|Users by language|
Hello! My name is Johanna Niesyto and I'm interested in analyzing different language versions (en/de/fr) in a platform like Wikipedia, a system with geographically dispersed contributors. Also, I'm very much interested in academic exchange. I'm a political science phD candidate, living in Cologne and working in Siegen, Germany. Information about my dissertation project you find also here; for details about my research group see Humanities Collaborative Research Centre 'Media Upheavals'
Why Wikpedia As Transnational/lingual Public Space?
I have chosen Wikipedia as example since current analysis conducted in the field of cultural studies and political public sphere has focused primarily on virtualized communication of social movement actors (e.g. Baringhorst 2005; Winter 2009). Hence, I hope that my research in three language versions of Wikpedia (DE; EN; F) can trace rather appropriation of new media in popular culture.
‘Collaboration culture’ implies the willingness to share information and opinions and the willingness to be open towards the communication of the ‘other’. Besides, cooperation requires „the democratic minimum of the shared ability to initiate deliberation” (Bohman 2007: 93) This ability is best illustrated in Wikis as another many-to-many communication application. A Wiki is a type of collaborative website, a set of linked pages that enables documents to be authored collectively. Its structure and content are open to editing and evolution. When it comes to public outbound-oriented communication the most interesting thing is the discussion page of Wikipedia. Research on Wikipedia suggests that due to the pluralist and non-hierarchic nature of the medium, Wiki debates are often conflictual and their solution is found in ambiguity (Matei/Dobrescu 2006). This underlines interactions between decentred publics are rather in favour of making a common structure of dissent visible. By analysing the German, English and French versions of Wikipedia articles evolving around a common issue of conflict, differences and similarities with regard to the organisation of issue networks and (counter-)discourse can be detected. Looking at different what I term cultures of publics, discussions on the talk pages and the underlying (in-)visible social networks of Wikipedians need to be also analysed.
The aim of my thesis is to examine Wikipedia as one of many virtualised communicative spaces where connections to the political are made. By interrogating the democratic quality of virtualised translingual public sphere(s), the key question at stake is: If and to what extent goes the integrative function of political public sphere(s) linked with claims of consensus hand in hand with rather text-based peer-to-peer production of public connections across and within language and/or national borders?
I will attend this year's Wikimania. I look very much forward to get to know Wikipedians coming from different places as I am curious to learn more about their personal 'transwiki' experiences.