Re: [xmca] Back to the Future

From: Martin Packer (
Date: Sun Oct 30 2005 - 12:08:59 PST

Ay Mike, it's easier to answer your questions when you disagree with me! :)

Well, let me think. Of course it's already the case that as agents we
members of xmca have made, and continue to make, its history. But as I
understand his project, Vygotsky (and perhaps others such as Leontiev, I
don't know) was trying to raise this making to a level of greater
deliberateness. So what would that mean for xmca? Do we have a well-defined
goal; a sense of where xmca's history ought to lead? (Or a sense of where it
has come from: the archives are crucial for this.) Trying to change the
direction of history may be more than I can manage on a Sunday afternoon!

And mastering the history-making of xmca presumably requires first grasping
this making as concrete practice, contradictions and all. Your concrete
suggestion - a division of responsibility for coordinating the list - would
surely provide this practical grasp to whoever took it up.

And xmca is itself already a medium for raising consciousness, as each of us
simultaneously reads the words we have written and discovers how others have
understood us in ways we didn't anticipate. (I recall years ago writing
something that outraged Don Norman, who until that moment I knew only as the
author on my undergraduate textbook on cognitive psychology. A daunting
experience!) We've all become more aware over the years of the
characteristics of this medium, its strengths and weaknesses.


On 10/30/05 2:17 PM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:

> Who disagrees with you, Martin? So far as I can tell, in some readings of
> Leontiev it may look
> as if history is determining of consciousness (=subjectivity?). In others
> "man (sick) makes himself."
> And very particularly, given that you and I agree with that history is
> (also) the product of subjects acting
> what about members' agency as subjects in making the history of xmca? Mary
> has raised this question and made some suggestions. I have raised this
> question and made a quite concrete suggestion. What is your suggestion?
> mike
> On 10/30/05, Martin Packer <> wrote:
>> I completely agree with Stetsenko's proposal that we need to understand
>> not
>> just the way subjectivity is a product of history, but how history is a
>> product of subjectivity (to put it in a simplified way).
>> Martin
>> On 10/30/05 10:31 AM, "Mary K. Bryson" <> wrote:
>>> ...
>>> So, in this group, I would argue that the community could open up
>>> participation directly by actually taking up the scholarship of someone
>> who
>>> at present, is not being read as if she were, even potentially, a
>> legitimate
>>> central intellectual figure in the "front stage" of CHAT -- Stetsenko.
>> And
>>> what might it look like to read Stetsenko's work not just in terms of
>> what
>>> she has to say about Vygotsky +++ but about say, subjectivity and its
>>> materiality.
>> _______________________________________________
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