Re: Dialectical Psychology

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Mon Jun 06 2005 - 07:55:27 PDT

Hello Andy and Sasha-

I believe that the success of any such enterprise hinges upon Sasha
Surmava's comment that:

Anyway we'll try to do some steps to translation the most interesting voices
from our seminar into English, and the most interesting voices from XMCA
into Russian.

By the way, at last "The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology" is connected to
WWW. Its E-mail is vygotsky1 who-is-at
If there is interest is such a special interest group within ISCAR (my one
question is whether there is a part of ISCAR
that would not be interested in dialectical processes) it seems crucial to
me that we begin to deal systematically with the issue
of translation. This came up yesterday in Wolf-Michael's note. For those of
us who do not read German, having a specification
of German references is of little help. Ditto for Spanish,
Japanese........... Russian is a special case in so far as the Russians have
especially influential in the propagation of cultural-historical activity
theory, but the problem is general.
If there is sufficient interest, it seems to me that the best way to
approach such as project is make it a distributed, collaborative
effort and to seek financial support for it. For example, we might seek a
grant that would be used to pay graduate students -- in Russia and in
English speaking countries, working with an executive committee of
Russian-English bilingual scholars -- to do translations of key
works as indicated by Sasha. This effort could, perhaps, be coordinated with
the activities of the Journal of Russian and East European
Psychology which would be a source of funds for Russian-English translation,
although publications there could not be limited just to the
interests of this group of course.
The question is whether or not there is sufficient interest. I have no idea.
This is not a bad forum to get some preliminary idea,
perhaps to be followed up in Sevilla.

On 6/5/05, Andy Blunden <> wrote:
> Mike, Dot Robbins has invited me to participate in the "Dialectical
> Psychology" group as well. I have accepted with all sorts of qualifications
> about my lack of professional or academic qualifications or experience, but
> to be able to interact with this wonderful group of people is an opportunity
> which I could not pass up. However, the web page is entirely in Russian and
> I do not speak Russian, so I was wondering if knowledge of Russian is
> necessary for participation?
> Andy
> At 06:44 PM 5/06/2005 -0700, you wrote:
> Sasha Surmava sent this message to xmca, but somehow it seems to have
> ended up only coming to me (unless I am mis-reading the cybersigngs). In any
> event, it is of interest to xmca and so I am passing it along
> mike
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *Alexander Surmava* <>
> Date: Jun 5, 2005 5:30 PM
> Subject: RE: Talk of courses and discussions
> To:
> Dear Mike et al,
> As you know ISCAR has announced a possibility of creating sections. So
> we've sent there a proposal. Here is its text.
> We a group of Russian psychologists and philosophers who are already ISCAR
> members or in process of registration are going to establish an
> international section of "Dialectical psychology" (the term belongs to
> L.S.Vygotsky).
> Among us are Felix Mikhailov, Lev Naumenko, Alexey Novokhatko, Vladimir
> Kudriavtsev, Elena and Gennady Kravtsov, Elena E. Sokolova, Elena and Sergey
> Mareyev, Galina Mishina, Alexander Simakin, Gennady Lobastov and me
> Alexander Surmava. Most of us are disciples of Evald Ilyenkov, Alexey N.
> Leont'iev or/and Vasilij V.Davidov.
> Each of us is involved in theoretical and experimental investigations in
> the fields of theoretical, educational and special psychology, methodology
> and epistemology.
> We are interested in wide international cooperation in the process of
> development of cultural historical and activity theory and practice. We are
> sure, that this development can and must be based on the same theoretical
> background on which Lev Vygotsky stood, on the basis of high European
> philosophical rationalism which is marked by names of Plato, Spinoza, Hegel,
> Marx and Ilyenkov.
> We are sure that wide international cooperation can give a powerful
> impulse to the development of our common work. Last year a theoretical
> seminar concerning problems of cultural-historical psychology was organized
> in Moscow. We are going to continue it both in off-line and on-line forms as
> well as to publish the results of our common search, to organize seminars,
> conferences etc., etc.
> We invite everybody who is interested in "Dialectical psychology" section
> of ISCAR connect with us through website
> <>, or by E-mail:
> .
> Alexander Surmava
> We hope that some of XMCA members will join us.
> Now we are thinking about how to make our Moscow wide theoretical seminar
> on cultural-historical psychology really international.
> I hope that the theoretical level of it is already high enough to put
> before us such goal. Those who can read and understand Russian can take a
> closer look at it on my site
> <> and
> Anyway we'll try to do some steps to translation the most interesting
> voices from our seminar into English, and the most interesting voices from
> XMCA into Russian.
> By the way, at last "The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology" is connected to
> WWW. Its E-mail is
> Sasha Surmava
> Alexander V. Surmava
> Ph.D. Assistant Professor
> The Russian State University for the Humanities
> The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology
> Liapidevskogo str. 8-2-274
> 125581 Moscow, Russia
> tel./fax: (095) 455-88-24
> e-mail:
> <>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Mike Cole [ <>]
> *Sent:* Monday, June 06, 2005 2:57 AM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* Re: Talk of courses and discussions
> Time will tell, Kevin.
> Lets see if there is sufficient interest to develop the requisite
> discusssion.
> mike
> On 6/5/05, *Kevin Rocap* <> wrote:
> Dear Mike, Phil, et al,
> Greetings! Thanks for working to organize a discussion on language and
> CHAT. I'm one of those with a perennial interest in the topic. ;-)
> Of course I've worked with a lot of school-based and school-linked
> programs on issues of second language acquisition and development,
> particularly in dual language programs (with a healthy dose of interest in
> home-school-community interactions issues) and so have some particular
> interests from that angle. It seems to me we'll have a number of intriguing
> and divergent as well as synergistic "objects" for a discussion framed under
> this general topic. ;-) How could it be otherwise?
> Related to my interest is an ongoing sense that folks who look at the
> issues strictly from a language acquisition and development perspective,
> don't always take into account the perspectives, theories and approaches of
> multiculturalists (including issues of examining power relations, as well as
> multicultural content and purposes in learning activities) and neither of
> those groups, generally, seems to have much commerce with the learning and
> cognitive sciences theorists (though there has been some progress recently).
> And, then, of course, we have CHAT ;-) One thought for me is that CHAT could
> help serve an integrative function with regard to these others, no?
> I guess we'll see.
> In Peace,
> K.
> Andy Blunden, on behalf of the Victorian Peace Network, Phone (+61)
> 03-9380 9435
> *Nancy Fraser Australian Tour 26 July-7 August 2005*,
> http:// <>
> <>/nancy-fraser/index.htm<>

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