McLuhan & the Education of the Senses
Check out this slideshare for a presentation I recently gave at the annual conference of the German Society for Media Studies. You can also download the full-text version as well.
Abstract: Next to media themselves, pedagogy or education –configured specifically as a “training the senses” (McLuhan & Leonard, 1967) or “sensuous education” (McLuhan, 1964)– is one of the most prominent themes in McLuhan’s corpus. It is the focus of numerous articles published throughout his career and of two significant albeit relatively obscure monographs that effectively book-end his work on electronic media. As Janine Marchessault says, McLuhan articulates “a specifi cally argued pedagogical enterprise” that is central to his “aesthetically-based, highly performative and historically grounded..contribution to the study of media” (xi, 10, 34). In this paper, I focus on McLuhan’s pedagogical enterprise specifically as it develops from his highly original understanding of the senses. In doing so, I also show how McLuhan’s contribution to media is indeed aesthetically, historically and performatively charged, and make the case for the ongoing currency of his pedagogical enterprise today.