Honoring John Shotter: His Intellectual and Personal Influence
John Shotter has touched many lives. It is not only that his writing speaks to so many and offers novel and humanizing ways to think about the social world, but his way of being in the world puts those very same written words into practice. One only need watch and listen to John to get a “feel for” (one of John’s common expressions) the very responsive, engaged, and sensitive way in which he understands the world. One could say that John performs his approach to social interaction.
In this issue, only a small number of John’s colleagues, friends, and former students offer their reflections on how John’s work has influenced them, inspired them, and provoked them. Each contributor was invited to offer something both for and about John that emerged from their own relationship with him, and thus the pieces range from poems, to stories, to narrated photo albums, and intellectual musings. Each is a loving message saturated with gratitude. Each offers a glimpse into the very specific ways in which John has accompanied these authors in their practice and in their daily lives.
There are many more voices that should be heard and I have no doubt that they will be. The part John has played in so many people’s lives will continue to unfold as we gather at workshops, seminars, conferences, family parties, and more. There will be more stories, more elaborations of his ideas, more referencing to his work.
I would like to express my sincerest thanks and appreciation to Monica Sesma for assembling a fantastic team of translators, thereby allowing us all to read these offerings in both Spanish and English. Thank you to the translation team of Rene Buenfil, Osvaldo Castillo, Gloria Dada, Joaquin Gaete Silva, Alejandra Proano, Cristina Ravazzola, Ines Sametband, Josep Segui, Monica Sesma, Paloma Torres, and Carlos Villar. The work you have done allows the gifts John Shotter has given us to be spread far and wide. Thank you, thank you!
Professor of Communication, University of New Hampshire and Co-Founder and Vice President, Taos Institute
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