Seville: Semiotic mediation

Date: Tue Apr 19 2005 - 01:19:01 PDT

Dear all,

In preparing for the ISCAR 2005 Congress in Seville we would like to be out
early in circulating the info and inviting you to our 13-paper stream on
Semiotic Mediation. Below you can find the symposium abstract, the
presenters and their titles.
I have posted the individual abstracts in a rtf. file on my homepage
(under the heading 'Documents').


Title of the symposium:

Symposium organizers:
Jonna Kangasoja, University of Helsinki
Tarja Knuuttila, University of Helsinki
Jussi Silvonen, University of Helsinki

Symposium abstract:
The concept of mediated action is a key to understanding the cultural
historical tradition. L.S. Vygotsky depicted human activity as mediated by
signs and tools. Tool mediation, i.e. the collaborative use of various
material tools has been richly explored in the field of cultural historical
activity theory. This session, however, grows from an interest in the
semiotic aspects of mediation. We engage in a theoretical dialogue between
the cultural historical tradition and other theoretical traditions
concerned with semiotic mediation, and report on studies on the
interrelationship and intertwining of signifying artefacts, the ‘signs’
and ‘tools’ mediating various human activities. Connecting the material and
symbolic aspect of mediation is a major theoretical, as well as
methodological challenge for the cultural historical tradition. The papers
of the symposium discuss among other things: the theory history of the
Vygotskian tradition, the sign concept of Valentin Voloshinov, the
theoretical distinction between signs and tools, and the question of what
the cultural historical tradition and C.S. Peirce’s semiotics could offer
to one another. We explore material and conceptual artefacts mediating
human activities in various contexts such as: literacy, mathematical
modelling and reasoning, early arithmetic, computer simulation, computer
supported collaborative work, conflict management and mediation,
psychotherapy and health care.

Format of the symposium in four sessions (4 x 2 hours):

Session 1. (Chair: Wolf-Michael Roth)

Jussi Silvonen, University of Helsinki
Some remarks on the development of Vygotsky’s semiotics

Mikael Leiman, University of Joensuu
Valentin Voloshinov’s sign concept and its potential for studying semiotic
mediation of activity

Dorothy Robbins, Central Missouri State University
Revisiting Vygotsky’s Non-Classical Psychology of Language within the
Metatheories of Holographic Movement and the “Third Space”

Session 2. (Chair: Falk Seeger)

Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria
The Emergence of Literacy: A Dialectical Materialist Reading of the Sign

Sami Paavola & Kai Hakkarainen, University of Helsinki
Vygotskian and Peircean approaches to mediated activity

Reijo Miettinen & Jaakko Virkkunen, University of Helsinki
Situated action and the means of extended collaboration

Tarja Knuuttila, University of Helsinki
Signifying tools, productive signs: how to understand the sign/tool

Session 3. (Chair: Reijo Miettinen)

Michael Otte, University of Bielefeld
What is a Proof? or: Why Semiotics matters to Epistemology

Johannes Lenhard, University of Bielefeld
Computer Simulation: Instrumentation, Activity, and Mediation

Falk Seeger, University of Bielefeld
Reasoning with maps in the territory of early arithmetic

Session 4. (Chair: Jussi Silvonen)

Michael Hoffmann, Georgia Institute of Technology
How to change your mind? Diagrammatic Reasoning as a tool to mediate in

Jonna Kangasoja, University of Helsinki
Lasse Peltonen, Helsinki University of Technology
Mediators and mediated action in public policy controversies

Judith Gregory, University of Oslo
Margaret Yard, New York University
Stanley Aronowitz, CUNY Graduate Center
Immaterial and Affect Labor in the Changing and Enduring Worlds of Patient
Care and Health Systems: from Spinoza to radical Italian sociology and
ethics in relations

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