James V. Wertsch

Personal Homepage

My work is concerned with collective memory and identity. I have particular interests in how these issues play out in Russia , the Republic of Georgia , and Estonia , but my research is also motivated by a broader set of concerns about the nature of collective memory in general. In previous writings I have drawn on the ideas of L.S. Vygotsky, M.M. Bakhtin, and others in order to examine problems of language and thought from a sociocultural perspective.

I am currently working on several projects in the South Caucasus , especially the Republic of Georgia . This includes collaborating with colleagues on efforts to understand the emergence of civil society, and democracy in this region. Of particular interest for me is how schools and other institutions are harnessed to create and maintain official collective memory.

In addition to Anthropology, I am associated with the Department of Education and the Department of Psychology, and I am director of the International and Area Studies Program at Washington University .

Publication Statistics

Publication period start
Publication period end
Number of co-authors

Number of publications with favourite co-authors

Productive Colleagues
Most productive colleagues in number of publications


Wertsch, James V. (1981): The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology, M.E. Sharpe,

Wertsch, James V. (1981): The concept of activity in Soviet psychology: An introduction. In: "The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology" M.E. Sharpe .

Wertsch, James V. (1998): Mind As Action, Oxford University Press, USA,