First and foremost, longest and most deserving, I have to award a prize to the astonishing Jeanette Wu:
It’s hard to even list the amount of help Jeanette has provided. She has helped with virtually every single east Asian entry I’ve done – Empress Myeongseong, Yoshiko Kawashima, the Trung Sisters, Tomoe Gozen, and especially Wu Zetian and Ching Shih. For Ching Shih, she actually retranslated the original text and sent it to me in an email, because the existing English language translation was inaccurate. This caused some consternation for the citation section of the book, when Harper-Collins folk asked what publisher had put out the translation I was citing, and I had to reply, “my email.” She is an absolute rockstar, and this doesn’t begin to convey my true level of thanks. Jeanette, you’re a demigod.
Next up, a really old one:
Stacy first pointed out my inaccurate terminology when referring to the Ethiopian Jewish population in the entry on Gudit, over a year and a half ago – namely, that “Falashah” was originally intended as an insult, and I should use “Beta Israeli” instead. Bonus points to Nurit, who in the comments added more information on the traditions of tallit and the usage thereof.
Next up, millerel1:
millerel1 pointed out that my usage of the term “slave” to describe Isabel Godin‘s enslaved servant Joaquim in the footnotes to her entry was dehumanizing, and that a better way of phrasing it (to rewire one’s thought processes to humanize the subject more) is “enslaved person.” Good point, so I changed it up! Thanks!
Next up, a book correction:
Sonja Marie wrote in to correct a book goof — I confused Mata Hari‘s kids. It’s incidental to the story, but it was her son who died as a toddler, not the daughter.
Next up, one that dated back to almost the beginning of the site:
Sargun pointed out that the symbol I’d put on Mai Bhago‘s headband was incorrect. I managed to fix it just in time to make the print deadline, so her art was correct for the book!
And last, two regarding the latest RP entry, on Vasilisa Vasilyevna:
Tumblr user traumatizedchildhood wrote in to query my use of the term “genderqueer” to refer to Vasilisa. After consulting with some friends wiser in modern gender terminology than I, it became clear I’d goofed on the terminology. To my current understanding, “genderqueer” is an umbrella term for anyone who doesn’t really identify with the “male or female” gender dichotomy, but has little bearing on how they present. “Gender Non-Conforming” (which is the term I switched to) indicates someone who expresses their gender differently than convention would have it (and may also not buy into the gender dichotomy). Seemed to fit the story of Vasilisa better.
At least, that seems to be the common definition – part of constructing your own gender identity is that definitions between people don’t always match up perfectly, and that’s okay.
Lastly, Tumblr user adelareau provided additional context that was lost in translation of the Vasilisa entry: