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January 19, 2005

Once Again, with more Activity Theory

Professor Nancy Van House has posted her evolving syllabus for IS212, Information in Society. Lots of good stuff, many with direct links to the papers themselves.

From my experience auditing the course last semester, my favorites are:

Engeström,Yrjo. Expansive Visibilization of Work: An Activity-Theoretical Perspective. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 8: 63–93, 1999.

Nardi, B. (1996). Activity theory and human-computer interaction(pp. 7-16); and Kuutti, K. (1996).Activity theory as a potential framework for human-computer interaction (pp. 17-44). Both In B.Nardi (Ed.)

J. Johnson [Bruno Latour] (1995): “Mixing Humans and Nonhumans Together: The Sociology of a Door-Closer” in Susan Leigh Star (ed.): Ecologies of Knowledge: Work and Politics in Science and Technology. pp. 257-277.

Hutchins, E & Klausen, T. (1996)Distributed cognition in an airline cockpit. In Y. Engeström and D. Middleton (Eds.) Cognition and communication at work. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bijker, W. E. (1995). King of the road: the social construction of the safety bicycle. In Of bicycles, bakelites, and bulbs: Toward a theory of sociotechnical change (pp. 19-100). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

These two were probably the most mind-changing:
Latour, B. (1999). Pandora's hope : Essays on the reality of science studies. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Chapter 2: Circulation Reference: Sampling the Soil in the Amazon Forest.

Latour (1986) Bruno Latour, ‘Visualization and Cognition: Thinking with Eyes and Hands’, Knowledge and Society 6: 1-40.
(This one will be very hard to find, but damn is it good.)

Posted by peterme at January 19, 2005 10:46 PM


I'd comment on your good choices but I'm busy laughing my ass off remembering our conversations of a couple of years ago and your utter and total dismissal of Latour at the time. When are you coming through Ottawa again anyway?

Posted by: Anne at January 19, 2005 03:51 PM

Hey now. I never slagged Latour, because I didn't know of his work. I would have slagged the whole of French critical theory, though.

No Ottawa, but Montreal in March (for the IA Summit) is close!

Posted by: peterme at January 20, 2005 08:01 AM

A revised version of the Latour Visualization and Cognition piece has been published as:
Bruno Latour ``Drawing Things Together,'' in Michael Lynch and Steve Woolgar ed. Representation in Scientific Practice, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990.

Posted by: Nancy at January 21, 2005 08:08 AM

this is kinda random, but I am writing a definition of the term "blog" and your name came up on the timeline for the term. So thank you for being a pioneer in the world of blogging!


Posted by: Melissa at January 25, 2005 08:26 AM