Media Releases

U of T Reviving Marshall McLuhan’s Global Village of Intellectual Thinkers

September 13, 2016

Toron­to, ON – The Group of Sev­en. The Rat Pack. The Toron­to School of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Groups that became famous world­wide for their exper­tise.

Each had a dis­rup­tive, genius leader.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s was the late Mar­shall McLuhan, a Cana­di­an edu­ca­tor, philoso­pher, and schol­ar who worked at the inter­sec­tion of cul­ture and technology—the very foun­da­tion of Toronto’s mush­room­ing pow­er in dig­i­tal media. He did so in ways that only lat­er became main­stream, like his famous obser­va­tion, “the medi­um is the mes­sage.”

Now, the Uni­ver­si­ty seeks to revive the spir­it of McLuhan’s the­o­ries and the work con­duct­ed in his mod­est “Coach House,” where he spent much of his 30-year career at U of T. The Cen­tre is now housed with­in UofT’s Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion.

Between 1930 and 1970, a grow­ing con­ver­sa­tion grew among Mar­shall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Eric Have­lock, Northrop Frye, and Glen Gould, all com­mu­ni­ty intel­lec­tu­als based out of U of T. The world took notice of these thinkers, dubbed The Toron­to School of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion. McLuhan in his Cen­tre for Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy, taught and held court dur­ing his famous Mon­day Night Sem­i­nars. Togeth­er with this group, he achieved inter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tion for inno­v­a­tive and trans-dis­ci­pli­nary approach­es to the evolv­ing soci­etal chal­lenges. The Uni­ver­si­ty main­tains this com­mit­ment today.

What’s next is the sub­ject of upcom­ing events, exhi­bi­tions, and hon­ours. To get the con­ver­sa­tion going, we invite mem­bers of the media to par­tic­i­pate in any num­ber of dis­course-stim­u­lat­ing events, from Octo­ber 12 to 16, and/or inter­view John Ral­ston Saul (Canada’s lead­ing pub­lic intel­lec­tu­al), Gail Lord (Lord Cul­tur­al Resources), Mark King­well (Phi­los­o­phy Pro­fes­sor), David Mul­roney (Pres­i­dent of Uni­ver­si­ty of St. Michael’s Col­lege), Randy Boy­ago­da (Prin­ci­pal of St. Michael’s Col­lege), Pao­lo Grana­ta (Con­fer­ence Chair), and David Nos­t­bakken (McLuhan Cen­tre strate­gist).

  • Wednes­day, Octo­ber 12, 12–12:30 pm, Toron­to Her­itage Plaque Unveil­ing (McLuhan Cen­tre)
  • Thurs­day, Octo­ber 13, 5:30–7 pm, Lec­tio Magis­tralis by Paul Elie on “Glenn Gould and Mar­shall McLuhan” and open­ing of a Mul­ti-Media Exhi­bi­tion “McLuhan on Cam­pus: Local Inspi­ra­tions, Glob­al Visions” (St. Michael’s Col­lege)
  • Fri­day, Octo­ber 14, 9–9:30 am, open­ing cer­e­mo­ny The Toron­to School: Then, Now, Next Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence (Vic­to­ria Col­lege Build­ing).
  • Sun­day, Octo­ber 16, 5:30–6:30 pm, Town Hall Meet­ing “Rethink­ing the Glob­al Vil­lage in an era of Cities and Soft Pow­er” at the Then, Now, Next Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence (Isabel Bad­er The­atre).

For a full event list­ing, please see:


To sched­ule a one-on-one inter­view or con­firm your atten­dance, please con­tact:

Kath­leen O’Brien, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Offi­cer, Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion, U of T
416.978.7184 or