CLA Conference display and session feature this “Winnipeg Boy who made Good”
Remember Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In (originally broadcast on NBC 1968-1973)? Cast member Goldie Hawn asked “Whatcha doin’ Marshall McLuhan?” during his heyday. So who was McLuhan and what’s he doin’ back in Winnipeg?
Herbert Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) is one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. Born in Edmonton, raised in Winnipeg, he graduated from the University of Manitoba and Cambridge University, became a devout Catholic, a beloved professor of English literature and founding Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. He’s known for his prophetic poetry, satiric observations, and explorations (“probes”) into the effects of communications media on society. His most famous aphorism “The medium is the message” and percept of “the global village” are integral parts of the English language.
The Marshall McLuhan Initiative at St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba is convening a Canadian Library Association (CLA) Conference session called “McLuhan, Books & Libraries: an Old Figure in a New Ground” from 1-2 p.m. on Thurs., May 30/13 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. It will be given by McLuhan friend and collaborator Dr. Robert (“Bob”) K. Logan, Chief Scientist, Ontario College of Art & Design and Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Toronto. As this session description states, “McLuhan … had some interesting, useful and even infuriating things to say about books and libraries [e.g. “The book is obsolete”]. Ironically, these ideas have not yet been published, but exist as a manuscript co-authored by Bob Logan. Join Logan as he provides a tantalizing, humorous and poignant insider’s look into McLuhan and his ideas.”
For the CLA Conference, the McLuhan Initiative is also curating a Winnipeg-focused McLuhan display at the Elizabeth Dafoe Library entitled, “Marshall McLuhan: a Winnipeg boy who made good“. This title is inspired by McLuhan biographer Philip Marchand, author of the first full-length McLuhan biography, Marshall McLuhan: the Medium and the Messenger (1989) who inscribed two copies of his book for the Director of the Initiative with this quote.
- The Mechanical Bride (1951) McLuhan’s first published book;
- Gutenberg Galaxy : the Making of Typographic Man (1962) winner of the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction that year;
- Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man (1964)
- The Medium is the Massage (1967)
- Culture is Our Business (1970)
- Letters of Marshall McLuhan (1987)
- Marshall McLuhan: the Medium and the Messenger (1989) by Philip Marchand (first scholarly full-length biography)
- Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding (1997) by W. Terrence Gordon (considered the official McLuhan biography)
- Understanding Me (2003) edited by [daughter] Stephanie McLuhan and David Staines
- Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan (2010) by Robert K. Logan
To probe McLuhan further, try:
- “One Stop Search” at the U. of M. Libraries: http://umanitoba.ca/libraries/
- Marshall McLuhan Estate: http://www.marshallmcluhan.com/
- McLuhan Galaxy Blog (official blog of the McLuhan Estate): http://mcluhangalaxy.wordpress.com/
“You don’t like those ideas? I got others.” – Marshall McLuhan