Paper Abstract- Elaine Kahn

Resonate Space: McLuhan and Trudeau, the global village and Canada     

In her presentation, Elaine Kahn will explore the relationship of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Marshall McLuhan through an examination of their correspondence, which has never been studied as a discrete entity. Her book, Been Hoping We Might Meet Again collects their entire correspondence from 1968 to 1980 when television ruled and “new electronic interdependence” recreated a planet “in the image of a global village.” The two men were at the forefront of discussions about critical issues of globalization, especially the political uses of media, at a time when globalization was not yet a recognized keyword in the literature. All this is reflected in the correspondence. Both were experts at media manipulation and recognized that in the other. McLuhan was teaching the world about the global village at the same time as Trudeau was helping Canada find its place and meanings in it. Even a cursory glance at the news today shows how much their work is still relevant and needs to be built upon.