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New Calhoun College master:
you can look her up

If you look up "Julia Adams" on Wikipedia, you'll find an article about actor Julie Adams, star of TV and movie Westerns in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. You won't find the Yale sociologist and deputy provost, who's just been named the new master of Calhoun College.

To be sure, not all of Yale's deputy provosts have Wikipedia entries. But Adams's absence from the online encyclopedia is a bit ironic, given that she's the co-prinicipal investigator on a National Science Foundation–funded study of “Wikipedia and the Democratization of Academic Knowledge.”

“The world's single most important reference tool,” Wikipedia “was supposed to have democratized knowledge,” the study abstract says. “Yet an emerging body of research indicates that Wikipedia suffers from systematic gender bias.” Adams and her co-PI want to find out why.

At Calhoun, Adams will succeed the popular Jonathan Holloway ’95PhD, who also investigates systematic bias as a historian of Jim Crow America. (It was Holloway who organized a panel discussion this winter on the legacy of John C. Calhoun, Yale class of 1804 and leading pro-slavery politician, whose name and images Calhoun College bears.)

A former chair of the sociology department, Adams “has established herself as a dedicated university citizen,” President Peter Salovey ’86PhD said in announcing her appointment as Calhoun master. The search committee described her as “vibrant, approachable, and energetic,” he added.

Adams herself was more succinct, according to the Yale Daily News: “I’ve been at Yale 10 years and by far this is my most exciting day.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Julia Adams, Calhoun College, Wikipedia
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