In anticipation of Bill Kuhns’ to-be-published huge compendium of McLuhan quotes in his McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations, where they will be categorized by the artifact or phenomenon they refer to, I have Bill’s permission to publish samples of original McLuhan quotes from his writings, lectures, and interviews, some of which will have never before been seen in a secondary publication context. Some of the following quotes on “Fake News” come from the hard-to-find DEW-Line Newsletters that few are familiar with because of their relative inaccessibility.

“This is the age of reprography. There are more means of emulating, reflecting, reproducing, duplicating, and making or faking extant in present technologies than ever existed in the world before”.
– “The Genuine Original Imitation Fake,” DEWLine Newsletter, No 6, May-June 1970, p 4.

The word ‘fake,’ of course, is from the Latin ‘facio, facere, feci, factum.’ Making is literally faking. The artist as “maker” is always in quest of a colossal fiction.”
“The Genuine Original Imitation Fake,” DEWLine Newsletter, No 6, May-June 1970, p 4.

“The bias of each medium of communication is far more distorting than the deliberate lie.”
Counterblast (1969), p 119.

“The difference between factitious and fictitious tends to dissolve.”
Information Hunt Looms Big, 1967, p 5.

A half-truth is an awful lot of truth! Most people never get that much.”
– Quote in B.W. Powe. “Marshall McLuhan: The Put-On,” In A Climate Charged (1984).

“The proud motto: ‘All the news that’s fit to print’ advertises the fact that news is actually fiction… [that] there is a large factor of choice in looking at the world itself as something to fit print.”
– “Sharing the News—Friendly Teamness: Teeming Friendness”. Commissioned by the ABC Owned Television Stations for their private distribution. Copyright shared by ABC and McLuhan Associates, Ltd. N.p., 44 pp.. Rpt., as “Television Views the News: Hot Events on a Cool Medium, Where The Audience Is The Actor.” Television / Radio Age, Vol. 19, No. 3, September 6, 1971, p 4.

“News is an artifact where media are concerned. Any kind of good or bad news can be turned on or off at will for varying periods.”
– Culture Is Our Business (1970), p 268.

The reader of the newspaper accepts the newspaper not so much as a highly artificial image having some correspondence to reality as he tends to accept it as reality itself.”
– “Educational Effects of—,” 1956, p. 401.

 “As in the case of the newspaper, most trivial matters are given considerable additional intensity by being translated into prose at all. That is why no account of anything can be “truthful” in a newspaper’.
– From
Cliché to Archetype (1970), Marshall McLuhan with Wilfred Watson, p 198.

“Goldsmith observed of the famous actor David Garrick: ‘On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting. It was only when he was off the stage that he was acting.'”
– “The Genuine Original Imitation Fake,” DEWLine Newsletter, No 6, May-June, 1970, p 5.

“In furs, the genuine fake costs more than real fur. It wears better”.
– Culture Is Our Business (1970), p 46.

“When a visitor stepped into an antique store, he asked: ‘What’s new?’ His jocular query draws attention to the fact that we live in the age of the fake antique, which is itself a form of the replay. Is not ‘news’ itself a replay of the newspaper medium of events that have occurred in some other medium, and does not this replay quality in reporting urge us to narrow the margin between the event and the replay? Does this not make us define news as ‘the latest'”?
“At the Moment of Sputnik—” (1974). Typescript, p. 1.

Andrew McLuhan

Andrew McLuhan has embarked on an ambitious project to provide a personal information service on Marshall and Eric McLuhan and their ideas and legacy to the inhabitants of Prince Edward County and the many non-residents who travel there for recreation or a visit, the county being a popular destination for tourists and visitors. As Andrew explained it, “this is a way for me to have some kind of presence in the community, to start to tell people that I am here, what the McLuhan Institute is, who Marshall McLuhan was, to educate and to entertain to a certain extent, and to engage in a kind of mutual exploration.” This is a brave venture at a time when many place-based retail businesses and services are going online because of the pandemic and paucity of customers willing to venture into non-essential physical establishments. The McLuhan Institute is already well-positioned online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and with its own website. Good luck, Andrew!

Pop-up in Wellington looks at intersection of culture and technology

Marshall McLuhan was one of the towering intellectuals of the 20th century. His ideas on the roles of technology and media in modern culture have influenced two generations of thought, and those ideas are even more relevant in this era of near-instant communication and non-stop information. To make sense of these ideas and place them in a modern context, Marshall’s grandson, Andrew McLuhan, has created the McLuhan Institute. Andrew is a County resident and he started the Institute three years ago to continue the work of his father, Eric McLuhan, and his grandfather in their tradition. Until now, the Institute has been more of an online presence, with Andrew giving lectures or classes from grade school level to university level. Last Saturday, Andrew opened the McLuhan Institute Satellite at 291 Main Street in Wellington, establishing more of a real presence. “This is a way for me to have some kind of presence in the community, to start to tell people that I am here, what the McLuhan Institute is, who Marshall McLuhan was, to educate and to entertain to a certain extent, and to engage in a kind of mutual exploration,” said Andrew. The location was somewhat of a serendipitous find for Andrew. He was in an adjacent suite for a COVID-time haircut, when such places were allowed to reopen, and noticed this space was available for rent, and leapt at the opportunity. “I imagined opening up a satellite venue in order to bring the McLuhan message to the community, which I didn’t think I would be able to do in a more formal building for the institute for several years,” he said. The long-term plan is for Andrew to convert a twostorey barn at his home in the County to house the McLuhan Institute, a project that is several years away from being realized. Andrew believes that the County location is ideal, as it is located midway between the McLuhan Centre in Toronto—home to Marshall’s archives—and Eric McLuhan’s work in Ottawa”…
Read the rest at

Bill Kuhns

Bill Kuhns is already known to some in the McLuhan community of interest from his book, The Post-Industrial Prophets (1971), which contains a chapter on McLuhan, and the “assembly” he did with Eric McLuhan in 2003, The Book of Probes. As an independent McLuhan scholar, he has been circling McLuhan in ever tighter-circles, all his life. He has been well-connected in the McLuhan community and the McLuhan family and was good friends with John Culkin and Walter Ong, who helped him get a Guggenheim Fellowship. He of course also knew Marshall McLuhan.

I will quote Bill myself from his reply to a query I sent him requesting information about his background. Besides his writing he was also a teacher as he explained one of his teaching experiences in reply:

“When I taught at Fordham [University] in the summer of 1967, I taught a class that John Culkin advertised he would give. I was such a young thing then. Had to be most disarming to handle the disappointed nuns, priests, and teachers [who] came from round the country  taking a summer class in “Film Studies in the High School Classroom,” by John Culkin, SJ. I had just finished cobbling together a textbook, Exploring the Film, and pretty much taught what was in that book. I was replaced at the end of summer by a literary professor from Toronto named McLuhan. He taught a much large gathering of students than I did. And he taught much better stuff. Much more original stuff”. 

In 1986 Corinne McLuhan asked him to write the authorized biography. Bill spent endless days and hours in the reading room of the National Archive in Ottawa, poring over diaries, letters, published and unpublished articles and interviews. He saved the best passages he found, as he explained for himself:

“What I learned reading through all the letters and short pieces in the Archive, however, was that the writings and speeches were full of nuggets and I began a grand database of those nuggets. I called it, from the start, “The McLuhan Marshalling Machine,” 

Some of these became the source of The Book of Probes (2003), which he in collaboration with Eric McLuhan published with Gingko Press (see ). Unfortunately for Bill, the authorship of the authorized biography for various reasons went to W. Terrence Gordon.

Current Scholarship
Bill is currently completing two McLuhan books …. one, an elaborate and more comprehensive sequel to The Book of Probes, titled what he had called his database of quotes from the start, The McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations – completing that with the help Bob Logan. And he has finally written the biography he was not permitted to complete 30 years ago, now completed as a large graphic novel, called The Bio-GRAPHIC Marshall McLuhan. Right now, Bill is looking for a graphic artist worthy of the subject to illustrate it. If anyone knows such an individual, please contact me. For The Book of Probes, see

He is also working on a film for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that in his words “rubs the best of McLuhan against the best and worst of our media today.” Bill has published 16 books, both fiction and non-fiction, 14 of which you can see listed on, including Exploring Television (1971), Exploring The Film (1972), Movies in America (1973), plus the titles mentioned above.

A 12-Hour McLuhanesque Marathon
Exploring the Post-Pandemic World

Monday, July 20, Noon to Midnight EDT

With special guests from around the world.

Inspired by the innovative thinking of Marshall McLuhan, participants – academics, artists, designers, raconteurs, innovators, and thinkers – from around the globe will explore the mosaic of the metaphoric Global Village in light of the current scenario. The collectivity of our global thought, actions and generational evolution are the defining principles of the global human condition which we wish to explore.

Link to Part 1 (Noon to 6:00 pm EDT):

Link to Part 2 (6:00 pm to Midnight EDT):

Live on The McLuhan Institute YouTube channel as well:
Part 1:
Part 2:

HOST: PAOLO GRANATA – University of Toronto @uStMikes professor. Media ecologist and cultural strategist. Media Ethics Lab Director. Canadian Commission for UNESCO Executive Committee.

12:00 PM EDT – MICHAEL MCLUHAN An internationally known photographer, author and lecturer, Michael’s work is included in the collection of the Canadian Public Archives, and the Loan Collections of both the P.P.A., and the P.P.O.C.

DAVID NOSTBAKKEN – Social entrepreneur who was a student and teaching assistant with Marshall McLuhan, and a McLuhan Centenary Fellow at the University of Toronto 2014-2018, is the President and CEO of the McLuhan Foundation.

—>1:00 PM EDT – LUCA DE BIASE – Chief editor at Nòva24 – Il sole 24 Ore, the innovation section in the main financial newspaper in Italy. James W. Carey Award for Outstanding Media Ecology Journalism 2016.

RYAN BISHOP – Professor of Global Arts and Politics, Co-Director of the Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media, Director of Research and Doctoral Research within Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton.

—>2:00 PM EDT – ANGELA KREWANI – Full professor for Media Studies and Digital Media at the Institut für Medienwissenschaft of the Philipps-Universität in Marburg.

GERRY FIALKA – Artist, writer, and paramedia ecologist, lectures world-wide on experimental film, avant-garde art and subversive social media.

VINICIUS ANDRADE PEREIRA – PhD in Communication Studies by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, is Adjunct Professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro State where he coordinates the post-graduation research program in communication (Technology and Culture).

—>3:00 PM EDT – CARLOS SCOLARI is  a researcher and expert in communication and digital media, interfaces and communication ecology, at the Department of Communication of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He studies new forms of communication arising from the spread of the World Wide Web.

KALINA ROGOZINSKA – University of Szczecin, Poland. In her research activity, she’s focused on the relationships between means of communication prevailing in a given period and social life. She authored Between science and art: Marshall McLuhan’s Theory and Practice of Art.

DUNCAN REYBURN – Associate Professor in the School of the Arts at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa. He is the author of Seeing things as they are: G. K. Chesterton and the drama of meaning (Cascade, 2016).

—>4:00 PM EDT – DERRICK DE KERCKHOVE – Former Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology at the University of Toronto, author of The Skin of Culture and Connected Intelligence. He has recently been teaching in Italy and Spain.

LUCIANE MARIA FADEL & MARIA COLLIER DE MENDONCA – Dr. Luciane Maria Fadel (Professor at the Knowledge Media Area, Graduate Program in Knowledge Engineering and Management, Federal University of Santa Catarina, PPGEGC/ UFSC) Brazil. Dr. Maria Collier de Mendonça (Postdoctoral Researcher at the Knowledge Media Area, Graduate Program in Knowledge Engineering and Management, Federal University of Santa Catarina, PPGEGC/ UFSC).

WILSON OLIVEIRA FILHO – Teacher and researcher at Estacio University (Rio de Janeiro Brazil) since 2005. Ph.D in Social Memory with an internship at the University of Chicago. Multimedia artist and musician, created DUO2x4 with Márcia Bessa in 2012.

—>5:00 PM EDT – ELENA LAMBERTI – Associate Professor, North American Literatures, at the University of Bologna, a specialist of Modernist Literature, Cultural Memory, Literature and Media Ecology, War Literature.

FRANCESCO BENOZZO – Italian poet, musician and philologist. Associate professor at the University of Bologna since 2015; he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

B.W. POWE – Canadian poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher, and teacher. His influential writings on Marshall McLuhan, Northrop Frye, and Pierre Trudeau have been widely-praised, as have his poetry and novels, including Outage and These Shadows Remain, longlisted for the ReLit Prize.
—>6:00 PM EDT – GAIL LORD, based in Toronto, experienced, innovative, effective, creative — one of the world’s foremost museum planners. Gail has extensive experience in the museum and cultural sector and brings exceptional vision and knowledge to each of the projects she leads.
MARIO MENDOZA – his life mission and calling is to advocate for a humane global migrant policy that honors global migration as a basic human right. He Founded the nonprofit organization, to gather stories of people living undocumented lives in the United States.

BRUCE ROSENSTEIN – Managing Editor, Leader to Leader. Author of Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way. is a business leadership blog, dedicated to bringing together leaders to share wealth of knowledge to create meaningful insight.

—>7:00 PM EDT – JEFFREY SCHNAPP, Founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard University and faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
ANDREW CHRYSTALL, a [relatively] relaxed individual. School of Communication, Journalism & Marketing, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. His research unfolds from the aesthetic-historical and interdisciplinary approach of Marshall McLuhan, the Toronto School of Communication, and Media Ecology.
NINA CZEGLEDY, formerly of the University of Toronto, an independent media artist, curator and writer, who has collaborated on international projects, produced digital works, and lead and participated in workshops, forums and festivals.

—>8:00 PM EDT – DOUGLAS COUPLAND, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, visual artist. His fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. His first novel, the 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized terms such as McJob and Generation X.

ANDREW MCLUHAN – writer, maker, thinker, dreamer. Director of The McLuhan Institute. His first major research project was in the cataloging and evaluation of Marshall McLuhan’s working library, now named to UNESCO’s Memory of the World register, and he has presented widely on the subject.

JENNIFER REID & JARRETT COLE – Director and Assistant Director of the Winnipeg School of Communication, an interdisciplinary collective of media researchers, scholars, and activists who advocate for a Deep Green Media Ecology approach to understanding the current situation on planet Earth.

—>9:00 PM EDT – ARTHUR KROKER, Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Theory, Professor of Political Science, and the Director of the Pacific Centre for Technology (PACTAC) at the University of Victoria.
NIKKI CLARKE – Known as Canada’s Oprah, Nikki is the founder, producer and host of the Nikki Clarke Show. Elected the President of the Ontario Black History Society in 2015. Nikki’s third book, Transforming Lives, One Story at a Time: Powerful Stories of Success and Inspiration, an anthology of empowering reflections was published in 2017.
BILL KUHNS – An Independent McLuhan scholar and author of 16 books, including The Book of Probes (2003), which he collaborated on with Eric McLuhan, and The Post-Industrial Prophets (1971). He is presently working on two books on McLuhan, a comprehensive collection of McLuhan probe quotes and a graphic biography of McLuhan. He is also working with the National Film Board on a film about McLuhan.

—>10:00 PM EDT – HENRY JENKINS – Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California. He is the author and/or editor of 20 books on various aspects of media and popular culture.

HENRY GOMEZ – Known as King Cosmos, he is a Trinidadian and Tobagonian- Canadian musician, actor and educator. Born and raised in Princess Town, Trinidad, today he is recognized as one of Canada’s best known performers of Caribbean music.

SUSAN DRUCKER & GARY GUMPERT – Directors and  founders of the Urban Communication Foundation. Susan Drucker the Lawrence Stessin Distinguished Professor in Journalism and Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, & Public Relations. Gary Gumpert is Emeritus Professor of Communication at Queens College of the City University of New York

KATSURA HATTORI – Japanese editor. After studying in MIT Media Lab, he worked as editor for computer magazines ASAHI pasokon and Doors.

—>11:00 PM EDT – RUBAL KANOZIA – Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Media Studies, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda India. He is a member IAMCR, IECA & Google News Initiative Trainer of Debunking Fake News in India.

RIWAJ MOKTAN – The United North East ‘TUNE’, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Author or Kancha Chora The Youngest Son.


With special guests and friends: Luigi Ferrara, Paul Levinson, Bob Logan, Alex Kuskis, Donna Halper, Barry Vacker, Junichi Miyazawa, Andrey Mir, Jean-François Vallée, and more…

Winnipeg Today, a photo of near the “Forks,” where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red River

I have been reading and seeing the phrase “Winnipeg School of Communication” for a couple of years now and never before that and I assumed that it was being used in the same sense as the Frankfurt School, the Toronto School, Chicago School, etc. That usage of the word school usually denotes a coherent line of thought, an approach to understanding, a system of ideas that, although articulated and complex, is essentially understandable as a body of ideas that belong together. It does not matter that such usage of school is applied retroactively, never having been used or thought of by its principal thinkers in the past. It often takes the hindsight of history to see the connections and relationships that comprise a “school” of thought which can only much later be described as such. That was the case with the Toronto School, which Eric McLuhan stressed that his father had never thought of as a “school” and never used the term.

A group in Winnipeg has now adopted the name Winnipeg School of Communication and established a website to announce themselves to the world. I contacted them recently to find out about them and their plans. i received a reply from their Director Jennifer Reid and these are her responses to the questions I posed to her:

About the Winnipeg School of Communication

By Jennifer Reid, PhD

Q – The main thing I want to know from you is what you mean by the Winnipeg School of Communication. Do you mean it in the same sense as the Frankfurt School or Toronto School of Communication?…

The Winnipeg School of Communication marks a return of balance to thinking about media and communications in Canada. It evokes the natural ecology of the land, which is to say land as understood by waterways as communication. Canada, as Harold Innis pointed out, was formed on the basis of the commercialization of communication. As the early fur traders discovered, once past the arctic watershed, you have no choice but to carry on to Winnipeg, located at the forks of the rivers at the heart of the North American continent. This configuration gave rise to its emergence as an early “hub”. Winnipeg is also understood as “mid-ocean”—in the middle of the three oceans that obsessed Europeans and shaped Western modernity. It’s the ultimate expression of “centre-margin” relations. Winnipeg precedes Toronto in this sense, and it’s interesting to see how that historical and geographical reality is reflected in the spread of thinking about media and communications in Canada. It may be said that the pre-history of the Toronto School is rooted in Winnipeg, and more specifically, in the confluence of minds at the Broadway Campus of the University of Manitoba during the first half of the twentieth century.

Innovators of the Winnipeg School

Q – Who are its principal thought leaders who are related by intellectual affinities rather than the fact that they were all born in Winnipeg?

We’ve identified what we call the “Group of Nine” as inspirational for us. They comprise what may be understood as the Winnipeg School of thought on media and communications, from which our organization arises. For a thirty-year span during the first half of the twentieth century, the Broadway Campus of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg’s city centre was a meeting point for figures who went on to be central to media and communications in Canada and beyond. Significant intellectual cross-pollination and career intersection was the outcome. Three of the original five members of the Explorations group, D. C. Williams, W. T. Easterbrook, and Marshall McLuhan, grew up together in Winnipeg and received their initial academic training at the Broadway Campus. S.I. Hayakawa, a significant innovator in the field of semantics, and Graham Spry, instrumental in the establishment of the CBC, represent an earlier cohort. Erving Goffman left chemistry in favour of the National Film Board and went on to be a dominant force in sociology. Professors Henry Wilkes Wright (psychology), Rupert Clendon Lodge (philosophy), and H. Noel Fieldhouse (history) provided their students with generative exposure to the history of ideas, with emphasis on communications and education.

Goals and Relationships of the Winnipeg School of Communication

Q – What are your goals or what is your mission statement?

Ultimately, we are not so much strictly regional in focus as committed to the idea that there is a uniquely Canadian understanding of media and communications. We’re a venue for knowledge dissemination and creation in this spirit. As teachers of English language and literature, we follow McLuhan in identifying the need to teach about media. This sort of education is hard to come by in our current institutions, and that’s where we come in. When Eric McLuhan was in Winnipeg for the dedication of Marshall McLuhan Hall at the University of Manitoba in 2004, he said that if a communications school were to be started here, it would be a world leader. We’ve taken that prompt seriously. Andrew McLuhan lends an important editorial voice to our journal, Winnsox, and we’ve partnered with The McLuhan Institute in the promotion of a network or circuit of research centres across Canada.

We’ve taken a “deep green media ecology” approach to the study of the media. The four elements of our deep green media ecology approach consist of communication, media, education, and ecology. Considering the great impact of media on our contemporary society we need to “understand” media as never before. It comes as no surprise that the human species needs to transition to a sustainable way of life now. Understanding media is the key. The Winnipeg School of Communication is here to help with that very transition.

Q – Are you related in any way to either of the two universities in Winnipeg?

We are a fully independent, privately owned and run organization, so that affords us a great deal of freedom away from the institutional structures that represent the old way of doing media education.

The Website of the Winnipeg School is at:

Construction for Winnipeg Auditorium, 1931 – The Broadway Campus of the University of Manitoba would soon be to the right and above where the Auditorium would be

View from the back of the Hudson’s Bay store, circa 1948, showing the Winnipeg Auditorium (now home to the Archives of Manitoba and Manitoba Legislative Library), but also providing an unusual view of the Broadway Campus of the University of Manitoba including the “Arts Building” (the white building at the rear of the Science Building), where McLuhan studied.

PandeMedia & Folklores from the Lockdown Age

Join us for the twelfth Monday Night Webinar, Monday JULY 13, 8:00-10:00 PM EST: PandeMedia and Folklores from the Lockdown Age.


In a playful, relaxed, and experimental online format, a panel of participants will explore the mosaic of the metaphoric global village in light of the current global crisis, as a source of knowledge and inspiration.


Live on the Facebook and YouTube. Featuring special guests: Cathy Adams, Corey Anton, Carolin Aronis, Rea Beaumont, Marc Belanger, Jody Berland, Terence Bowman, Alessandro Efrem Colombi, Tom Cooper, Sandra Danilovic, Luigi Ferrara, Gary Genosko, Richard Grusin, Donna Halper, Julia M. Hildebrand, Jesse Hirsh, Elaine Kahn, Adeena Karasick, Derrick de Kerckhove, Alexander Kuskis, Elena Lamberti, Adam Lauder, Paul Levinson, Mark Lipton, Robert K. Logan, Jaqueline McLeod Rogers, Michael McLuhan, Andrew McLuhan, Andrey Miroshnichenko, Junichi Miyazawa, David Nostbakken, Mike Plugh, Beatriz Polivanov, B.W. Powe, Ramona Pringle, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, Howard Rheingold, Phil Rose, Lance Strate, R.H Thomson, Barry Vacker, Jean-François Vallée.

LINKS to the live stream:

Marshall McLuhan Facebook Group

The McLuhan Institute YouTube Channel:

A Monday Night Seminar, April 1973

Ronald J. Deibert is the founder and director of Citizen Lab, a research outfit based at the University of Toronto, which studies technology, surveillance and censorship. His Massey Lectures will focus on the societal impact of the internet and social media.

In the midst of a global pandemic when many of us are spending an increasing amount of time online, this year’s Massey Lectures argues that the internet, especially social media, has an increasingly toxic influence in every aspect of life.

Technology and security expert Ronald J. Deibert will deliver the series of lectures, titled Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society. The five lectures will also be published as a book by House of Anansi Press in September.

The announcement was made Tuesday during a virtual event featuring Deibert, which was hosted by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

Drawing from his work as the director of Citizen Lab, which has made headlines for its cyber espionage research, Deibert will talk about the personal, social, political, economic and ecological implications of social media.

This year’s Massey Lectures will be delivered virtually, with details to be announced later this summer. As usual, the lectures will be broadcast in the fall on CBC Radio’s IDEAS and the CBC Listen App.

In the first lecture, Deibert will explore how the economic model of social media is organized around personal data surveillance. In the second, he will discuss how social media platforms are engineered to be “addiction machines.” 

Then he will examine the role social media has played in the rise and spread of authoritarian practices worldwide. 

In lecture four, he will review the negative environmental impacts associated with social media, from electronic mining to cloud computing’s contributions to CO2 emissions and the growing problem of electronic waste. 

In the final lecture, he will explore what can be done to imagine a better world.

The Massey Lectures is an annual series of lectures delivered by distinguished writers, thinkers and scholars. Past lecturers include Margaret Atwood, Thomas King, Noam Chomsky and Northrop Frye.

The series is co-sponsored by CBC Radio, House of Anansi Press and Massey College in the University of Toronto.  (Source:

Reclaiming Social Media for Civil Society

Ronald Deibert

Once, it was conventional wisdom to assume that digital technologies would enable greater access to information, facilitate collective organizing, and empower civil society. Rather than facilitating unity and the emergence of a common ideology based on science, the internet and social media have proven to be vehicles used to spread falsehoods, pollute the public sphere, and subject populations to wholesale surveillance. People are also spending an unhealthy amount of time staring at their devices, “socializing” while in fact living in isolation and detached from nature. As a consequence, there are pushes to regulate social media and to encourage tech giants to be better stewards of their platforms, respect privacy, and acknowledge the role of human rights. A prerequisite of any such regulation, however, is a complete understanding of the precise nature and depth of the problems.

Technology and security expert Ronald J. Deibert examines the scope and scale of the personal, social, political, economic, and ecological implications of social media. Drawing from the cutting-edge research of the Citizen Lab (which he directs), Deibert analyzes consumer compulsion and the information economy; the disturbing rise of authoritarian practices, cyberwarfare services, and social engineering campaigns; and the negative environmental impact of digital devices, data farms, and electronic waste. Ultimately, Deibert exposes social media’s disproportionate influence in every aspect of life to the detriment of society and of our humanity — so much so that we are now in urgent need of a wholesale shift in our lifestyles, a fundamental revision of culture, work, and politics. And not just in one country, but around the world.  (


Ron Deibert, (PhD, University of British Columbia) is Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory focusing on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security. He was a co-founder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative (2003-2014) and Information Warfare Monitor (2003-2012) projects. Deibert was one of the founders and (former) VP of global policy and outreach for Psiphon, one of the world’s leading digital censorship circumvention services.

As Director of the Citizen Lab, Deibert has overseen and been a contributing author to more than 120 reports covering path-breaking research on cyber espionage, commercial spyware, Internet censorship, and human rights. See the rest of his bio at (


A Webinar Presented by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

14 Oct, 2020 *** 17:30 to 19:00

Marshall McLuhan perhaps is best known for his contributions to communication theory and his precepts about the effects of technology upon culture and society. In the 1960s and 1970s – the height of McLuhan’s career as Canada’s preeminent media guru – McLuhan worked largely within the confines of the University of Toronto, far away from the social and political unrest fermenting in Québec during those years. Yet, from McLuhan’s writings and public pronouncements at that time and toward the end of his life, we know he had not been insensitive to the plight of Québec francophones. However, two of McLuhan’s contemporaries, his Toronto colleague Northrop Frye and Montreal author Hugh MacLennan, accused McLuhan of stirring up trouble in Québec. McLuhan’s open friendship with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau ostensibly was behind Frye’s assertion that McLuhan was interfering in Québec’s affairs. MacLennan believed McLuhan’s contentions about mediated environments were abetting French nationalist sentiment in the province.

Jonathan Slater is director of the Institute for Ethics in Public Life at SUNY Plattsburgh, where he chairs the Department of Journalism and Public Relations and directs the Jewish Studies program. Slater also is a faculty associate of the college’s Center for the Study of Canada. He currently is researching and writing a book about mass media’s role in the tumultuous years between Québec’s Quiet Revolution and the October Crisis. Slater completed his doctorate in media ecology at New York University.

This event was brought to you by the BMP Rotating Lecture Program in Canadian Studies, established in 2013 as a formal partnership among the Canadian Studies programs of McGill University, Bridgewater State University and SUNY College at Plattsburgh. The Lectureship is designed to strengthen connections between the programs, share expertise in the area of Canadian Studies, and to expand audiences and interests in the field.

The webinar will be followed by a Q&A. Simultaneous interpretation (English, French) will be provided.

Free, registration required.


PandeMedia & Folklores from the Lockdown Age

Join us for the eleventh Monday Night Webinar, Monday JULY 6, 8:00-10:00 PM EST: PandeMedia and Folklores from the Lockdown Age.

In a playful, relaxed, and experimental online format, a panel of participants will explore the mosaic of the metaphoric global village in light of the current global crisis, as a source of knowledge and inspiration.

With special guests  Jody BerlandGary GenoskoIzabella Pruska-Oldenhof.

LINKS to the live stream:

Marshall McLuhan Facebook Group

The McLuhan Institute YouTube Channel:

Biographies of the Guest Speakers

JODY BERLAND is a Professor of environmental humanities and media studies. Research and teaching in the areas of Canadian and modern culture, cultural studies, media theory, human-animal relations. Editor Emerita of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 1998-2015. Awarded the 2010 Gertrude J Robinson Book Prize, CCA for North of Empire: Essays on Cultural Technologies of Space, Duke University Press, 2009. Principal Investigator, “Digital Animalities: Media Representations of Nonhuman Life in the Age of Risk,” SSHRC 2016-2020. Author, Virtual Menageries: Animals as Mediators in Network Cultures, MIT Press 2019. Supervised 12 completed PhDs. (

GARY GENOSKO is a Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario. He received his BA in Philosophy at University of Toronto and his MA in Philosophy at University of Alberta. He received his MES at York University and completed his PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University. He held a Canada Research Chair from 2002 to 2012 in Technoculture Studies, and has received SSHRC funding for a number of projects since 2001, as well as participating in a McConnell Foundation grant for community service learning. His most recent book is Remodelling Communication (UTP 2012), and he recently edited a special issue of the journal Deleuze Studies on ‘Felix Guattari in the Age of Semiocapitalism’ (2012).  Recent articles by Dr. Genosko have appeared inCultural studiesParallaxCultural PoliticsCtheory; and chapters in The Cambridge Companion to DeleuzeValences of InterdisciplinarityThe Guattari Effect, and Transforming McLuhan. His previous books include Felix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction, and Felix Guattari: A Critical Introduction. His forthcoming book When Technocultures Collide is in press with WLUP, and he has contributed many entries to the forthcoming Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary (Continuum). (

IZABELLA PRUSKA-OLDENHOF is a Toronto-based experimental filmmaker, scholar and Assistant Professor at the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. She is a graduate of Media Arts at Ryerson University (BAA) and Communication and Culture at York University (MA) and (PhD). Her doctoral research concentrated on feminine aesthetics in avant-garde cinema and body art, and drew on Julia Kristeva’s theories on vanguard poetry and Luce Irigaray’s philosophy of ethics. Izabella’s writings on cinema, art, dance, technology and culture, have appeared in Parol, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, and in Ultimate Reality and Meaning Journal (Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Philosophy of Understanding), and in anthologies on media arts and on screen dance, including a chapter in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Screendance. Izabella’s film and video projects have screened in numerous group programs at international film festivals, cinematheques, galleries and art centres in Canada and abroad. She is the co-founder and an active member of the Toronto-based experimental film collective, the Loop Collective (, external link, opens in new window). Her work as an artist and scholar is interdisciplinary and often explores connections between art, bodies, and technology. (

Derrick de Kher

By Howard R. Engel

The Medium and the Light Award for 2020

The recipient of the ninth Medium and the Light Award, in recognition of the ecumenical dimensions of the life and work of Marshall McLuhan, was presented on Thursday, June 18 online as an integral part of the 21st Media Ecology Association (MEA) Conference hosted by Adelphi University, Garden City, New York with the overall theme “Communication Choices + Challenges”. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers decided to pivot from the original face-to-face format, which would have been an impossibility, to mounting the MEA Conference entirely online, for the first time ever.

Dr. Derrick de Kerckhove is the recipient of this year’s Award. He is a longtime media ecologist, McLuhan studies scholar and researcher on the effects of media on the human being. He received it for his longstanding, indefatigable enthusiasm and energy in extending McLuhan’s work by probing our ever-changing world from his point-of-being that invites all of us to think about the effects of media technologies on all of us as human beings and for his ongoing “indepth research on the ability of the media to influence human perceptual and cognitive experience, starting from the assumption that the mass media can be defined as psychotechnologies, i.e. technologies that affect and modify ways of thinking and feeling.”

The Award is usually given annually by The Marshall McLuhan Initiative that was affiliated for its first decade (2007-2017) with St Paul’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. The University of Manitoba is Marshall McLuhan’s first post-secondary alma mater, where he earned the Gold Medal in Arts for 1933 and an M.A. in English literature (1934).

The inaugural award, in 2011, was presented to the late Fr. Pierre Babin, omi (1925-2012), in Lyons, France. The unique Medium and Light obelisk statuette representing the award was unveiled by Dr. Eric McLuhan during Toronto’s McLuhan Centenary celebrations that summer. Originally conceived by the late Director of the Marshall McLuhan Initiative, Richard J. Osicki (1946-2012), and inspired by the book The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion by Marshall McLuhan and edited by Eric McLuhan and Jacek Szklarek (1999) was designed by The Initiative in collaboration with artist Matthew McMillan of Prairie Studio Glass, Winnipeg who uniquely recreates the glass obelisk for each year’s recipient.

Click on the following for a history of The Medium and the Light Award:
Topic: MEA Convention 2.1: The Medium and the Light Award
Date: Jun 18, 2020 08:58 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Click on the following to view a Zoom video of the award ceremony: