I’m going to be part of a seminar at the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol on the 6th of October which is one of a series of events programmed to mark the centenary of Marshall McLuhan’s birth. The panel I’m part of will be discussing the phenomena of ‘walled gardens in the global village,’ with the panel description being:
McLuhan’s sense of the Global Village was not as a Utopian place, but an increasingly tribal site of conflicts. Web 2.0 raises the fundamental issue of ‘walled gardens’, areas of segregation for commercial purposes (e.g. Facebook and iTunes). This panel debates the phenomenon of the walled garden and how other ‘plants’ may subsist or not in the digital world.
In addition to the live events, the Watershed has created a website which has some interviews with some contemporary theorists who engage with the legacy of McLuhan’s ideas along with a piece I’ve written titled ‘Technological Determinism and Neuroplasticity,’ which looks at ways that current evidence from cognitive science reflects on the debates between McLuhan and Raymond Williams about technological determinism in media studies.