The University of Scranton’s Schemel Forum will offer a collaborative program with the Office of Community Relations that examines “The Medium is the Message: McLuhan’s Prophecy Revisited – Public Affairs and the Media in the 21st Century.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place Monday, April 29, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., in the Weinberg Memorial Library.
Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum, and Julie Schumacher Cohen, director of community and government relations at The University of Scranton, will moderate the round-table discussion. Scranton native Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C., will also participate.
In the 1960s Marshall McLuhan, Canadian philosopher of communication theory, made the radical assertion that “the medium is the message.” McLuhan’s insight was that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content it delivers, but by the characteristics of the medium itself. Fast-forward to 2013 and observe that the media, both public and social, are unimaginably influential in our daily lives, making it almost impossible to separate fact from fiction and public from private. From city mayors using Twitter to communicate with their constituents to Facebook memes declaring winners following the Presidential debates, the media transform the way we engage with public events and ideas.
The round-table discussion will explore the strengths and weaknesses of a media-driven world and ways in which we might get a grip on this new reality. “It has become apparent that with the increasing presence of social media, the media as a whole is much more than a carrier of information; it also impacts our personal lives,” said Myers. “Its ubiquity, as well as the globalization of information (and disinformation), makes our world a different place.”
Seating is limited and registration is required to attend.
To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at 941-7816 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Schemel Forum is a program of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library. For more information about programs and memberships, contact Myers at 941-4089 or email@example.com.
The Schemel Forum is a program of participatory learning experiences aimed at cultivating the intellect and the imagination through study and discussion of classical texts and current policies, from the arts, history and philosophy to technology and theology. Founded in 2006 through generous gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, the forum has grown quickly from a handful of informal lectures to a comprehensive enrichment program of study, dialogue, performances and special events. Session fees vary by program.