Thursday, April 29, 2010

Five Years Out: Understanding McLuhan

This past November, at the National Communication Association's annual meeting in Chicago, they scheduled a series of "Five Years Out" sessions (it being five years before the NCA's 100th anniversary), which they had solicited from their various divisions and interest groups, and affiliates, including the Media Ecology Association.

So Thom Gencarelli organized one for the MEA entitled "Five Years Out: Understanding McLuhan" which he described as follows:

This panel honors both the impending 100th anniversary celebration of the National Communication Association and the fact that 2014 also marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of H. Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media in 1964.   The intent is to examine and celebrate McLuhan’s often underappreciated and unappreciated contribution to the discipline of communication and media studies, and his role, as a public intellectual, in putting our awareness, understanding, and misunderstanding of media on the map of the culture-at-large. 

Thom chaired the session, and the panelists included, in alphabetical order, Brian Cogan of Molloy College, Bruce Gronbeck of the University of Iowa, Paul Grosswiler of the University of Maine, Gary Gumpert of the Urban Communication Foundation, Rob MacDougall of Curry College,
Steve Reagles of Bethany Lutheran College, and yours truly, affiliated as I am with Fordham University, not to mention the Institute of General Semantics.

So, all of these sessions were videotaped, and then made available via the National Communication Association's website.   And I would love to embed the video here, you know how I love to spend the day embed, but unfortunately no embed codes are supplied, so I have no choice but to send you over there to watch it.  Here's the link:

Five Years Out: Understanding McLuhan

Before you click on it, be warned that conference sessions run an hour and fifteen minutes, and this particular video clocks in at 79 minutes and 33 seconds.  Is it worth it?  Well, you'll have to judge for yourself.  We go alphabetically, so my remarks come last, and I do say some things here that I have never said before, at least not in a public forum.

So we're less than five years out now from the 50th anniversary of Understanding Media, and next year will be the 100th anniversary of McLuhan's birth, so look for some special programming to mark that occasion!

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