re-reading mcluhan - An International Conference on Media and Culture in the 21. st Century
Datum: 14.02.2007 - 18.02.2007
Marshall McLuhan is still seen as the founder of contemporary media theory and its focus on the cultural effect and impact of media. And yet, a re-reading of McLuhan has become an ever more pressing ? and promising ? concern. Since McLuhan's early publications, the contemporary mediascape has undergone fundamental changes, the most decisive of which is the computer and its networks. Digital technologies have become ubiquitous agents of anthropological concepts and cultural change and, as such, they are developments whose implications McLuhan could not fully anticipate. At the same time, a multi-faceted and complex, frequently competing if not contradictory, array of media theories and schools of media studies have emerged internationally, for who McLuhan still constitutes a vital, possibly still elementary point of reference.
This conference aims at an encompassing re-reading of McLuhan at the beginning of the 21st century, discussing McLuhan's influential body of work in light of ? change ? contemporary mediascape. By taking McLuhan's theorems as their point of departure, scholars from media and cultural studies as well as media artists debate new approaches to the study of digital media and develop interdisciplinary research strategies for a reconceptualization of the computer and digital technologies. The conference encourages a fruitful exchange between different schools of media studies, their theories and respective terminology and, leaving the trenches aside, engenders an investigation of their role for the humanities and contemporary media practice. Investigating their common roots in McLuhan invigorates the dialogue between different schools and disciplines exactly where it might have come to a halt. Re-Reading McLuhan will thus act as an international and interdisciplinary meeting place with the goal of producing an epistemic map, a topography and topology of media- and cultural studies based on a new interdisciplinary re-reading of McLuhan.