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[Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change



Dear Mike,
Your announced stepping back makes me feel sad - when I may say it in this frank word. It reminds me that our personal scientific engagement is not a linear line of ever increasing progress, but has its own personal life cycle with its successful projects but also unfinished road works. So, let me stop for a moment and say Thank You for your pioneering work and you inspiring engagement in the field of Cultural Historical Activity Theory and for XMCA and MCA. Although I have been not an active contributor of XMCA, I have followed the contributions in XMCA and MCA that get me thinking about the proposed ideas, concepts and empirical studies. You mentioned the time for a generational change. I think this is indeed what has to take shape and organized and I urgently hope that the scientific future of CHAT and XMCA will not lay in a constantly repeating exegesis of the canonical articles of the classical authors, but inspiring new applications of the principles of CHAT and especially their empirical foundation. 
Nevertheless, I noticed with great pleasure that you will remain as a kind of "editor for special projects" for MCA and will continue to participate n XMCA. :-)
Best 
Manfred

Prof. Dr. Manfred Holodynski
University of Münster
Department of Psychology
Manfred.holodynski@uni-muenster.de
 
-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] Im Auftrag von mike cole
Gesendet: Montag, 24. Oktober 2016 19:36
An: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>; lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Betreff: [Xmca-l] Time for a Generational Change

Hear Yee XMCA -O-Phytes.



Having removed myself from the active faculty of LCHC which is now in the capable hands of Angela Booker and Stephan Tanaka, the time has come for me to step back from the doings of MCA and XMCA.  At MCA the new editorial team of (in reverse alphabetical order, Jennifer Vadeboncoeur, Bonnie Nardi, Victor Kaptelinin, and Natalia Gajdamashko) has taken over as editors, and begun the process of carrying the enterprise into a new generation. I will remain as a kind of "editor for special projects" for the journal and will continue to participate in XMCA.



But with respect to XMCA it is past time for me to give up what David Kellogg has called my "pastoral" role in seeking to coordinate and develop discourse focused around provocative articles that appear in the journal.
The original idea was to provide authors with rapid feedback and public recognition instead of having to wait the 2-3 year cycle of replying via an authorized journal.



The reality, as you know, is somewhat different - a mélange of topics that intersect, loop back on themselves, and leak out into the semiosphere.



Luckily, Alfredo Jornet has offered to try his hand at the pastoral role, and will be recognized on the journal masthead as *MCA Forum Mediator*.
Alfredo brings to the task his early career in Spain, his later career in Norway, and his present career in Victoria. And all of this international experience before has started "his career." Brave soul. Alfredo and the editors are considering a variety of options for the future of the journal, including importantly, its status as a new medium promoting rapid exchange of the news between otherwise isolated scholars with complementary interests.



My participation in xlchc and then xmca has been central to my adult education, and I appreciate what I have learned here more than words can suffice to explain. There are not so many academic ecologies in the world, so enduring those that do spring up seems a worthwhile way to promote its reproduction.... keeping in mind Phillip White's reminder that the future of development is not predictable at the level of everyday experience.



As I see it, there are two major failures in this effort over the years.
The first is the enormous imbalance in the gender representation of the participants. With a few periods where the exceptions ended up proving the rule, female voices have been conspicuously absent. Academic "guy talk" has dominated. Understanding and, if possible, re-mediating that sad set of circumstances seems like a major task for the future.



Second, MCA discourse does not accumulate. The discussions are more like chaining than the development of new concepts. As in the Sakharov - Vygotsky blocks experiment, we talk about green triangles then blue triangles then blue squares, each a legitimate line of inquiry, but constantly changing criteria/topics as we go. Every once in a while we ascend to the level of pseudo-concepts (these are the cases that evoke the most controversy it seems to me). My fond hope is that Alfredo and our sometimes engaged tech gurus will provide a more supportive environment for the creation of "truce concepts" -- agreement on a broad set of principles/empirical embodiments and a research program that identifies the limits of the theory and the most fruitful lines of inquiry.



Thus spake

mike