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About

The McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology is an initiative of the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto. It aims to continue the groundbreaking work initiated by the Canadian thinker Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), who spent his career as Professor of English at the University of Toronto. The Centre had its beginnings when on October 24, 1963, John Kelly, president of St. Michael’s College, and U of T president Claude Bissell together decided to establish a Centre for Culture and Technology, which later became McLuhan’s office.

Located in the historic McLuhan Coach House on 39A Queen’s Park Crescent East, The McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology is now a gathering place for critical scholars from all disciplines to meet, share, and develop scholarly interests in the impact of digital technologies on culture. The quaint and quiet coach house is set against the backdrop of a bustling Toronto. It is home to the ever expanding range of media studies scholars across University of Toronto’s three campuses.

In January 2017, Professor Sarah Sharma was appointed Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture & Technology. Her aim is to continue and maintain McLuhan’s original vision of the Centre to study the social and psychic consequences of technology. Read about McLuhan’s original vision here. The annual thematic for 2017-2018 MsUnderstanding Media: The Extensions of Woman brings feminist approaches and tactics related to digital life to the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology.

People

Director of The McLuhan Centre for Culture & Technology

Director of The McLuhan Centre for Culture & Technology

Sarah Sharma

Sarah Sharma is Associate Professor of Media Theory at the University of Toronto. She holds her faculty appointment at both the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and the Faculty of Information. She is the author of In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics published by Duke University Press in 2014. She is currently working on a new book length project that explores the gendered politics of exit tied up in our machines.  At the Centre this year Sarah is leading an international and collaborative project: MsUnderstanding Media: The Extensions of WomanThis project will be highlighted through the Monday Night Seminar Series where invited media scholars will visit the McLuhan Centre to engage with and extend McLuhan’s formative insights in conversation with feminist approaches to technology.

See some of her current research here: Exit and the Extensions of Man 

Email: sarah.sharma@utoronto.ca

Website: sarahsharma.com

 

Working Groups/PhD Residency

Working Groups/PhD Residency

The McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology’s Summer PhD Residents

Biomedia/Interspecies Communication (Sarah Choukah/University of Montreal)
Embodied Experience in the Age of Augmented Reality (Liron Efrat Art History, UofT)
Glen Gould and McLuhan (Steve Hicks, Music/UofT)
The Electrical Socket and Plug as a Medium Tied to Domestic Labor (Jaime Lee Kirts, University of Colorado)
Feminist Media Publics/Dirty Archives (Mary Grace Lao, York University)
Medium Archives (Jess Lapp, iSchool/UofT)
Digital Materiality of the Web (Emily Maemura, iSchool/UofT)
e-Citizenship (Curtis McCord, iSchool/UofT)
Platforms as Feminist Media (Rianka Singh, iSchool/UofT)
McLuhan Centenary Fellows (2017/18)

McLuhan Centenary Fellows (2017/18)

David Nostbakken   

With a BA in Philosophy and English completed at the University of Saskatchewan, a Masters in Education at University of Toronto, Nostbakken’s PhD thesis was undertaken with the guidance of McLuhan on cultural influences of electronic media. David is President of N&N Inc. http://nostbakken.ca/ , a media and communications consulting firm. He serves on a number of boards and splits his time between Toronto and Ottawa, where he teaches strategic communication in social entrepreneurship at Carleton University.

Michael Darroch    

Michael Darroch is Associate Professor of Media Art Histories and Visual Culture, School of Creative Arts, University of Windsor. He was Founding Director (2010-16) and is now Co-Director of the IN/TERMINUS Creative Research Collective. He has held a Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory (University of London, 2015), a Humanities Research Group Fellowship (University of Windsor, 2016-17), and a McLuhan Centenary Fellowship (iSchool, University of Toronto, 2016-18). Recent SSHRC-funded projects have investigated the interdisciplinary history of Canadian media studies. He co-edited Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban (MQUP 2014), an interdisciplinary collection that situates different historical and methodological currents in urban media studies. His publications address issues in urban culture, borderlands studies, media history, performance, language, sound, and translation.

ICCIT Interns for the McLuhan Centre

ICCIT Interns for the McLuhan Centre

Amrita Maharaj (Events/Research Assistant)

Kevin Tran (Summer 2017)

Syed Hamza Ali (Winter 2017)

Jana Jiffi (Winter 2017)

Justin Apresto (Winter 2017)

Monday Night Seminars

MsUnderstanding Media

MsUnderstanding Media

The Extensions of Woman at the McLuhan Centre 2017/2018

This year the McLuhan Centre will bring together a renowned group of feminist media and technology scholars to examine our annual theme MsUnderstanding Media: The Extensions of Woman. This year-long thematic takes inspiration from Marshall McLuhan’s formative insight that the Medium is the Message while allowing us to critically examine the notion that media are “extensions of man.” We plan to foreground how a feminist focus on “the extensions of woman” renews McLuhan’s concern with the politics of pace, pattern and scale in our everyday technological objects. Some of McLuhan’s famous examples were the automobile and the gun which were extensions of feet and fists. We will consider a different set of media, those seen (incubator and breast-pump) unseen (software, networks, clouds) and those which provide new architectures of everyday life (man caves, cuddle cafes, co-working spaces). MsUnderstanding Media suggests that specific bodies, rhythms, and power dynamics are part of the message of every medium.

“The message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs.” – (Understanding Media)

“The wheel is an extension of the foot, the book is an extension of the eye clothing, an extension of the skin, electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system” – (The Medium is The Massage)

Some of our confirmed guests (more to come):
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Natasha Dow Schull
Florence Chee
Beth Coleman
Safiya Noble
Brooke Duffy
Carrie Rentschler
Melissa Gregg
Radhika Gajjala
Ganaele Langlois
Sarah Banet-Weiser
Anne Balsamo
Judith Nicholson
Armond Towns
Praba Pilar
Nicholas Taylor
Stay Tuned for more Updates!

History

Check out McLuhan’s original Mission Statement!

Under Construction

Under Construction

Please stay tuned for an update!

Contact

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39A Queen’s Park Crescent East

Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 2C3

(parking available off 121 St. Joseph st.)Tel. +1 416 978 7026

Email: mcluhan.centre@utoronto.ca

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