last updated: August 17, 2011

Narrative I: Multi-Culture

The logistic task was to bring awareness of McLuhan studies in particular (in connection with Prof. Marshall McLuhan’s Centenary), and even more importantly communication studies in principle, into the educational spaces of current teachers, teachers in the making, current academics educating the above, and current academics in the making. In other words, at OISE/UT.

McLuhan (1911 – 1980) is said to have felt strongly about educational programs and institutions at any level lagging disastrously behind as far as the implementation, and crucially in his case, the understanding of the ever faster and more ubiquitously advancing new technologies/media of communication. His generative book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man was developed from his report on understanding new media to the U.S. Office of Education.

The founder of Philosophy of Education, John Dewey (1859 – 1952), half a century his senior, was equally interested in upgrading education to be up to par with the latest advances in techno-science. He saw education as predicated on communication. Communication is pivotal point of interest in my explorations as it underpins. Apparently, it also serves as a discursive bridge between media-communication theories and educational philosophy, as their respective founders converge on its importance.

Furthermore,  among the strong  “native” research streams at OISE are multiculturalism and diversity/equity studies, so the question arose whether connections can be projected to those, in order to pave the way for communication-media explorations within the larger OISE community. It so happens that McLuhan et al. coauthored a book Culture Is Our Business, innovatively presenting an analytic-artistic perspective on American advertising, and thus on a substantive chunk of mass culture. Multiculturalism as the overcoming of ethnic-racial tensions and imbalances was not a priority discourse in McLuhan’s works, even if being part of the broader cultural landscape, it fell under the same category as advertising, both hinging on the same pendulum that swings between deterioration and amelioration of culture.

The generic concern for culture thus had an ally in pluralism–of points of view, traditions, styles. A title for the series of events was thereby arrived at :), allowing to add more analytic categories conceptualizing combinations of multiplicity and culture. The key role of communication would thus be axiomatic, and the educative formula of McLuhan et al.’s book title could serve as a symbolic vehicle, producing:


Elaborating on the taxonomy, the multitude falling under the umbrella term “culture” can encompass:

1. ethnic-national multiplicity (aboriginal culture) [multiculturalism]
2. biological-genetic variability (plant cultures) [biodiversity]
3. historical-generational distinctions (digital youth culture) [era/age/time of …]
4. disciplinary-occupational (academic culture, FB culture) [multi-/inter-/transdisciplinarity]

For curious historiographic data on the Culture Is Our Business book, which professor Eric McLuhan shared on an MLN panel, July 24, 2011, see Poster Exhibition section in this ES post.

Narrative II: Ecosonic School of Communication (ESC)

specially dedicated post coming up

last updated: August 17, 2011