Philip Marchand Wins the 2012 Herbert Marshall McLuhan Award

22Jul12
Philip Marchand, author of Marshall McLuhan: The Medium & the Messenger
The McLuhan Legacy Network awarded the 2012 Herbert Marshall McLuhan Award to journalist, author and Marshall McLuhan biographer Philip Marchand at a 101st birthday celebration for Marshall McLuhan on July 21 at the University of St. Michael’s College. The award was made in cooperation with the University of St.Michael’s College and the Estate of Marshall McLuhan.
The Herbert Marshall McLuhan Award is presented annually to an individual for career achievements in preserving and promoting the legacy of the renowned English professor and world famous media scholar Marshall McLuhan who taught at St. Michael’s College from 1946 until 1980.
Master of Ceremonies Michael McLuhan started the evening by displaying McLuhan family photographs, most never before seen outside of the family, that were taken by Life Magazine photographer Henri Dauman for a Life Magazine feature article of February 25, 1966. Dozens of photographs were taken in Toronto, only a few of which were published in Life.
After a heartfelt introduction by author Bruce W. Powe, Philip Marchand addressed the audience of almost 40 and afterwards accepted questions from the audience.
The award was made in cooperation with The University of St. Michael’s College and the Estate of Marshall McLuhan and was presented by McLuhan Legacy Network co-founder Dr. Robert Logan.
Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger
Biographical Information for Philip Marchand
Philip Marchand was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and came to Canada in the fall of 1964 to study at the University of Toronto, where he studied with Marshall McLuhan at St. Michael’s College. He graduated with BA and MA (1970) degrees in English. Marchand has lived in Toronto ever since, with the exception of a six-year residence in Vancouver during the 1980s. He spent roughly eleven years as a full time freelance magazine writer, before beginning his first major book project, a biography of Marshall McLuhan, in 1985. He also catalogued the McLuhan papers for the National Archives of Canada. Since 1989, Marchand was the book review columnist for the Toronto Star, and more recently he has been reviewing for the National Post. His own books include: Just Looking, Thank You (Macmillan of Canada, 1976), a collection of his magazine journalism; Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger (Random House of Canada, 1989; revised 1998, with Forward by Neil Postman); Deadly Spirits (Stoddart 1994), a crime novel; and Ripostes: Reflections on Canadian Literature (Porcupine’s Quill, 1998). His most recent work of non-fiction is Ghost Empire (McClelland & Stewart, 2006), which investigates the legacy of the French in North America.
Contributions to the Legacy of Marshall McLuhan
  •  Marchand’s was the first biography of Marshall McLuhan and is still an essential reference work on the life and ideas of his one time teacher. “Beautifully written. . . . brings instant recognition of that weird, exhilarating vortex of ideas that McLuhan meant to us. . .” – Toronto Globe & Mail; “The best–I might say the only good–précis of McLuhan’s thought I have ever read.” — Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • His cataloguing of McLuhan’s papers for the National Archives of Canada has provided scholars with a valuable resource for future research.
  • He has spoken on McLuhan at scholarly conferences such as the York University McLuhan Conference (1997) and the Legacy of McLuhan Symposium at FordhamUniversity (1998).
  • His Toronto Star journalism frequently consisted of entire articles on the work and ideas of Marshall McLuhan especially, but also frequent allusions to McLuhan’s ideas that were applied in Marchand’s book reviews and commentaries on media in general. A search of the Toronto Star’s online full-text article archive reveals 110 references to McLuhan in his journalism since 1985, which is not surprising, given his expertise on the subject. However, his writing also references other key media ecologists: Eric McLuhan (13 references), Neil Postman (5 refs), Walter Ong (2 refs), Harold Innis (4 refs.) etc. The cumulative effect gave considerable prominence and attached importance to the work of Marshall McLuhan and other media ecologists.

The McLuhan Legacy Network – with over 250 members the MLN was founded in Toronto in 2010 to facilitate the McLuhan Centenary celebrations in 2011 and continues to celebrate and promote Marshall McLuhan’s legacy in cooperation with the University of St. Michael’s College and the Estate of Marshall McLuhan. If you would like to join the MLN, please contact co-founder Bob Logan at logan@physics.utoronto.ca .

The University of St. Michael’s College – One of the oldest of the seven colleges at the University of Toronto’s downtown St. George campus, St. Mike’s offers a close-knit community which maintains its Catholic identity, while welcoming people of all backgrounds. Marshall McLuhan taught at St. Mike’s from 1946 until his death in 1980.

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One Response to “Philip Marchand Wins the 2012 Herbert Marshall McLuhan Award”


  1. 1 McLuhan Birthday Celebration Every Year? Some Day in the “Centre” Promised in the 1960s? « MMunlocked

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