Eric McLuhan to be Honoured with an Honorary DSL (Doctor of Sacred Letters) from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto



Dr. Eric McLuhan (Photo by Michael McLuhan, MPA)

During this centenary year of celebrations honouring the birth of Marshall McLuhan, it is gratifying to learn that the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto will honour the career and contributions of Dr. Eric McLuhan,  the eldest son of Marshall, by awarding him an honourary Doctor of Sacred Letters (DSL). Although the formal citation for the award is not available at this moment, the award is no doubt being given for a lifetime of accomplishment by Eric in collaborating with his father during the latter’s lifetime, completing unfinished aspects of his father’s work, as well as extending that work. He has also published his own original work in literary, communication and media studies. The award will be made at the University of Toronto Fall convocation on November 5, 2011.

I’m sure that all students of Marshall McLuhan, scholars, media professionals and practitioners, as well as everyone interested in the powerful force of media in contemporary life will congratulate Eric McLuhan for his remarkable achievements.

The extent of his collaboration with his father is illustrated by the excerpt below, taken from an interview by Laureano Ralon on August 1, 2010. Follow the link for the complete interview.

Interview Excerpt: “Dad & I worked together over every sentence [of “Laws of Media” 1988], though I did most of the actual writing. We would get together in the study on the top floor of Wychwood Park and begin composing aloud. I would do the writing-own during these sessions at the time, not afterward at home (as Barry Nevitt did with Take Today), and read them back and we’d edit on the fly. Handwriting. Then I’d take the MSS home and type it up on my old IBM model B. We did that for months. So I can claim that those parts of the book were 50-50 in the writing. Naturally, Dad had enormous erudition to bring to bear, and so he was responsible for that much more of it.

The final chapter we saw at the time as more of a post-face; it consisted of three or four pages of sketchy prose, when he died. We sent the incomplete MSS around to several publishers. Doubleday was one of them. They took it seriously enough to assign an artist to make sketches for it …. about 1986, after the book had lain fallow for a while, I returned to it and finished the writing. I inserted the material about Francis Bacon and Giambbatista Vico and added the subtitle, The New Science. (If I ever get to do a second edition, I will switch the main title and subtitle to read The New Science: Laws of Media.

Dr. Eric McLuhan – An internationally known and award-winning lecturer on communication and media, Dr. Eric McLuhan has over 40 years’ teaching experience in subjects ranging from high-speed reading techniques to literature, communication theory, media, culture, and Egyptology. He has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. In addition to co-authoring “Laws of Media” in 1988 and working closely for many years with his father, the late Marshall McLuhan, he has also been deeply involved in exploring media ecology and communications. Although his research and thinking has been published in books, magazines, and journals covering topics such as media, communications, perception, and literature since 1964, his most recent published work includes On Media Ecology (Explorations in Media Ecology, Vol. 5, No. 3), Theories of Communication (Hampton Press, 2009), and Media and Formal Cause (NeoPoesis Press, 2009). Three other books are currently in preparation.  Currently, he is Director, Media Studies, and lectures at The Harris Institute for the Arts in Toronto, Canada. Eric McLuhan’s website:

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