::fibreculture:: ABC Radio National's Celebration of the McLuhan Century

Anna Bolton Bolton.Anna at abc.net.au
Thu May 26 06:22:23 CEST 2011


You may know that 21 July this year marks the centenary of the birth  
of Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is marking the anniversary  
with a suite of special programs on ABC Radio National, culminating in  
a “pop-up” (temporary) radio station on ABC Digital on the weekend of  
July 23 and 24, which will include archival material and explore life  
in the present digital age.

We are also developing a special online space, which will include an  
interactive infographic depicting a timeline of McLuhan’s life, and  
the media and communications landscape from his birth until the  
present day (and into the future!).

We’ve kicked it off with some starter dates and events:


Now, this is where you come in.

As a part of this project, we would value your input on what you  
believe to be the best or most significant cultural phenomenon or  
events during this period of the McLuhan century (1911-2011), in any  
of the following categories:

·         Communication Technologies - Significant technological  
developments or advances (for example, the first colour television  
broadcast by John Logie Baird in the UK on 4 February 1938), or the  
first mobile telephone, brick size (2kgs) in 1973, or even Agent 86’s  
shoe phone, first depicted in the first scene of the first episode of  
Get Smart in 1965)

·         Media Events - Ways in which the media has reflected  
historical events (such as images of the Vietnam War, Apollo 11 and  
the moon landing, the felling of the twin towers etc.)
Great moments in modern culture - (for example, the opening of  
Australia’s first Westfield Mall in Blacktown, July 1959, legalisation  
of gay marriage in the Netherlands in 2001, Vatican II from 1962-1965,  
First public broadcast of a presidential funeral in 1963 following  
Kennedy’s assassination, etc)
Advertising - Iconic or representative advertisements (from the  
Marlboro man to Burger King’s subservient chicken)
Biography - Significant events in McLuhan’s life and work (including  
publications, television appearances etc)
Future Directions  - Your own McLuhan-esque observations, insights and  
predictions for the future
We will be collating this data and incorporating it into the  

Feel free to answer any or all of the aforementioned categories.

We request that the information is provided in the following format:
Date of event
Brief description (about 30 words)
Relevant image, audio, video or other media (either a link or attached  
Links to further information on the event, commentary, audio or video  
Suggested by (your name)
Below is a link to a Google spreadsheet where you can easily enter the  

If you have any difficulty accessing or using the spreadsheet, please  
reply to this email with the information you would like to be included.

Your ideas and expertise will be invaluable to the project, and we  
look forward to hearing from you.

And if you have any general comments or suggestions we’d love to hear  
those as well.

Anna Bolton

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