Re: [xmca] mediational theories of mind: Suggestions requested

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sun Sep 02 2007 - 10:39:35 PDT

I prefer to think of it as early in the month, Jay.
Lots of good sugggestions there, some of which I am already considering or
have decided upon.(olson, where is your review?)
My mind this morning is going to burke and dramatism, ritual, etc.

On a slightly different topic I attach John Shotter's interesting review of
herb clark on joint, mediated, activity, as the unity of analaysis in the
of language/communication. The review lays out a really principled
difference in the directions used for adopting this unit of analysis.

I am undecided between raw bakhtin and a mixture of short originals and
explications by clark and holquist on chronotopes and dialogism.

Remember, I am teaching in a comm dept, not an ed department: both easier
and harder.

On 9/1/07, Jay Lemke <> wrote:
> Mike,
> Maybe getting a bit late in the week for these suggestions, but I
> certainly find computer games, and much of the related new-media culture to
> have interesting implications for how different media afford us different
> "minds".
> Very interesting to me is the work of Henry Jenkins, see essays in his (1)
> Convergence Culture, and (2) Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers. Also useful of
> course is Jim Gee's _What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning &
> Literacy_. There are interesting pieces by Constance Steinkuehler (now
> faculty at Wisconsin, former student of Gee's) on games and learning, and by
> Mimi (Mizuko) Ito (Annenberg School, USC) on mobile phone culture in the US
> and Japan. These are all more 'communication & society' oriented than
> education oriented, though of course "learning" is a pivot term twixt the
> two.
> Ricki Goldman (NYU, ex MIT Media Lab) has been thinking and writing about
> how video, particularly the making of amateur video, is a tool-for-thought.
> She has an essay on this, and I have something related, in the new _Handbook
> of Video Research in the Learning Sciences_, edited by Goldman, Roy Pea, et
> al., just published.
> The new McLuhan, in some respects, is Lev Manovich, and he does have
> interesting things to say along these lines about new media in _The Language
> of New Media_. I think he even pays homage to Marshall.
> There are some useful citations at:
> and
> though these do not have the more complete bibliographies which are on
> intranet sites on our campus. If you like, I can send or post them.
> JAY.
> PS. your idea of using Turkle and Wisdom of Crowds is creative, though the
> latter disappointed a bit. And then there's always David Olson's _The World
> on Paper_ (and my review of it!), if you want to really get your students
> embroiled in the debates about writing as tool-for-thought!
> BTW, Michael Halliday has written an extremely sophisticated essay
> critiquing the narrowness of traditional cognitive science views of mind,
> based on his general theory of meaning, which largely says that mind _is_
> the process of construing/constructing meaning with symbolic resources,
> particularly those of language and its implicit categories/relations. The
> critique mainly says that cogsci does not understand the linguistic basis of
> our culture's own folk theories of mind well enough to achieve its aim of
> getting beyond them to something more "scientific". It can also be read as a
> meta-theory of language as a tool-for-thought, and as an analysis of how
> language is used differently to think 'scientifically' vs. in other ways. I
> think it is beyond most grad students, however, and it requires a reasonable
> background in the concepts of functional semantics and grammar. It's
> published as chapter 14 in _Construing Experience through Meaning_, Halliday
> & Matthiessen, 2000.
> At 06:12 PM 8/29/2007, you wrote:
> Dear Xmca-ites---
> Toward the end of the month I will begin teaching a grad course on
> mediational theories of mind.
> I would love suggestions for interesting readings.
> We will be looking in a sort of "mcLuhanesque" way at the affordances of
> different kinds of mediators
> in human action/activity/mind.
> So, language and thought
> writing
> film
> music
> tv
> rituals
> games
> .........
> Starting with early 20th century writers of general familiarity to members
> of this list, I have been thinking about including
> such works as Cszikentmihalyi, "meaning of things," Turkle's recent
> "evocative objects," and perhaps something on mediated
> behavior in large groups such as "the wisdom of crowds."
> Any and all suggestions warmly welcomed. So much going on its hard to even
> think about how to begin to think about this
> upcoming fall!!
> mike
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> Jay Lemke
> Professor
> University of Michigan
> School of Education
> 610 East University
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> Tel. 734-763-9276
> Email.
> Website.
> <>
xmca mailing list
Received on Sun Sep 2 10:41 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Oct 08 2007 - 06:02:26 PDT