100McLuhan in Bologna: Communication Makes the Nation
Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Italian Unity (1861-2011) and 100th Anniversary of McLuhan’s Birth (1911-2011)
To celebrate the centennial of the birth of Marshall McLuhan and the 150th anniversary of the Italian Unity, the International Symposium Communication Makes the Nation (Bologna, March 24-26 2011) will investigate how forms of communication can mould a nation through time. Scholars coming from areas as diverse as literature, history, education, communication, media, anthropology, geography, music, art and cinema will gather to compare the representations of Italian, Canadian and American realities, keeping an eye on other geographical areas, in Europe and South America.
The symposium is the result of an interdisciplinary partnership among various scholars and Departments of the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna: Elena Lamberti (Dept. of Modern Languages and Literature), Mirco Dondi (Dept. of History, Anthropology and Geography), Paolo Granata (Dept. of Visual Arts), Giovanna Cosenza (Dept. of Communication) and Roberto Farnè (Dept. of Education ‘Giovanni Maria Bertin’). The conference is coordinated by Cecilia Ghetti.
The symposium is part of the project 100McLuhan: Communication, History, Culture, promoted by the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, with the assistance of the Government of Canada and of the Canadian Embassy in Italy, in collaboration with the McLuhan Program (University of Toronto), the Master of Historical Communication and the Faculty of Modern Languages of the University of Bologna, and with several local institutions. In 2011, 100 McLuhan will promote a series of events dedicated to the Canadian scholar, Marshall McLuhan, in collaboration with various cultural festivals in Bologna, including Future Film Festival (April 20-23 2011), FarGame (May 27-28 2011), Biografilm Festival (June 10-20 2011) and Videoart Yearbook (July 6-8 2011). 100McLuhan: Communication, History, Culture is part of the McLuhan in Europe 2011 cultural network.
Marshall McLuhan fostered a revolution in communication studies; he changed the way in which we interpret the environmental dynamics affecting historical and cultural processes through time. Today the originality of McLuhan’s ideas is rediscovered in the light of the long term impact that new technologies have on both the human factor and societies: identity, history, memory, and community are crucial themes in McLuhan’s thought, constituting a methodological frame within which we can reassess global technological, political and cultural dynamics.
The symposium Communication Makes the Nation will propose a wider appraisal of McLuhan’s legacy, rediscovering previously overlooked aspects to explore our own reality. To understand the role of communication in creating a nation, the symposium will therefore discuss crucial topics such as: the role that new technologies play in national educational processes; the importance of an education system that teaches “ecologically” in terms of both technology and traditional knowledge; the attention for the individual, for differences and intercultural processes.
The five sessions of the symposium will focus on: A) McLuhan and the Canadian Nobody: Rediscovering the Toronto School of Communication; B) Communicating and Narrating History and Stories: Song, Words, Images; C) Communication and the Birth of Nations; D) Media, Communication and National Myth-Making; E) New Media Landscapes. In plenary lectures, round tables and open discussions, participants will engage the audience on the role that old and new media continue to play in defining crucial issues such as diversity, human rights, civic engagement, the understanding of environmental and ethical issues.
The symposium will open on Thursday, March 24 2011, at 3.00 p.m., in Aula Prodi (Piazza San Giovanni in Monte, 2) with a plenary lecture by Eric McLuhan, in the presence of Ralph Jansen, Minister-Counselor, Canadian Embassy in Rome. The following scholars will take turn and speak in the various sessions: Carlo Antonelli (RollingStone Italy); Peppino Ortoleva and Ugo Volli (University of Torino); Dominique Scheffel-Dunand (McLuhan Program Toronto); BW Powe and Seth Feldman (York University Toronto); Edward Slopek (Ryerson University Toronto); Alexander Stille (Columbia University NYC); Lance Strate (Fordham University NYC); Emilio Franzina (University of Verona); Barbara Valotti (Guglielmo Marconi Foundation); Piero Vereni (University of Tor Vergata Rome); Selena Grimaldi (University of Padova). The Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna will be represented by: Paola Bonora, Franco Farinelli, Alfredo Cottignoli, Giovanni Lasi, Stefano Cavazza, Anna Maria Lorusso e Giacomo Andreucci.
For further information on the symposium and the events of 100 McLuhan: Communication, History, Culture please visit 100mcluhan.com