Welcome to a special installment of the Convivial Society featuring my conversation with Andrew McLuhan. I can’t recall how or when I first encountered the work of Marshall McLuhan, I think it might’ve been through the writing of one of his most notable students, Neil Postman. I do know, however, that McLuhan, and others like Postman and Walter Ong who built on his work, became a cornerstone of my own thinking about media and technology. So it was a great pleasure to speak with his grandson Andrew, who is now stewarding and expanding the work of his grandfather and his father, Eric McLuhan, through the McLuhan Institute, of which he is the founder and director.
I learned a lot about McLuhan through this conversation and I think you’ll find it worth your time. A variety of resources and sites were mentioned throughout the conversation, and I’ve tried to provide links to all of those below. Above all, make sure you check out the McLuhan Institute and consider supporting Andrew’s work through his Patreon page.
The image of McLuhan and Edmund Carpenter on the beach which Andrew mentions can be seen at the :30 mark of this YouTube video featuring audio of Carpenter describing his friendship with McLuhan
Eric McLuhan’s speech, “Media Ecology in the 21st Century,” on the McLuhan Institute’s YouTube page (the setting is a conference in Bogota, Columbia, so McLuhan is introduced in Spanish, but he delivers his talk in English)
Laws of Media: The New Science by Marshall McLuhan and Eric McLuhan
Jeet Heer’s essay on McLuhan from 2011