The Class 
ENG103 focuses on the investigative and evaluative process required to write effective research documents. This particular section will emphasize the difference between types of research writing by having students collaborate in creating a substantial encyclopedic entry in Wikipedia as well as writing individual thesis-based research papers.

Why Wikipedia?
  • With its global reach and circulation, Wikipedia is one of the current social experiments where people who care about making knowledge accessible to everyone can help disseminate information that is presently available only to a minute part of the world. 
  • Because editing Wikipedia is 
    • implementing and practicing 21st Century writing, which may be defined as a) web-based; b) social and collaborative; c) a work in perpetual progress; d) immediately visible, thus prompting immediate feedback; e) easily available and accessible. 
    • shifting from being knowledge consumers to being knowledge creators on the Internet 
    • experiencing the pleasure and pain of real-world publication 
    • becoming involved in a community of smart, caring, helpful, sophisticated people 

Why Octavia E. Butler?
From Wikipedia's page on its systemic bias:
The Wikipedia project strives for a neutral point of view in its coverage of subjects, but it is inhibited by systemic bias that perpetuates a bias against underrepresented cultures, topics and groups within society....[resulting] in an imbalanced coverage of subjects on Wikipedia. 
As on Wikipedia, so in science fiction, especially when Butler was growing up. In an interview on Charlie Rose interview, the novelist explained why she became a writer:
You got to make your own worlds. You got to write yourself in. Whether you [are] a part of the greater society or not, you got to write yourself in. So I wrote myself in.
Becoming an active participant in the knowledge-sharing project that is Wikipedia, then, is a variant of Butler's "writing yourself in." One of the reasons for the lack of diversity among Wikipedia contributors is the message that we are told and that we sometimes repeat to ourselves as women and as people of color: "You’re not an expert. You don’t know enough. You are an impostor." We are here to change that message.

The Professors
Ximena Gallardo C. (a.k.a. Dr. X) is a gender and film scholar who has published and presented widely on issues of representation in popular culture. She has been a Wikipedia editor since 2012 and a WikiEd instructor since 2014. Her current Wikipedia project is to have LaGuardia students better the entries of famed American speculative writer Octavia E. Butler, the "grand dame of science fiction."

Dr. Gallardo is Feminism Editor for Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture and Co-chair for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Area for the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association. Her book, Alien Woman, a study of the representation of women and gender in the Alien film series, was co-authored with C. Jason Smith.

Ann Matsuuchi is an instructional technology librarian and associate professor at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. Her research interests include gender issues in science fiction, comic books and the work of sf writers Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler. Ann has been involved  with educational outreach with the Wikimedia NYC chapter and has worked with instructors using Wikipedia in their courses at various colleges and in areas such as English, psychology, art, anthropology and digital humanities. 

xgallardo@lagcc.cuny.edu                                    amatsuuchi@lagcc.cuny.edu
On Wikipedia:  User:Doctorxgc                             On Wikipedia: User: Mozucat