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Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan

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07/13/2013

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Marshall McLuhan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"McLuhan" redirects here. For the son of Marshall McLuhan, seeEric McLuhan.
Marshall McLuhan
Marshall McLuhan in the early 1970s
Born
July 21, 1911Edmonton, Alberta
Died
December 31, 1980 (aged 69)Toronto, Ontario
Main interests
Notable ideas
Herbert Marshall McLuhan
, CC (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was aCanadian educator ,philosopher , andscholar —a professor of English literature,aliterary critic,  arhetorician,and acommunication theorist. McLuhan's work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries.
McLuhan is known for coining the expressions "the medium is the message" and "the global village"and predicted the World Wide Webalmost thirty years before it was invented.
 He was a fixture in mediadiscourse from the late 1960s to his death and he continues to be an influential and controversial figure.More than ten years after his death he was named the "patron saint" of 
magazine.
Contents
 
[hide]
 
surname. Both of his parents were born in Canada. His mother was aBaptistschoolteacher who later became an actress. His father was a Methodistand had a real estate business in Edmonton. When war broke out, the business failed, and McLuhan's father enlisted in the Canadian army. After a year  of service he contracted influenza and remained in Canada, away from the front. After Herbert's dischargefrom the army in 1915, the McLuhan family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba,where Marshall grew up and went to school, attending Kelvin Technical School before enrolling in the University of Manitoba in 1928.
At Manitoba, McLuhan's discomfort with religion
and his turn to literature to gratify his soul's hunger for truth and beauty
initiated a stage in his spiritual development which he would later refer to asagnosticism.
McLuhan earned aBA (1933)—winning a University Gold Medal in Arts and Sciences
 
and MA(1934) in Englishfrom theUniversity of Manitoba, after a one year stint as an engineering major. He had long desired to pursue graduate studies inEnglandand, having failed to secure a Rhodesscholarship to Oxford, McLuhan was accepted for enrollment at theUniversity of Cambridge. Although he already had earned BA and MA degrees at Manitoba, Cambridge required him to enroll as anundergraduate "affiliated" student, with one year's credit toward a three-year Cambridge Bachelor's degree,before any doctoral studies.
He entered Trinity Hall, Cambridgein the Fall of 1934, where he studied under I. A. RichardsandF. R. Leavis, and was influenced byNew Criticism.
Upon reflection years after,he credited the faculty there with influencing the direction of his later work because of their emphasis onthe
training of perception
and such concepts as Richards' notion of 
feedforward.
These studies formedan important precursor to his later ideas on technological forms.
He received his bachelor's degree fromCambridge in 1936
 and began graduate work. Later, he returned from England to take a job as ateaching assistant at theUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison,which he held for the 1936–37 academic year, unable to find a suitable job in Canada.
While studying the trivium at Cambridge he took the first steps toward his eventual conversion to Roman Catholicismin 1937,
founded on his reading of  G. K. Chesterton.
In 1935 he wrote to his mother:"[H]ad I not encountered Chesterton, I would have remained agnostic for many years at least".
At the endof March 1937,
McLuhan completed what was a slow but total conversion process when he was formallyreceived into the Roman Catholic Church. After consulting with a minister, his father accepted the decisionto convert; his mother, however, felt that his conversion would hurt his career and was inconsolable.
McLuhan was devout throughout his life, but his religion remained a private matter .
 He had a lifelonginterest in the number three
 
—the trivium, theTrinity—and sometimes said that theVirgin Maryprovided intellectual guidance for him.
For the rest of his career he taught in Roman Catholic institutions of higher education. From 1937 to 1944 he taught English atSaint Louis University (with an interruption from 1939 to 1940 when he returned to Cambridge). At Saint Louis he tutored and befriended Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912– 2003), who would go on to write his Ph.D. dissertation on a topic McLuhan had called to his attention, andwho would himself also later become a well-known authority on communication and technology.While in St. Louis, he also met his future wife. On August 4, 1939, McLuhan married teacher and aspiringactress Corinne Lewis (1912–2008)
of Fort Worth, Texas, and they spent 1939–40 in Cambridge, where

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