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[Xmca-l] 2017 Issue 2 Discussion: Weavers Agency

Dear all,

MCA's Issue 2 has been out for a couple of weeks now and it is time to bring it up for discussion here at xmca. The issue is a tribute to Naoki Ueno, a long time contributor to the MCA and CHAT communities who sadly and suddenly passed away two years ago. The issue is a symposium including three original articles, one of which is co-authored by Ueno. The issue also includes four commentaries by American colleagues who, as Mike describes in his editorial, came to know and appreciate Ueno over many decades.

For the purpose of discussion here at XMCA, we have chosen the original article written by Yasuko Kawatoko, Ueno's close collaborator ?whose scholarship represents well ?his intellectual heritage at the same time that offers an interesting empirical case. The article, titled "Forming and Transforming Weavers' Agency: Agency in Sociotechnical Arrangements" (attached) presents a case study of a women weavers' group in Central Japan, the Yuzuru Party, whose goal is to preserve and share traditional hand-weaving skills. The study draws on actor-network theory notions that also populated Ueno's work. It examines the ways in which the weaving group develops "agency" as "sociotechnical arrangements" are reconfigured due to changes associated to the place of Matsusaka cotton in the city's cultural and political context.

The paper covers a range of issues important to the MCA community, perhaps most centrally those related to the notion of agency, and is relevant to recent discussions held here at xmca dealing with the central question of the role of "artifacts" in human development. The author, Yasuko Kawatoko, who also has written an introduction to the special issue, has kindly agreed to join us in the discussion and will introduce herself soon. I am making other contributors to the special issue aware of the discussion in case they wished to join us too. I hope many of you engage and I look forward to a very productive discussion.?


Attachment: Kawatoko 2017 Weavers agency.pdf
Description: Kawatoko 2017 Weavers agency.pdf