Understanding Wikipedia’s Dark Matter

Translation and Multilingual Practice in the World’s Largest Online Encyclopaedia

Hong Kong Baptist University
15-17 December 2021 | Online via Zoom
Second Call for Papers


Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopaedia. It has 303 active language editions, which were accessed from 1.7bn unique devices during October 2020. Now over twenty years old, the encyclopaedia has been studied by academics working within a range of disciplines since the mid-2000s, although it is only relatively recently that it has started attracting the attention of translation scholars too. During a short space of time we have learnt a considerable amount about topics such as translation quality, translation and cultural remembrance, multilingual knowledge production and point of view, the prominent role played by narratives in articles reporting on news stories, and how translation is portrayed in multiple language versions of the Wikipedia article on the term itself. However, translation largely remains Wikipedia's ‘dark matter’: not only is it difficult to locate, but researchers have so far struggled to map out the full extent of its contribution to this multilingual resource. Our aim in organising this international event is to allow the research community to take stock of the progress made so far and to identify new avenues for future work.



It is thus hoped that the conference will serve as a platform for interdisciplinary exchange on the latest developments in this area. Topics to be considered include but are not restricted to the following:


-          Research methodologies (e.g. identifying translated material; exploiting the Wikipedia ‘research ecosystem’; comparing content across multiple language editions; use of digital tools for data collection, analysis and visualisation; sentiment analysis);

-          Collaborativity vs. self-motivation among Wikipedia translator-editors, including the visibility of translator-editors on article Talk Pages;

-          Theoretical frameworks that have proven valuable for the study of Wikipedia translation (e.g. narrative theory, affect theory, critical discourse analysis);

-          The use of Wikipedia in the translation classroom;

-          The use of Wikipedia by translation professionals;

-          Research ethics and Wikipedia;

-          The nature of Wikipedia translation and how it differs not only from other more traditional types of translation but also from other newly emerging types;

-          Translation quality in Wikipedia;

-          How research into Wikipedia translation contributes to the digital turn in translation studies and/or to digital humanities;

-          Interdisciplinarity in research into Wikipedia translation, as well as research into the multilingual Wikipedia that makes no explicit reference to translation issues.


The conference will be one of the main research outputs from a research project funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (https://wikipediasdarkmatter.wordpress.com/). It is organised by the Centre for Translation and the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. We believe it will be the first major academic event dedicated to Wikipedia translation and hope that it will provide a strong basis for future collaboration and discussion.



We welcome proposals for paper and poster presentations in the form of an abstract of no more than 300 words. Please supply names, affiliations, e-mail addresses and short biographies (around 100 words) for all authors and specify a maximum of six keywords.


Submission deadline (extended): Wednesday 30th June 2021

Notification of acceptance/rejection: Friday 30th July 2021

Submission link: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=uwdm2021


Length of presentations: 30 minutes (20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion). The language of the conference is English.



Conference website: https://ctn.hkbu.edu.hk/wikiconf2021

Conference e-mail address: wikiconf@hkbu.edu.hk


Keynote speakers

Khaled Al-Shehari, Qatar University

Henry Jones, Aston University

Julie McDonough Dolmaya, York University

Jun Pan, Hong Kong Baptist University


Workshop convenors

Mark Shuttleworth, Hong Kong Baptist University

Zhilu Tu, Hong Kong Baptist University


Organising committee

Mark Shuttleworth, Hong Kong Baptist University (chair)

Henry Jones, Aston University

Robert Neather, Hong Kong Baptist University

Min-hua Liu, Hong Kong Baptist University

Jun Pan, Hong Kong Baptist University

Clara Chuan Yu, Hong Kong Baptist University


Programme committee

Khaled Al-Shehari, Qatar University

Esperança Bielsa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Sin-wai Chan, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong

Venus Chan, Open University of Hong Kong

Yi-Chiao Chen, National University of Singapore

Ali Jalalian Daghigh, University of Malaya

Federico Federici, UCL

Lincoln Fernandes, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Sandra Halverson, Universitetet i Agder

Catherine Hardie, Hong Kong Baptist University

Prabhakar Rao Jandhyala, University of Hyderabad

Henry Jones, Aston University

Ester Leung, University of Melbourne

Julie McDonough Dolmaya, York University

Robert Neather, Hong Kong Baptist University

Maeve Olohan, University of Manchester

Jun Pan, Hong Kong Baptist University

Serge Sharoff, University of Leeds

Mark Shuttleworth, Hong Kong Baptist University

Ulrich Tiedau, UCL

Jessica Yeung, Hong Kong Baptist University

Clara Chuan Yu, Hong Kong Baptist University

Meifang Zhang, University of Macau

Nan Zhao, Hong Kong Baptist University

Chunshen Zhu, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen

Posted by The Editors on 14th May 2021
in Call for Papers

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