The NCWHS extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the remarkable Adrianne Wadewitz, an extraordinary leader among those of us who work to preserve and educate about the history of women. Just 10 days after Adrianne led the marvelous NCPH workshop “Wikipedia 101” (described below), she fell while engaging in one of her great passions—climbing—at Joshua Tree, and died as a result of her injuries. An article by Cathy Davidson on the HASTAC website captures the collective shock and dismay as word spread through the many communities touched by Adrianne’s warmth, intellect and collegiality. A wonderful post on her blog describes her passion for climbing and what she learned from it–well worth a read.
We here at NCWHS came to know her through her dedication to Wikipedia, and especially the place of women and women’s history in that important venue. Articles on Adrianne’s thoughtful and substantive blog (like “Who speaks for the women of Wikipedia? Not the women of Wikipedia,” “The struggle over gender on Wikipedia: the case of Chelsea Manning,” and “Looking at the five pillars of Wikipedia as a feminist”) helped us see both the pitfalls and potential for Wikipedia as a tool to promote and preserve women’s history, and at our Monterey workshop she took special pains to help us and our participants think through the opportunities greater engagement with that venue have to offer.
Her untimely death is a devastating loss to so many communities. Her family has suggested that donations in her honor can be sent to the Wikimedia Foundation. To learn more about Adrianne’s commitment to this organization, and to watch a wonderful video of her in action talking about Wikipedia and pedagogy, click here. Thank you Adrianne, for everything you did for us, and everything you’ve done for our world.