Announcement: New Online Journal Launch for New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication to be Announced Within Weeks


The Original Explorations Journal of Ted Carpenter & Marshall McLuhan (1953 – 1957)

The launch is planned for the first week of March. I will post an announcement when it is online.

By Bob Logan

The New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication project and journal is inspired by the journal Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication. The first eight issues of Explorations were published between 1953 and 1957 at the University of Toronto and edited by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan. A ninth issue was published in 1959 and was edited by Edmund Carpenter alone. Marshall McLuhan then edited issues 10 to 32 between 1964 and 1972 that appeared as inserts in the alumni magazines of the University of Toronto with issues number 10 through 19 appearing in the Varsity Graduate magazine and issues 20 through 32 appearing in the University of Toronto Graduate.

Our Goals
We hope to recapture the spirit of the original Explorations journal which had such an important influence in the development of the Toronto School of Communication. Just as the founders of Explorations were focused on the new electric technologies of their times, primarily television, mainframe computers, and other electric and electronic media, our focus will be on the new digital technologies of our times, namely personal computers, tablets, smartphones, the Internet, the World Wide Web, social media, AI, robots and the new devices that have not yet been invented.

Although our focus is on the technology world of today, especially as it relates to media and communication, new knowledge is still being discovered about McLuhan and his work and we will publish articles about such discoveries and understandings that we think are significant. Our basic approach to these studies will basically be that of media ecology as developed by Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Ted Carpenter, Walter Ong, Neil Postman and a host of other media ecologists but need not be limited to that. Media studies is a big tent and we are open to other approaches to it such as media and communication history, media anthropology, media ethics and media literacy. Media ecology was formulated in the past and in order to avoid “embalming truth” we must be prepared to consider these and other new approaches to media studies that will arrive.

And we will make use of a variety of digital media to organize and deliver our open access online journal and project as described below.

Mission Statement
Our mission parallels that of the original Explorations. The first paragraph of our mission statement is identical to the of the original Explorations, but the second paragraph takes into account the digital environment in which we now live:

New Explorations, like the original Explorations, is designed not as a permanent reference journal that embalms truth for posterity, but as a publication that explores and searches and questions. We envision a series that will cut across the humanities and social sciences by treating them as a continuum. We believe anthropology and communication are approaches, not bodies of data, and that within each of the four winds of the humanities, the physical, the biological and the social sciences intermingle to form a science of man. – Ted Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan. 1953. Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication 1, iii.

While we embrace the mission statement of the original Explorations, we will also deal with the dramatically new environments characterized by the new digital media and AI. To the four winds of the original Explorations project, we now add the fifth wind of the new digital technologies to help us understand what it is to be human in 2020 and beyond.
I will be posting additional information about our plans for this journal in few days for authors and readers of New Explorations: our plans for a secondary server that will provide a discussion forum for readers and authors, a place for artists to share their creative work, relevant news sharing, listing of our Editors and staff and Editorial Board with its strong international representation. Stay tuned.

Eric McLuhan & Ted Carpenter

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