2012 Medium and Light Award, Toronto


Howard R. Engel & Dr. Tom Cooper

2012 Medium and Light Award

The recipient of this year’s Medium and Light Award, in recognition of the religious dimensions of the life and work of Marshall McLuhan, was announced Saturday, September 22, in Toronto.

Dr. Thomas W. Cooper, a distinguished professor in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston received the award Saturday during the international conference, McLuhan: Social Media Between Faith and Culture, at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

The Award is given annually by The Marshall McLuhan Initiative at St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

The conference was attended by leading communications scholars from across North America and from Europe.

Last year’s award was presented to Father Pierre Babin, omi, in Lyons, France. The unique Medium and Light statuette representing the award was unveiled by Dr. Eric McLuhan during Toronto’s McLuhan Centenary celebrations last summer. It was designed by the Initiative in collaboration with Matthew McMillan of Prairie Stained Glass, Winnipeg.

Thomas Cooper

Professor (1983)   –   B.A. Harvard University, M.A. University of Toronto, Ph.D. University of Toronto

Thomas Cooper is the author or co-author of six published books about media ethics and criticism including Media Fast/Fast MediaTelevision and Ethics: A BibliographyCommunications Ethics and Global Change, and An Ethics Trajectory. The co-publisher of Media Ethics, an independent academic and professional magazine (both on-line and in print), Cooper has written over a hundred articles and reviews.

From 1975-1980 at the University of Toronto, Cooper served as an assistant to Marshall McLuhan, the renowned communications theorist who originated the phrase “the medium is the message.” Cooper co-produced some of the first audio-spacebridges (live satellite, two-way broadcasts) between the U.S., the Soviet Union, and other countries.

A playwright with a doctorate in drama and communication, Cooper also attended Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music, and his musical compositions have been performed in multiple locations. He has received numerous fellowships, awards, and grants, and is a speechwriter for the CEO of Puma, Inc. Cooper was founding director of the Association for Responsible Communication, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. He has taught at Harvard University (his alma mater), the University of Hawaii, University of Maryland, Temple University, and at Emerson for almost three decades.

Medium and Light Award

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