McLuhan Studies : Issue 3

Intro to Issue 3

The Legacy of McLuhan:
Symposium Participants


Robin Andersen is Associate Professor and Chair of Fordham University's Department of Communication and Media Studies. Her research interests include media and public opinion, the social and political impact of television, and the influence of advertising and media marketing on popular culture. She is the author of Consumer Culture and TV Programming. She has also produced radio and video documentaries and continues to work with Fordham's WFUV radio 90.7 FM.

Richard Barbrook studied politics and history at Cambridge, Essex and Kent. During the 1980s, he was involved in pirate and community radio broadcasting. Following research for the University of Westminster, he wrote Media Freedom: The Contradictions of Communications in the Age Of Modernity (Pluto Press, London 1995). He presently works at the Hypermedia Research Centre (HRC), University of Westminster. As well as organizing the MA in Hypermedia Studies, he has written extensively on the politics and sociology of the Net. Most of his recent work can be accessed on the HRC web site:

Susan B. Barnes is an Assistant Professor in Fordham University's Department of Communication and Media Studies, and specializes in teaching digital media. Currently, she is the Editor of Interpersonal Computing and Technology: An Electronic Journal for the 21st Century (IPCT-J), which focuses on computer-mediated communication, and the pedagogical issues surrounding the use of computers and technology in educational settings. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Barnes is a new media consultant and multimedia designer, and the current Co-Chair of the New York Macintosh User's Group, Multimedia Special Interest Group (SIG) that presents monthly programs at Apple Computer.

Jay David Bolter is Director of the New Media Center and Professor in the School of Literature, Communications, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of Turing's Man: Western Culture in the Computer Age, and of Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Together with Michael Joyce, he is the author of Storyspace, a program for creating hypertexts for individual use and World Wide Web publication. He is now collaborating with Richard Grusin on a book, entitled Remediation, on the historical and theoretical significance of digital visual media, to be published by MIT Press in the Fall of 1998.

Harris Breslow received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois in 1994. He is an Assistant Professor in the Programme in Mass Communications, York University, Toronto. He is slated to become the editor of the Topia: The Journal of Canadian Cultural Studies.

James M. Curtis is Professor of Russian at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His first book, Culture as Polyphony, was a wide-ranging explication and application of McLuhan's work. He also used McLuhan in his Rock Eras. Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984.

Mark Dery is a cultural critic. He wrote Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century, a critique of fringe computer culture, and edited the essay collection, Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture . His essays and articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Suck, Salon, Feed, and World Art (to which he is a contributing editor). He's currently at work on The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium (Grove Press, 1999), a book about madness and mayhem in millennial America

Bob Dobbs was born in Paris and after World War Two worked with international intelligence agencies for many decades. He surfaced in 1987 on CKLN-FM in Toronto and began whistle-blowing. Two interpretations of Dobbs are circulating in the popular media: one is through the Church of the SubGenius that Dobbs inspired in 1978 in Dallas; the other is on two CDs, Bob's Media Ecology and Bob's Media Ecology Squared, put out in 1992 by Time Again Productions, early students of Marshall McLuhan. The best presentation of Dobbs' work is in his book, Phatic Communion with Bob Dobbs. Today, he travels the world explaining his/our victory over the Android Meme, and the tracings of these activities are regularly published in Flipside magazine.

Kenneth J. Gergen is the Mustin Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College, and Director of the Program for Interpretation Theory. His most significant writings include Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge; The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life; and Realities and Relationships: Soundings in Social Construction.

Stephanie Gibson is an Associate Professor in the School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore. She is co-editor of Communication and Cyberspace: Social Interaction in an Electronic Environment and the forthcoming The Emerging CyberCulture: Literacy, Paradigm, and Paradox. Her current interest is in the cultural environment that permits the death penalty.

Frank Gillette is currently on the School of Visual Arts faculty, and his media art is in the permanent public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Whitney Museum in New York City, The Chicago Art Institute, the University of Art Museum (Berkeley), the Corcoran Museum (Washington, D.C.), the Tate Museum (London), the Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston), The Everson Museum (Syracuse), and the Getty Museum (Los Angeles), among others. He has received fellowships from the Dare, Rockefeller, and Guggenheim foundations, as well as two senior fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was appointed artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome (1984-1985), and has published over 50 essays.

Ray Gozzi, Jr., is an Associate Professor in the TV-Radio Department at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. He is editor of the "Metaphors in Action " feature in ETC., A Review of General Semantics, and is the author of New Words and a Changing American Culture, and The Power of Metaphor in the Age of Electronic Media (forthcoming).

Paul Grosswiler is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Maine. He is the author of The Method is the Message: Rethinking McLuhan Through Critical Theory. He worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Missouri, and as a copy and feature editor for a daily newspaper in Maine.

Richard Grusin is Chair and Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a member of Georgia Tech's Center in Graphics, Visualization, and Usability (GVU). He is the author of Transcendentalist Hermeneutics: Institutional Authority and the Higher Criticism of the Bible. He is currently completing a book entitled The Reproduction of Nature: Cultural Origins of the National Parks for Duke University Press. Presently he is collaborating with Jay David Bolter on a book-length "genealogy " of new digital media, entitled Remediation, which will be brought out by MIT Press this fall.

Gary Gumpert is Professor Emeritus of Communication Arts and Sciences at Queens College, City University of New York. His initial McLuhanization occurred in 1960 as the producer and director of Marshall McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy. He is the author of Talking Tombstones and Other Tales of the Media Age, and co-editor (with Robert Cathcart) of three editions of Inter/Media: Interpersonal Communication in a Media World and (with Susan Drucker) of Voices in the Street: Gender, Media and Public Space. He is the co-founder of Communication Landscapers, a consulting firm which analyzes the nexus of regulation, communication, and media development. His current research focuses on the relationship of new communication technologies and the use of public spaces.

Bernard Hibbitts is Associate Dean for Communications & Information Technology and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. A Rhodes Scholar and former law clerk to the Supreme Court of Canada, Hibbitts is a graduate of Oxford University, the University of Toronto and the Harvard Law School. His work has been published in the New York University Law Review, the McGill Law Journal, American Ethnologist, the British Medical Journal, Intellectual Property, Afronet, and Wired. As a practical application of his interest in law and media, Hibbitts is very active online, and is probably best known on the Internet as the Director of JURIST: The Law Professors' Network He has just joined McLuhan Studies as an editor.

Neil Hickey is Editor-At-Large of The Columbia Journalism Review. He was TV Guide's New York Bureau Chief for 25 years, and Senior Editor for 5 years. He also is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the graduate divisions of New York University and Fordham University. In 1995, he won the Everett C. Parker Award for Lifetime Achievement for his writings on telecommunications. Hickey is the author of a number of books, among them: Adam Clayton Powell and the Politics of Race, and The Gentleman Was a Thief, a biography of Arthur Barry, the legendary 1920's jewel thief.

Jesse Hirsh is the director of the new media unit with the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. At 23 years of age, he has gone from being arrested for 'Unauthorized Access of a Computer' (the charges were later dropped), to starting his own Internet Service Provider, to performing the duties of Chief Information Officer for Channel Zero, a global media corporation. He is a founding member of the media collective, as well as a founding member of TAO Communications, a transnational not-for-profit. He is currently finishing WHOAMI: Implications for Democracy in the Age of Mind, to be published this spring by Arbeiter Ring Publishing.

Liss Jeffrey teaches communications, media and policy at the University of Toronto, where she is executive producer of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology. She is a former public affairs TV producer with City-TV, and while acting director of the MZTV Museum of Television, she co-curated the exhibition "Watching TV " at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her current project is "Canada by Design: Building a Knowledge Nation using New Media and Policy " a twelve-part live exploration and web site experiment in digital democracy.

Ethan Katsh is Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Co-director of the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution and the Online Ombuds Office His main area of expertise is law and computer technology and he is the author of two books on the subject, Law in a Digital World, and The Electronic Media and the Transformation of Law.

Marvin Kitman has been the TV critic of Newsday since 1969. His column, in which he is listed as the "executive producer, " is called "The Marvin Kitman Show, " and is printed in Newsday three times a week as well as syndicated nationally by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. He is the author of eight books, the latest being The Making of the President 1789. He is the co-author with George Washington of George Washington's Expense Account. His six other books are I Am A VCR; The Coward's Almanac; The Marvin Kitman TV Show; You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover; The RCAF (Red Chinese Air Force) Diet, Exercise & Sex Manual; and The Number One Best Seller. He is a graduate of the City College of New York, a winner of the Townsend Harris Medal (1992). His other honors include the Folio Award (1988), the Society of the Silurians Humorous Writing Award (1991) and Special Commentary Award (1993). He hopes to be remembered most for being the author of Kitman's Law: "On the TV screen pure drivel tends to drive off ordinary drivel. "

Neil Kleinman is professor of English and Communications Design in the School Communications Design at the University of Baltimore. He is co-director of the School and director of the Institute for Language, Technology & Publications Design. He is a former book, newspaper, and magazine editor, and the author of a book on propaganda. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Elena Lamberti's doctoral research was on "Ford Madox Ford as an Editor " at the University of Bologna. She specialized in Modernism and twentieth century British and American Literature. In addition to articles on Ford Madox Ford and Anglo-American Modernism, she is now working on Marshall McLuhan as a Man of Letters.

Paul Levinson is President of Connected Education, Inc., an organization that offers courses for academic credit on the Internet, including an MA in Creative Writing with the Bath College of Higher Education in England. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Communications at Hofstra University. His scholarly books include Mind at Large, Electronic Chronicles, Learning Cyberspace, and The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of The Information Revolution. He is currently at work on McLuhan for the New Millennium: A Guide to the Digital Age (to be published by Routledge). He edited In Pursuit of Truth: Essays on the Philosophy of Karl Popper, and is editor of the Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems. He also has published more than 20 science fiction stories.

John Leo writes the weekly "On Society " column for US News & World Report, which also appears in the Daily News and 140 other newspapers across the country. He has worked at the Bergen Record, Commonweal, The National Catholic Reporter, Village Voice, Time and The New York Times. He is the author of Two Steps Ahead of the Thought Police, a collection of his columns, and a book of humor, How the Russians Invented Baseball and Other Essays of Enlightenment.

Barbara Jo Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the TV/Radio Department and the Business Department at Brooklyn College. For 15 years she worked in the advertising industry as a producer and as well as completing several award-winning documentaries.

David Linton is Chair of the Humanities Division of Marymount Manhattan College where he is also a Professor in the Communication Arts Department. His publications include examinations of the Luddite movement, a study of depictions of the reading practices of the Virgin Mary, a historiographic essay on Shakespeare as media critic, discussions of media themes in rock 'n' roll songs, and in press, a taxonomy of metacanonical texts.

Robert Logan is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto, and is cross-appointed to the Curriculum Department of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He is a senior fellow at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and an active member of the Pugwash movement. He has edited two collections of essays on Canadian politics, The Way Ahead for Canada and Canada's Third Option. He is the author of two books on communications cum linguistics: The Alphabet Effect and The Fifth Language. He is currently working on two books, one on knowledge management and the other on the origin of speech from the perspective of chaos theory, cognitive science and evolutionary biology.

Philip Marchand has been books columnist for the Toronto Star for the last eight years. He attended the University of Toronto, where he obtained his B.A. and M.A. in English literature (in his last year as an undergraduate, he took a course in "Modern Poetry " from Marshall McLuhan.). A revised and updated version of his 1989 biography, Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and The Messenger, with a foreword by Neil Postman, is being re-issued this summer by MIT Press.

Joshua Meyrowitz is Professor of Communication at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, where he has won the Lindberg Award for Outstanding Scholar-Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts. He is the author of No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior, which has won numerous awards, including the "Book of the Year " award from the National Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Education Association.

Michel Moos has been a Woodruff Scholar at Emory University; recently edited a volume of essays by McLuhan entitled Media Research: Technology, Art, Communication. He currently writes on media, technology and literature.

Gerald O'Grady founded the Media Center in Houston, Texas in 1967, and the Center for Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the independent community center, Media Study/Buffalo, in 1972. He has taught in the graduate media programs at the Center for Understanding Media, the New School for Social Research, Columbia University and New York University, and edited film publications for retrospectives at Anthology Film Archives, the Film Society at Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Public Theater. He is currently working on the media of the American Civil Rights Movement, and most recently is a Fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research and Visiting Scholar at the Department of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University.

Michael J. O'Neill, former editor of the New York Daily News and past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, is the author of The Roar of the Crowd, How TV and People Power Are Changing the World, Preventive Diplomacy: Stopping Wars before They Start, and Terrorist Spectaculars: Should TV Coverage Be Curbed? He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and the International Press Institute, and served formerly as vice chairman of the Japan Society. He received a B.A. from the University of Detroit in 1946 and a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the school in l977. He also did graduate work at Fordham University.

Mark Poster teaches in the History Department of the University of California Irvine. His recent books include: Cultural History and Postmodernity, The Second Media Age, and The Mode of Information.

Neil Postman is Chair of the Department of Culture and Communication at NYU and Professor of Media Ecology. He is the author of 18 books including Language in America, Teaching as a Subversive Activity (with Charles Weingartner), Teaching as a Conserving Activity, The Disappearance of Childhood, Conscientious Objections, and Amusing Ourselves to Death. His more recent books are Technopoly, How to Watch a Television News Show (with Steve Powers), and The End of Education. In 1986, Postman was given the George Orwell Award for Clarity in Language by the National Council of Teachers of English. For ten years, he was the editor of Et Cetera, the Journal of General Semantics. In 1993, he was appointed a University Professor, a unique honor held by only six professors in the university.

Douglas Rushkoff is an author and social theorist. His first novel, Ecstasy Club, was published this June, and has been optioned by Miramax Films. His most recent non-fiction book is Playing the Future, and he also has written Free Rides; Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Hyperspace; and Media Virus! Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture. He also edited The GenX Reader. As a journalist, Rushkoff is currently writing a new weekly column for The New York Times Syndicate, The Guardian of London, and The Australian. He serves as a technology and culture consultant to the United Nations, founded Memes Incorporated, a software development firm, and conceived and produced the Electronic Oracle series of programs for HarperCollinsInteractive.

Paul Ryan is an artist and author who worked directly with Marshall McLuhan at Fordham University and studied with Gregory Bateson. His art work includes videotapes shown in Japan, Europe and throughout the Unites States as well as a Design for an Environmental Television channel presented at the United Nations, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Mr. Ryan originated the Earthscore Notation System. He is the author of Video Mind, Earth Mind, Fire Water Father (with Jim Ryan), and Cybernetics of the Sacred. He teaches cybernetics and semiotics in the Graduate Media Studies Program at the New School and video in Parson's new Design and Technology Program.

Denise Schmandt-Besserat is Professor of Art and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her field is the archaeology of the ancient Near East, and she has worked on the origin of writing and mathematics. Her publications include How Writing Came About, and Before Writing (2 vols.). She conducts research on Neolithic symbols at the site of Ain Ghazal, near Amman, Jordan. She has been cited Outstanding Woman in the Humanities by the American Association of University Women, and has received the Holloway teaching award and the Eugene Kayden Press Book Award.

Robert Lewis Shayon was a writer, producer, and director for CBS Radio, under Edward R. Murrow, from 1942 to 1949. He worked for the three major networks and PBS in radio and television from 1950 to 1974. From 1951-1972 he was the TV-Radio Editor/Critic for Saturday Review. From 1966 to 1990 he was a Professor of Communications at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He became an Emeritus Professor in 1990.

Judith Stamps teaches in the Political Science department of the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She is the author of Unthinking Modernity: Innis, McLuhan and the Frankfurt School. Presently she is working on a history of the idea of common sense from Aristotle to Peirce.

Lance Strate is an Associate Chair and Associate Professor in Fordham University's Department of Communication and Media Studies, as well as the coordinator of this symposium. He is the Vice-President of the New York State Communication Association, the Supervisory Editor of the Hampton Press Media Ecology Book Series, and co-editor of Communication and Cyberspace: Social Interaction in an Electronic Environment (with Ron Jacobson and Stephanie Gibson). Currently, he is working on a book entitled Understanding Media Ecology.

Donald Theall is currently University Professor and President Emeritus of Trent University, and was founding director of the Graduate Program in Communication and Molson Professor at McGill University. He was Marshall McLuhan's first doctoral student and served as academic secretary to the original program in Culture and Communication at the University of Toronto in 1953-5. He is author of The Medium is the Rear View Mirror: Understanding McLuhan; Beyond the Word: Reconstructing Sense in the Joyce Era of Culture, Technology and Communication; and James Joyce's Techno-Poetics. Currently he is working on two books: The Pre-History of the Telecosmos and In McLuhan's Wake.

Edward Wachtel is Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University and the Director of the Edward A. Walsh Digital Media Laboratory. His book, From Cave Walls to Computer Screens: The Interplay of Art Technology and Perception, will soon be published by Hampton Press.

Frederick Wasser is a post doctoral research fellow at the School of Journalism, Columbia University and a lecturer in the Sociology Department of Tufts University. He received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois in 1996.

Frank Zingrone is a Professor of Communication at York University. He is co-editor of Essential McLuhan, and Who Was Marshall McLuhan?, and an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Communication. He has also published three volumes of poetry, Traces, Canticle, and Strange Attraction.

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