Understanding Media Intensive Part 3, September 11-November 20, 2021

Understanding Media Intensive Part 3

Understanding Media Intensive: Part Three is a 13-part intensive look at the last third of media theorist Marshall McLuhan‘s major 1964 work Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man taking place online over the course of 13 weeks. Taught by Andrew McLuhan, Director of The McLuhan Institute, UMI III will focus on chapters 21-33 of the book. In an age where our media environment conditions and structures our reality in increasingly potent ways, Understanding Media provides important foundational knowledge on how our cultural traumas and tropes are embodied in technologies.

This course will provide lecture and discussion on Part Three of the book, which puts forth a set of tools for exploring human technologies and innovations as a means to regain agency in the midst of our increasingly disorienting online lives. This course follows UMI Part One and Two, which ran in the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021. UMI III picks up at the beginning of Chapter 21, and will conclude at the end of the book, with Chapter 33.

Lectures will include explorations and explanations of never-before-seen author annotations, historical documents, and personal accounts. A scrapbook of materials around the publication of the book in 1964 compiled by Marshall’s wife Corinne McLuhan, containing reviews and interviews, will add further context to how the book was received and provide insight into the material under discussion.

For those who wish to join this course who haven’t taken UMI Part One and Two, we will be offering an abbreviated complimentary video class for students to get up to speed on the content covered in the previous courses. Classes will happen live on Saturday from 9am-12pm PT, beginning September 11, and ending December 4, 2021.

Course Goals

The objective of the course is to provide participants with a deeper appreciation and understanding of McLuhan work in general, this material in particular, facilitated by Andrew McLuhan, drawing on his 20+ years of experience with the text and work, and aided by the introduction of artifacts such as Marshall McLuhan’s annotated copies of the book, other books, and materials from Eric McLuhan’s library. It is expected that community engagement in the discussion groups will be of added benefit as like-minded people engage in mutual exploration and respectful dialogue. Participants will be challenged to take their time in reading and reflecting on the material. Part of the reason for the 13-week pacing is to allow time for reflection and absorption of the material — to become comfortable, accustomed to the style and sensibility. It is increasingly difficult for people to experience text in this way, so one aim of this course is to create an environment that will make the fullest appreciation of the material possible.

Experience Level

Beginner to Advanced. Something for everyone. Effort will be made to accommodate all levels of familiarity and understanding.

  • Date: September 11, 2021 – December 4, 2021
  • Time: 12:00:00 to 15:00:00 EST
  • Location: Virtual


$600 USD (Live Access)

Live Access is full access to UMI Part Three classes as they happen, includes recordings to review what’s been covered already this term, live chat and engagement in weekly classes.

$360 USD (Audit Access)

Audit Access is access to UMI III as view/listen only. This is ideal for those in time zones which do not agree with that of the class, and is also a lower-cost option. Audit Access is also ideal for those who did not attend UMI Part One and Two but want to join now.