A Symposium on McLuhan’s Media Practice: Literature and Communication, University of Westminster, London, UK
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Location: University of Westminster , 309 Regent Street, City of London, United Kingdom
Date: Mon, Jun 20 at 10:30am – 4:30pm
This special event explores the legacies of media theorist, literary scholar and public intellectual Marshall McLuhan in the context of archive materials. Discussing McLuhan’s contributions to our understandings of media practices, the history and futures of the book, and literary modernism, not least through his own annotations on Joyce and others, the symposium welcomes participants from the Marshall McLuhan Estate and The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto, as well as academics, curators and publishers involved in McLuhan studies in Europe.
Speakers will include: Andrea Boegner (McLuhan Salon, Canadian Embassy, Berlin), David Cunningham (IMCC), Doris Gassert (Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland), Tom Lamberty (Merve Verlag Berlin), Graham Larkin (art historian, Ottawa), Andrew McLuhan (McLuhan Estate), John Shoesmith (Fisher Rare Book Library), Leigh Wilson (Contemporary Small Press Project, IMCC) and Simon Worthington (Mute Magazine).
McLuhan was a central and also provocative figure in early media discourse – some of his pronouncements shaped the subject itself while others remain divisive. However, his research and teaching activities and his contributions to publishing, although hugely influential, have been more difficult to assess. Recent access to McLuhan’s richly annotated library presents a remarkable new research resource, while early drafts of his own books are providing insight into his collaborations with designers, and a clearer view of a unique literature and communications practice is emerging. This symposium assesses these developments and ways in which new materials can be delivered digitally to international researchers, and considers new agendas for McLuhan Studies through the dual perspectives of literary criticism and contemporary publishing research.
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