Derrick de Kerckhove is the Recipient of the The Medium and the Light Award for 2020


Derrick de Kher

By Howard R. Engel

The Medium and the Light Award for 2020

The recipient of the ninth Medium and the Light Award, in recognition of the ecumenical dimensions of the life and work of Marshall McLuhan, was presented on Thursday, June 18 online as an integral part of the 21st Media Ecology Association (MEA) Conference hosted by Adelphi University, Garden City, New York with the overall theme “Communication Choices + Challenges”. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers decided to pivot from the original face-to-face format, which would have been an impossibility, to mounting the MEA Conference entirely online, for the first time ever.

Dr. Derrick de Kerckhove is the recipient of this year’s Award. He is a longtime media ecologist, McLuhan studies scholar and researcher on the effects of media on the human being. He received it for his longstanding, indefatigable enthusiasm and energy in extending McLuhan’s work by probing our ever-changing world from his point-of-being that invites all of us to think about the effects of media technologies on all of us as human beings and for his ongoing “indepth research on the ability of the media to influence human perceptual and cognitive experience, starting from the assumption that the mass media can be defined as psychotechnologies, i.e. technologies that affect and modify ways of thinking and feeling.”

The Award is usually given annually by The Marshall McLuhan Initiative that was affiliated for its first decade (2007-2017) with St Paul’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. The University of Manitoba is Marshall McLuhan’s first post-secondary alma mater, where he earned the Gold Medal in Arts for 1933 and an M.A. in English literature (1934).

The inaugural award, in 2011, was presented to the late Fr. Pierre Babin, omi (1925-2012), in Lyons, France. The unique Medium and Light obelisk statuette representing the award was unveiled by Dr. Eric McLuhan during Toronto’s McLuhan Centenary celebrations that summer. Originally conceived by the late Director of the Marshall McLuhan Initiative, Richard J. Osicki (1946-2012), and inspired by the book The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion by Marshall McLuhan and edited by Eric McLuhan and Jacek Szklarek (1999) was designed by The Initiative in collaboration with artist Matthew McMillan of Prairie Studio Glass, Winnipeg who uniquely recreates the glass obelisk for each year’s recipient.

Click on the following for a history of The Medium and the Light Award:
Topic: MEA Convention 2.1: The Medium and the Light Award
Date: Jun 18, 2020 08:58 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Click on the following to view a Zoom video of the award ceremony:

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