THE VIRTUAL FACULTY
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This 'virtual faculty' began to form in late 1994. As faculty members we share a sufficient common interest to have enabled us to come together in this networked forum nearly one year later. Perhaps the 'key plank' in our common interest is what has been termed 'the discursive turn' (aka 'the second cognitive revolution') that has begun to occur in a number of areas of contemporary psychology. What is this 'discursive turn'?
Our delineation of the subject matter of psychology has to take account of discourses, significations, subjectivities, and positionings, for it is in these that psychological phenomena actually exist. For example, an attitude should not be seen as a semipermanent mental entity, causing people to say and do certain things. Rather, it comes into existence in displays expressive of decisions and judgements and in the performance of actions. Each reconceptualization helps to draw attention to the fact that the study of the mind is a way of understanding the phenomena that arise when different sociocultural discourses are integrated within an identifiable human individual situated in relation to those discourses
This common interest is represented in different ways in the work of individual faculty members. The faculty members are at the same time jointly working to realise some shared projects within this computer-based medium. One practical application of this common interest animates the emerging field of narrative therapy.
A related project is Daniel Chandler's work centred in The University of Wales at Aberystwyth, the Media and Communications Studies Page. This has been described by Connect (Fall 1995 issue), the journal of the Center for Media Literacy, Los Angeles, as 'perhaps the most comprehensive media lit site. Overflowing with links to media lit articles, research, educators, organizations, industries, advocates, etc. Subjects include communication theory and visual literacy'.
A second related project is being developed by Joseph Petraglia at Georgia Institute of Technology. First, web-based resources for the study and teaching of rhetoric are being put in place; and second, a collaborative project there is working to put in place software to support constructivist learning.
A fourth related project is Vinnie Hevern's Resources for Narrative Psychology, which focuses upon narrative perspectives in psychology and allied disciplines and provides an interdisciplinary guide to bibliographical and Internet resources concerned with "the storied nature of human conduct" (Sarbin, 1986) broadly conceived.
And a fifth related project is Lois Shawver's Postmodern Therapy News, a regularly updated newsletter, background and compilation of current discussions on the Postmodern Therapy mailing list.
Note:Links to papers available at this point generally call up the full texts directly. Some of these papers are of the order of 100k and may take a while to download.
Bronwyn Davies and Rom Harré
Jim Wertsch and Mike Cole
Abstracts of papers are available from Volume 1, 1994 to date
At this point in this 'virtual faculty's' development there are lots of things we maintain an interest in. Not all of these are central to our academic interests. Some of our current interests are in things that are just the kinds of technological gizmos you might need if you want to try this exercise for yourself. But in terms of what we are trying to do, these things are just gizmos that help us to keep on trying. Please let us know of additional links we should list. Note also that these pages are in the process of construction, and some links will take you away from this site at what might be inappropriate times. So remember to use your 'back' button as needed until we sort out a better format.