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



Mike

     I began this message by putting things in the past tense when, of course, it should have been the future tense. I will enjoy (and have enjoyed) the conversations - to whatever extent catches your interest - with you. 

Ed

> On Oct 24, 2016, at  12:35 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> 
> 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