Re: [xmca] ISCAR, XMCA, and your burning issues

From: Fernanda Liberali (
Date: Sat Sep 10 2005 - 05:44:32 PDT

Mike and Colleagues,

I've been an observer for some time in this list and have found it very
illuminating for me and my students here in Brazil. As an applied linguist
interested in teacher education, I am very willing to understand the
relationship between language and activity. So the discussions that took
place in the last months were really intriguing for me. However, I did not
feel confident to participate. But, since I will have a chance to meet some
of you in the conference (I hope), I would like to pose some of the
questions I would like to discuss in the congress.

First, I am interested in the monist view of the activity as a unit of
analysis. The discussion of Davidov's (1990) concern with this topic from a
Marxist point of view connected to Spinoza's understanding of the
indivisible nature of body and mind and the totality which he connects to
the substance (God) could be an interesting topic for discussion. Second,
the understanding of language, mainly in argumentative situations, as a tool
for the construction of better forms of participation and inclusion in
diverse social formations is a topic that particularly interests me. My
research group develops intervention research in the very poor districts of
São Paulo, working with teacher and teacher educatiors in order to devise
instruments to develop better conditions of school education with very
limited resources. In these contexts, learning how to critically read and
express opinions is a major concern not of in relation to the students but
also to the teachers. So, understanding how language can be used and
constructed in activities for teacher education is of great interest for me.

I hope we can have a chance to discuss these topics and I am sure I will
learn a lot in this conference just as I have been learning a lot from this

Thank you all for this chance.

Fernanda Liberali

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Cole" <>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 11:40 PM
Subject: [xmca] ISCAR, XMCA, and your burning issues

Dear Colleagues--
 A number of us will be going to Sevilla, Spain at the end of next week for
an historic
meeting that brings together two overlapping groups of scholars who study
nature as the emergent outcome of biological, cultural-historical, and
social "factors."
 The variety of talks and symposia is impressive, as is the variety of
national traditions
being represented.
 You-all have been reading and commenting on many aspects of
socio-cultural-historical activity
theories of human development as subscribers to this distributed
 Whether you are planning to be in Sevilla or not, I think everyone would be
interested in what questions
you think need most urgent attention. What accomplishments you think most
need highlighting. What
measures can be taken to give voice to the diversity of interests, views,
and needs of you and your
 Might you pose questions and comments that others of us can take with us
and, upon return, respond to?
 I doubt if I am the only one who feels priveleged to be able to make this
trip. What, other than a lot of jet-lag,
might make it worth the time and effort?
 PS-- If you have not done so, check out the "clustermap" at the bottom of
the xmca web page. It is, to me,
an interesting representation of the international nature of this odd
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