Madigan Presents at Harvard University
On April 27, Dr. Timothy Madigan, Associate Professor of Philosophy, served as a presenter at a conference on Public Intellectuals at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
The conference was organized by Lawrence J. Friedman, a professor in Harvard's Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative. Madigan's topic was, “The Medium and the Message: Marshall McLuhan in the CyberAge.”
McLuhan (1911-1980), best known for his comment that “the medium is the message,” is often considered to be a prophet of the information age. While he died just before the computer era, his theories on communication and mass media remain both provocative and relevant. McLuhan, as a faculty member at St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto, was well acquainted with the members of the Congregation of St. Basil. He often jokingly called himself “the Civilian Basilian.”
McLuhan was active in helping to found the College's Communication/Journalism Department, and often came to campus to give talks and meet with the faculty and students. In 1969, he gave the commencement address, sharing the stage with the then Bishop of Rochester, Fulton J. Sheen. In his presentation, Madigan discussed the relevance of this unexpected connection, and the ways in which McLuhan's theories on communication are even more pertinent to the era of Facebook and YouTube than to his own time.