, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 458-474,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 May 2011

To Moscow with Love: Partial Reconstruction of Vygotsky’s Trip to London

Abstract

The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) left the Soviet Union only once to attend a conference on the education of the deaf in London. So far almost nothing was known about this trip, which took place in a period when Vygotsky was still completely unknown as a psychologist, both inside his own country and abroad. Making use of a newly discovered notebook, it proved possible to partially reconstruct Vygotsky’s journey and stay in London. Vygotsky’s very personal remarks show him to have been a very sensitive and spirited man, who was prey to strong emotions during the conference and afterwards. Rather surprisingly, Vygotsky’s own paper about the education of the deaf was never presented during the conference and the stay in London appears to have had a limited value for his own scientific development.