Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Medium, The Message, and Me and You

So, I uploaded to YouTube some videos of a public lecture I gave at at Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, Michigan on March 19, 2009. It's chopped up to fit the YouTube requirement to keep it under ten minutes (unless you are one of the chosen few). To be honest, I thought it would sound worse than it does, because I had a chest cold at the time, and my voice was pretty hoarse.

Christine Tracy, a professor of journalism in the Department of English Language and Literature, was my host at EMU, and I thank her for bringing me over there and for her hospitality, and also for her kind words in introducing me.

The full title of this lecture is
"The Medium, the Message, and Me and You: Understanding Technological and Symbolic Environments" in case you were wondering, and it's about (you guessed it) media ecology, with special emphasis on Marshall McLuhan, and what I like to call the first aphorism of media ecology, the medium is the message. I've given variations of this talk a number of times in the past, and a version of the lecture was published as "Studying Media As Media: McLuhan and the Media Ecology Approach" in the online journal Media Tropes (Volume 1, 2008, pp. 127-142). You can download the piece as a PDF from the following URL: (that's right, you can click on the URL, I did that for you, not to mention the fact that there's also a link to the article over on the right).

So yeah, you can read it, but why bother when you can have pictures and sound instead (there's some media ecology for ya!)? So, without further ado, away we go:

And that is that, pretty much. Actually, my answer to that last question goes on past where this final video ends, and I think there may have been one or more other questions, but it seems that the videotape ran out before I did. And in this way, my message is defined and delimited by the medium. I rest my case.

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