The Legacy of Marshall McLuhan – Revisiting the Message Seminar, Copenhagen


Date: Monday, October 31, 2011

Robert Logan
Paul Levinson

This year, 2011, marks the centenary of the famous Canadian media critic Marshall McLuhan. The Institute of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen is proud to present “The Legacy of Marshall McLuhan ‐ Revisiting the Message”: a seminar dedicated to this visionary yet controversial, but undeniably deeply influential media theorist.

McLuhan revolutionized media studies in the 1960’s by simply pointing to the importance of the media itself as opposed to the content they carry. This is best illustrated by his seminal observation that “The Medium is the Message”. To further prove his point, McLuhan followed with thought‐provoking claims like “Media are the Extensions of Man”, and his observation that we live in a “Global Village” which received much attention within as well as outside academic spheres. He argued that the emergence of electronic technology introduced a need to re‐think media and communication. While many were puzzled by McLuhan’s extensive visions of electronic media at the time, his ideas have since been revitalised, especially with the rise of digital media from the 1990’s onwards.

Today, with our daily lives immersed in all sorts of media ‐ social media, mobile media, converging media etc. ‐ it seems more natural than ever to talk about media being the message. Thus, the centenary of Marshall McLuhan provides a welcome opportunity to consider his legacy, how the work of McLuhan can help bring insights into our current media environment and where it might be heading.

University Library, Copenhagen

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