The Medium and the Light Award for 2022 was Awarded to B.W. Powe


B.W. Powe, Author & Associate Professor

The Medium and the Light Award for 2022

The recipient of the eleventh Medium and the Light Award, in recognition of the ecumenical dimensions of the life and work of Marshall McLuhan, was presented on Thursday, July 7 virtually, as part of the 23rd Media Ecology Association (MEA) Convention usually held in person (for the first time since 2019) at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro with the overall theme of “Celebration”. This was the fifth time that The Medium and the Light Award was conferred at an MEA Convention, the previous years being 2014, 2017, 2020, and 2021

B.W. Powe is the recipient of this year’s award in recognition of his overall body of work as author, poet, storyteller, professor, researcher, and teacher, that so masterfully and imaginatively captures the restless spirit of McLuhan probing “an unsuspecting media ecology that he wears like his own skin, a membrane integral to his own being.” In other words, BW cannot help but shed so much light on the media of his observed worlds that can help lead us out of the vortex of technological determinism. Well, it’s a bit of a Mysteria, which is, appropriately the title of his latest book. His last book (illustrated with street art photos by Marshall Soules), The Charge in the Global Membrane ( 2019, NeoPoesis Press), has won two awards thus far: the MEA Marshall McLuhan Award for the Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology in 2021; and a York University Research and Innovations Award in 2022.

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

The raison d’être of The Medium and the Light Award, inspired by the book The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion by Marshall McLuhan and edited by Eric McLuhan and Fr. Jacek Szklarek and published posthumously in 1999, is “to recognize a person, group, or organization that has made a significant contribution to ecumenical communication inspired by observations and ideas originated by Marshall McLuhan.”

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