Fwd: [ISCAR] Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1-2

From: Peter Smagorinsky (smago@coe.uga.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 09 2005 - 03:16:23 PST

>International Society for Cultural and Activity Research
>Vol. 3, No. 1-2 March 2005
>1. What is ISCAR? A description of ISCAR as a scientific organisation is
>available on the ISCAR website
>2. Obituary of Joachim Lompscher
>3. The 80th birthday of Gita L'vovna Vygodskaya
>4. Conference organizers
>5. Deadline for early bird registration is 15th of May
>6. Support for congress participation available
>7. International Symposium on Activity Theory and Situated Action in France
>8. New book: A. R. Luria and Contemporary Psychology
>9. New book: Developmental Work Research - Expanding Activity Theory in
>10. New book: Cooperative Learning. Concepts and contexts
>11. PhD Series: Alexander V. Surmava: The idea of reflectivity in
>theoretical psychology
>You are welcome to submit news items to: news@iscar.org
>Send email and postal address changes to: new-address@iscar.org
>Copies of previous newsletters available from: news@iscar.org
>1. What is ISCAR?
>A description of ISCAR as a scientific organisation is available on the
>ISCAR website.
>The text has five parts. The first part characterizes the commonalities and
>the diversity that brings researchers together into ISCAR. The second part
>provides a short historical account of the institutional origins of ISCAR.
>The third part lists the current activities of ISCAR; the fourth part
>describes some hopes for the future; and the fifth part explains who can be
>a member of ISCAR.
>The text reflects the collective work of the Executive Committee. Care was
>taken to acknowledge the diversity of interests that are brought together
>within ISCAR. Similarly, care was taken to preserve clarity and precision in
>our formulations. For example, during the preparation of the text, there was
>an interesting discussion of whether to include "social constructivist" as a
>theoretical interest within ISCAR. One can find this expression used, in
>many different countries around the world, especially among educational
>researchers (e.g., Vygotsky is sometimes characteristized as a "social
>constructivist"). The Executive Committee viewed this expression as
>insufficiently specified in contemporary research to be a useful
>description. Morever, in relation to Vygotsky, it gives the incorrect
>impression of a general or neutral construction process, which does not
>adequately express the idea of the development of the whole person in a
>historical context or that sociogenesis reflects a social history.
>The committee hopes that the text will be useful in communicating to
>persons, both within and outside of ISCAR, about the ideas and issues that
>are important to researchers who are members of ISCAR. However, in the
>final analysis, ISCAR does not live only in these formal statements, but in
>the continuing dialogues among its participants. Therefore, the committee
>will be happy to receive comments and reactions to the text. Please send
>them to Seth Chaiklin <seth@iscar.org>, and he will bring them further to
>the committee.
>2. Obituary of Joachim Lompscher
>On 2nd February 2005 Joachim Lompscher passed away. He worked untiringly to
>the last for his scientific and moral convictions, which he continuously
>submitted to critical examination. Not only was he merged into the societal
>processes of his time, but also actively contributed to them and as such the
>course his life took was not without frictions or crises.
>He was born in 1932 on the 7th of November, in a small town in the eastern
>part of Germany, an only son, of the fitter Joseph Lomp and the bookkeeper
>Jenny Zudkowitz both of whom had been members of the KDP since the 20's. He
>and his mother, a Jewess, only barely escaped being murdered by the
>fascists. During childhood he lived under the pressure of the Nuremberg Laws
>but escaped detention. It became clear early on during his time at school
>that Joachmim Lompscher was eager to learn and committed to driving himself
>to both individual excellence and to the struggle to achieve social goals.
>In 1958, after his studies in Moscow and Leningrad, where he passed all
>examinations with distinction, he started work as a lecturer at the
>Humboldt-University in Berlin and by 1959 he was already a scientific
>advisor for the Ministry for National Education. Soon after, he took over
>research activities at the Deutschen Psychologischen Zentralinstitut (DPZI).
>He completed his habilitation at Karl-Marx-Universität Leipzig (1970).
>Shortly after, he received the professorship for Pedagogical Psychology at
>the "Akademie der Pädagogischen Wissenschaften" (APW), entered the board of
>directors of the German Society of Psychology and became a member of the
>Scientific Council of Psychology of the GDR.
>His multitudinous publications not only made him the founder of Pedagogical
>Psychology in the GDR, but also formed the basis for his reputation as an
>internationally renowned scientist. Lompscher is said to be "the Aebli of
>the East". However, his work came under dispute in the GDR as he insisted on
>a "Menschenbild" oriented towards the classics of activity theory and
>cultural-historical research, Vygotskij and Leont'ev. After the breakdown of
>GDR and the closure of APW, Joachim Lompscher was briefly unengaged before
>he became professor at the University of Potsdam. In 1997 - three months
>before his emeritation - he was prematurely retired due to changes in the
>evaluation of his social activities in the former GDR. On the international
>level, Lompscher still enjoys an enormous reputation. His numerous writings
>are well received in many countries around the globe. He planned and worked
>on long term scientific projects right up until his death and left
>significant scientific writings. Joachim Lompscher's death creates an
>enormous gap. He will be sadly missed as a colleague but particularly as a
>Georg Rückriem (Berlin) and Harmut Giest (Postdam)
>3. The 80th birthday of Gita L'vovna Vygodskaya
>Dear Friends,
>May 9th, 2005 in Russia will be a special day. It will be Victory Day there,
>and it will be the 80th birthday of the daughter of L. S. Vygotsky, Gita
>L'vovna Vygodskaya. There will not be any publications or a Festschrift for
>Gita L'vovna inside or outside Russia, to my knowledge. More important, I
>truly believe she would be so very happy to hear from you, your colleagues,
>students, teachers, anyone who feels deeply about Vygotsky. I hope that
>people from around the world will write birthday cards to Gita L'vovna. She
>speaks English well. Thank you very much. I feel strongly that Gita L'vovna
>would appreciate your words. You can use the following addresses, and please
>add "To Gita."
>Thank you for your support and your efforts. It is appreciated more than
>words could say.
>With warm regards,
>Dot Robbins
>To Gita
>Vygotsky Institute of Psychology 6
>Russian State University for the Humanities
>Building 7
>Miusskaya Sq.
>125257 Moscow
>4. Conference organizers
>The ISCAR Congress is organised by two public universities in Seville, the
>University of Seville (Universidad de Sevilla) and the University Pablo de
>Olavide (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, de Sevilla).
>The technical Secretary is organised by Viajes El Corte Inglés.
>Other institutions like the Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Andalucía
>Occidental, Departamento de Psicología Experimental, Universidad de Sevilla,
>Departamento de Ciencias Sociales (Universidad Pablo de Olavide),
>collaborate in the organisation of the congress.
>5. Deadline for early bird registration is 15th of May
>Prior 15th May After 16th May
>Teachers 370,00 420,00 Students 200,00 250,00
>The congress fee includes participation, material, lunch and coffee breaks
>all days of the congress, three social events (visit to the Alcázar de
>Sevilla, flamenco and Andalusí music concerts).
>6. Support for congress participation available
>The Organising Comittee has considered the difficulties that some
>researchers coming from different countries (Latin America , Eastern
>Europe, Africa ...) encounter for attending the ISCAR congress. Although
>we do not have a large institutional support, we have tried to take into
>account those difficulties and may offer some help for people to come.
>This help consists of:
>- Accommodation in University residences and other places that will reduce
>these expenses. - Letters of invitation for facilitating researchers to
>get support from
>public or private institutions in their countries. - 50 grants including a
>50% reduction in congress fee. These grants will be
>given to participants whose proposals had been accepted by the Committee.
>The specific criteria to apply for these grants will be published soon. In
>all cases, applications should be presented once the proposal is accepted.
>7. International Symposium on Activity Theory and Situated Action in France
>Artefacts and Collectives. ARTCO Symposium 4- 6 July, 2005
>INTEFP, Marcy l'Etoile (near Lyon)
>Organized action theories have enjoyed considerable development in the last
>ten years. Such different approaches as situated action theories,
>distributed cognition, activity theories inspired by the Russian school, as
>well as French approaches of sociology of action, of sciences and of
>ergonomics, and the research carried out in the " Work and Language" network
>(Groupe Langage et Travail) have contributed to this renewal.
>These different approaches and theories do not share identical views of
>action, ecology or activity. They do not give an identical status to
>knowledge and action, language, or artefacts; they are at odds over the
>transformations to be achieved; they do not give identical scope to the
>actors' point of view and do not necessarily consider the question of the
>subject of action. Some are more external and descriptive, trying to
>understand "how it works", others have more comprehensive insight, and
>others are deliberately developmental.
>Symposium objectives:
>* To set up an intellectual debate by confronting French, European and
>American specialists of the different disciplines and research trends
>interested in situated action and activity, and build a dialogue around a
>set of structured theoretical and methodological questions.
>* Introduce the corpus of work composing the different traditions, with the
>assistance of English/French, French/English translations.
>Y. Engeström (U. Helsinki and San Diego), C. Goodwin, (UCSD, USA), M. H.
>Goodwin (UCSD, USA), C. Groleau (U. Montréal, Québec), D. Kirsh (UCSD, San
>Diego), K. Kuutti (U. Oulu, Finland), D.Middleton (U. Loughborough, UK ), B.
>Nardi & V. Kaptelinin (USA), S. Sarangi (U. Cardiff, UK), C.Souza-e-Silva
>(PUC/SP, Brazil), J. Taylor (U. Montréal), P. Béguin (CNAM Paris), A.
>Borzeix (CRG, École Polytechnique Paris), J. Boutet (Paris VII and CNRS), Y.
>Clot (CNAM, Paris), B. Conein (U. de Lille and EHESS Paris), N. Dodier
>(EHESS, Paris), D. Faïta (U. de Provence), B. Fraenkel (EHESS, Paris), M.
>Grosjean (U. Lyon 2, CRG, Paris), C. Licoppe (ENST, Paris).
>The Symposium is limited to 120 participants
>A Poster Session for PhD students is scheduled. More information and online
>registration at: http://sites.univ-lyon2.fr/artco/
>8. New book: A. R. Luria and Contemporary Psychology
>Editors: Tatiana Akhutina, Janna Glozman, Lena Moskovich, Dorothy Robbins
>Publishers summary:
>This Luria Festschrift is dedicated to the life and legacy of A. R. Luria,
>celebrating the centennial anniversary of his birth (1902-2002). The volume
>represents a group of authors, most of whom either studied or collaborated
>with Alexander Romanovich. The articles, which were selected by Russians,
>have also been written by Russians, with the inclusion of international
>authors. This volume is unique in that readers have the opportunity of
>discovering a Russian approach in understanding and implementing Luria's
>theories. The contents of this book are divided into five sections: The
>first section, Cherishing the Memory of A. R. Luria, presents a collection
>of personal experiences the authors had with Luria, offering the reader a
>picture of the different sides of his personality. The second section, A. R.
>Luria and the Historical-Cultural Approach in Psychology, focuses on Luria's
>overall cultural-historical approach, also connected with remembrances of
>Alexander Romanovich. The third section, Luria's School of Neuropsychology,
>presents a collection of articles by authors who use Luria's neuropsychology
>(brain-behavior relationships), as well as directions developed after Lura's
>death, such as aging and dementia, neuropsychology of psychiatry, etc. The
>fourth section, Luria's Approach in Developmental Neuropsychology,
>introduces the reader to the process of assessment and remediation with
>children in Russia. The fifth section Lurian Neuropsychological Assessment
>and its Development focuses on the implementation of the Lurian approach to
>the practice of diagnostics in different social-cultural conditions and on
>possibilities of quantitative evaluation of Lurian neuropsychological
>assessment data.
>9. New book: Developmental Work Research - Expanding Activity Theory in
>Yrjö Engeström (Ed.) 2005
>38.00 Euros
>490 pages
>Lehmanns Media - LOB.de
>Developmental work research is an innovative approach to the study and
>reshaping of work and learning. It expands cultural-historical activity
>theory by bringing it to the domains of work, technology and
>organizations. The world of work is in turmoil, increasingly dominated by
>'runaway objects'
>generated by globalization and greed. Developmental work research
>rediscovers and expands use values in runaway objects. In workplace
>interventions it engages practitioners in expansive re-forging of the
>objects of their work. In 18 chapters, this book lays out the theoretical
>and methodological
>foundations of developmental work research. The practical potential of the
>approach is demonstrated in a number of case studies, ranging from courts of
>law and factories to schools and health care clinics.
>10. New book by Serena Veggetti in Italian about co-operative learning
>Serena Veggetti (2004): Apprendimento cooperativo. Concetti e contesti
>(Cooperative Learning.Concepts and contexts)
>224 pages
>Euro 18.70 ISBN 88-430-3165-1
>Available on-line from the publishers web-site www.carocci.it
>The volume addresses some genetic perspectives in the psychology of knowing.
>The conceptions elaborated prioritise reference to the cooperative, as well
>as potential learning, underpinning a dynamic process of interiorization,
>for the explanation of the genesis of knowledge. Particular attention is
>paid to the ideas of Piaget, Vygotskij, Gal'perin and Davydov, and these are
>comparatively considered. The dissemination of the historical cultural
>conception in psychology is synthetically analysed in different countries.
>Recent contributions by some representatives of the younger generation of
>Davydov's pupils, in Russia (Rubzov, Ajdarova,Zak, Zuckerman,Ulanòvskaja,
>Rivina, etc.) are also examined , with the aim of getting ideas and
>proposals for an innovative didactical approach to school learning. The
>book combines texts of use for the formation of psychologists, educational
>psychologists, educators, teachers as well as general information about
>key questions in present-day educational research such as improving the
>effectiveness of the learning-contexts.
>The four chapters focus upon the acquisition of concepts, with particular
>attention to abstract concepts pertaining to number, as evidenced in some
>classical research in psychology. The recent conception of "incremental
>learning" elaborated by Davydov is also presented, to give an account of the
>new epistemological model of the dialectical theoretical thinking and its
>forms, stemming from E. Ilyenkov's perspective and from the general
>conception of the theory of activity as conceptualized by A.N.Leont'ev in
>Russia. Some empirical research data obtained in Italy by a first assessment
>of theoretical thinking are also briefly elaborated and discussed.
>11. PhD. Series
>Alexander V. Surmava: The idea of reflectivity in theoretical psychology
>Defended on December 30, 2004 at the Vygotsky Institute of Psychology
>The Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia
>The thesis was carried out in scientific cooperation with V.V.Davidov in 1988
>Modern psychology strongly requires a general psychological theory suitable
>not only for the decision of a narrow class of practical problems, but one
>capable of responding to the multiple challenges of the present. A titanic
>step towards such a theory was made by L.S.Vygotsky. Unfortunately his
>lifetime was hardly sufficient to begin this huge work. His disciples and,
>initially, A.N.Leont'ev, have continued it, but despite essential
>theoretical progress, an integrated theory was not built. The theory
>claiming continuity in the development of the cultural - historical
>approach, can only be built on the philosophical basis on which its founders
>were standing. L.S.Vygotsky's basis was the ideas of Spinoza and Marx. Today
>one can succeed L.S.Vygotsky only by using the modern reading of these ideas
>developed by E.V.Il'enkov.
>E.V.Il'enkov begins with criticism of the Cartesian psychophysical problem
>and offers Spinoza's idea of a thinking body as its unique theoretical
>solution. According to this logic, thinking is understood not as a modus of
>the incorporeal substance, interacting by some mysterious way with the
>"extended" substance, but as a means of active action of a thinking body
>congruous to the form of its object. Ability to such "thinking" (an action
>plastically assimilating to the form of an object) is not an emergent
>property of the nervous system, but the integral, attributive property of
>the material Nature, Spinoza's Substance. In its most abstract formulation
>it can be understood as the definition of life as such. Life is a unity of
>spontaneity, productivity and objectness - a process started not by external
>stimulus, but by finding causality inside itself, cooperating not with the
>external abstract environment, but by posing its object by its own activity,
>and, finally, acting not according to an abstractly internal program, but
>instead according to the objective form of the object itself.
>With the transition of organisms to a specific form of activity,
>characteristic of multi-cellular animals, object activity can be realised
>only with the new reflective plane of the relation. Life now is mediated by
>the self-directed, reflective relation so that any extra-somatic objective
>act is possible only in identity with the intra-somatic act, self-directed
>or affective. This internal dialectics of reflective action also led
>physiologist N.A.Bernshtejn, to discuss the birth of free action through
>dis-inhibition of a joint originally squeezed by reciprocal muscles.
>According to this definition psychic activity can be understood as an
>ensemble, a jazz band of sub activeness in which solo party of object
>activity of the entire organism is possible only through improvising support
>of other, sub active orchestral players.
>A human being, unlike an animal which is born with the ready full score of
>sub activeness, actively builds it in interaction with other people.
>Therefore human life, the process of an active object relation of a person
>to the world, is possible only as the moment of the reflective whole, sides
>of which are he and other person, he and all ever living people, he and
>culture, as a system of objectified activity of these people.
>I currently work at the Vygotsky Institute of Psychology, The Russian State
>University for the Humanities, in Moscow. The full text of thesis is
>available in Russian on my website http://www.voxnet.ru/~monada
>Alexander V. Surmava:
>274-2-8 Liapidevski str., Moscow, 125581, Russia
>Production Editor: Jonna Kangasoja
>ISCAR - Newsletter Editorial Team: Christoph Clases, Jan Derry, Jonna
>Kangasoja, Gilberto Pérez Campos, Jussi Silvonen, Katsuhiro Yamazumi
>ISCAR News March 2005
>Vol. 3, No. 1-2

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