Lois Holzman, is a passionate advocate for conceptual tools and practices that empower people to transform the alienation and passivity of our culture. She is the director of the East Side Institute, an international training and research center for new approaches to therapeutics, education and community building; and a founder of the biennial Performing the World conferences, which bring together practitioners, scholars, researchers and activists for whom theatrical performance and the creative arts are essential for personal and social transformation. With colleague Fred Newman, the late public philosopher and founder of social therapy, Holzman has advanced social therapeutics, a “psychology of becoming” that incorporates play, performance and practical philosophy to inspire human development/community development through group creativity.

Her texts, Vygotsky at Work and Play (Holzman) and Lev Vygotsky Revolutionary Scientist, (Newman and Holzman) have introduced scholars and activist the world over to ways that the ideas of the early Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky are contributing to a new kind of progressivism, performance activism. She is a regular commentator on Psychology Today (A Conceptual Revolution) and the Psychology of Becoming blog. Contact information: lholzman@eastsideinstitute.org

PhD, Developmental Psychology, Columbia University
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
postmodern Marxism; Vygotsky and contemporary Vygotskian practices; bringing cultural-historical activity theory together with critical psychology; the transformative power of creativity, play and performance; Vygotsky-Wittgenstein synthesis; critique of epistemology as non-developmental cultural approaches to human understanding
Personal Interests
improvisation; oceans; dogs