces dominant knowledge paradigms, especially those emanating from the Global North. Simultaneously, it has subversive potential to challenge these paradigms, offering a far-reaching platform to voices that have been traditionally marginalized and underserved. Despite this potential, instructors often employ an “abstinence approach” to Wikipedia, telling students to avoid using it in their academic work. This article advocates for active engagement with Wikipedia with the aim of challenging bias resulting from omission or underrepresentation of particular material to develop more diverse, publicly accessible political science content. First, I explain the theoretical objectives of the assignment and describe its structure. Then I reflect on its successes, challenges, and possible modifications.