New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication – Our Mission
The New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication journal and project is inspired by the original journal Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication. The first eight issues of Explorations were published between 1953 and 1957 at the University of Toronto and edited by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan. A ninth issue was published in 1959 and was edited by Edmund Carpenter alone. Marshall McLuhan then edited issues 10 to 32 between 1964 and 1972 that appeared as inserts in the alumni magazines of the University of Toronto with issues number 10 through19 appearing in the Varsity Graduate magazine and issues 20 through 32 appearing in the University of Toronto Graduate magazine.
We hope to recapture the spirit of the original Explorations journal which had such an important influence in the development of the Toronto School of Communications. Just as the founders of Explorations were focused on the new electric technologies of their times, primarily television and mainframe computers, and other electronic media of that time, our focus will be on the new digital technologies of our times, namely personal computers, tablets, smartphones, the Internet, the World Wide Web, social media, AI, AR, VR and robots and the new devices that have not yet been invented. Although our focus is on the technology world of today, especially as it relates to media and communication, new things are still being discovered about McLuhan and his work and we will publish articles about such discoveries and understandings where in our judgment these seem significant. Our basic approach to these studies will basically be that of media ecology as developed by Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Ted Carpenter, Walter Ong, Neil Postman and a host of other media ecologists but need not be limited to that. However, we are also open to and encourage the practitioners of the following media studies practices to participate in this New Explorations project as well, namely, media and communications history, media anthropology, media ethics and media literacy. The media ecologies of Innis, McLuhan, Postman, Ong were all formulated in the past and in order to avoid «embalming truth» we have to be prepared to consider these others and other new approaches to media studies that will come.
Not only will we study the impacts of digital media but we will also make use of a variety of digital media to organize and deliver the activities of our open access online journal and project as described below.
Our mission parallels that of the original Explorations. The first paragraph of our mission statement is identical to the of the original Explorations, but the second paragraph takes into account the digital environment in which we now live:
New Explorations like the original Explorations is designed not as a permanent reference journal that embalms truth for posterity, but as a publication that explores and searches and questions. We envision a series that will cut across the humanities and social sciences by treating them as a continuum. We believe anthropology and communications are approaches, not bodies of data, and that within each of the four winds of the humanities, the physical, the biological and the social sciences intermingle to form a science of man (Ted Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan. 1953. Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication 1, iii).
While New Explorations embraces the mission statement of the original Explorations it will also deal with a dramatically new environment characterized by the new digital media and AI. To the four winds of the original Explorations project we now add the fifth wind of the new digital technologies to understand what it is to be human in 2019 and beyond.
The New Explorations Journal and Its Supplementary Web Site newexplorations.ca: Taking Advantage of Our Digital Environment
Not only will digital technology be a focus of our studies but we have organized our New Explorations journal and project to take advantage of the many positive aspects of the digital environment. The New Explorations project will consist of two components both of which will be online. The first component is the journal itself that will be the online open access journal New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication (NExJ) hosted by the University of Toronto Libraries’ Journal Production Services (https://jps.library.utoronto.ca). We are taking advantage of the digital environment to supplement the NExJ with a second online Web site, newexplorations.ca. The journal NExJ will publish our peer reviewed open access academic articles and our book reviews of books associated with studies in culture and communication. Our Web site, newexplorations.ca, will feature the following items:
- A place where the authors of our articles in NExJ can add video or other Web-based material that the U of T Library site cannot accommodate. This will provide our authors with the possibility to add to their articles a digital dimension of their articles in addition to their text and graphics.
- The works of artists that relate to the study of culture and communication that could include videos, graphics, photographs, music, podcasts, poetry and short stories. These works of art will be curated by a team of academics, authors, film makers and artists but not subjected to peer review.
- We have taken advantage of our digital online environment to create a forum for the real time dialogues of readers and authors/artists in which readers can comment on or ask questions about the articles they read or the art works they view or listen to.
- Digital preprints so that once a submitted article has successfully passed peer review and has been properly copy-edited it can be made immediately available on our supplementary Web site, newexplorations.ca. Once the next issue is released this digital preprint will appear with the other articles of that issue. The purpose of this mechanism is to provide our authors with the immediate circulation of their articles without the long delays they often experience between the acceptance of their paper and its appearance finally in its published form in print.
- Links to and/or information about other resources in the field of media ecology, culture and communications that might be of interest to our readership such as upcoming events, symposia and conferences.
- Background information and studies on the original Explorations journal.
These additional features are the ways in which the New Explorations journal will differ from the original Explorations edited by Carpenter and McLuhan and, indeed, today’s academic journals. The objectives of our project will be the same as those of the original Explorations, namely the intermingling of “the four winds of the humanities, the physical, the biological and the social sciences.” Ours will be a general systems approach.
McLuhan carefully studied the work of the following general systems thinkers: Gregory Bateson, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Buckminster Fuller, I. A. Richards, Claude Shannon and Norbert Wiener. He also was influenced by the following scientists who directly influenced his work:
- The gestalt psychologists and their notion of figure/ground,
- Carl Williams, the psychologist who contributed the notion of acoustic space).
- Hans Selye, endriconologist (impact of stress and trauma on the human psyche),
- A number of physicists including Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Louis de Broglie, and Linus Pauling
While the original Explorations wrestled with the challenges of electric media our challenge will be to take on the digital media and make sense of them, to explore the new opportunities that they present while preserving all that was of value in the pre-digital age.
Because our journal will be open access we hope that it will attract an international audience and become a journal that operates as a global forum for exploring media ecology, culture and communications in today’s global village. We already have on our editorial board scholars from the following countries in addition to Canada: Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the USA. We invite scholars, authors and artists from all across the planet to submit their thoughts, their analyses, their essays, their forms of artistic expression, and their comments on our journal. Our email address is: email@example.com
Deadline for Submissions: September 15, 2020
Submit articles to the editor, Bob Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Community Notes
If you have any announcements for seminars, conferences or contribution to a book of essays in the field of McLuhan studies; media ecology or the Toronto School of Culture and Communications we would be happy to post these on newexplorations.ca. There are no deadlines for this. We will post your announcements as soon as we receive them.
Pre-Print Policy of newexplorations.ca
If you submit an article for our next issue and it successfully undergoes peer review, copy editing and is scheduled for the next issue of New Explorations your article will be published on newexplorations.ca and then transferred to our next issue when it is released. The purpose of this policy is for author’s to be able to claim their article has been published as soon as it has been accepted thereby avoiding the often long delay between the acceptance of a publication and its appearance in a journal.
The Editorial Board of New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication
Robert K. Logan
International Associate Editors
Associate Editor New York: Prof. Paul Levinson
Associate Editor Europe: Prof. Derrick de Kerckhove
Associate Editor Brazil: Prof. Adriana Braga
Archivist and Associate Editor
Journal and newexplorations.ca Production Manager
Editorial Board Members
Lynne Alexandrova OISE U, University of Toront
Joel Alleyne Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Corey Anton Grand Valley University
Adriana Braga Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
Claire Brunet OCAD University
Jason Buccheri Discovery Education
Tim Buell University of Toronto
Maria Collier de Mendonça Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis
Tom Cooper Emerson College Boston
Cristina Miranda de Almeida University of the Basque Country
Derrick de Kerckhove Polytechnic Institute of Milan, School of Design
Michael Edmunds University of Toronto
Geri Forsberg Western Washington University
Donald Gillies Ryerson University
George Garlock CBC Emeritus
Paolo Granata University of Toronto
Sal GreconRyerson University
Fernando Ignacio Gutiérrez Technológico de Monterrey
Jerry Harp Lewis & Clark University – Portland
Arthur Hunt University of Tennesee
Kathy Hutchon-Kawasaki McLuhan Foundation
Elaine Kahn PhD. Rutgers
Agnes Kruchio University of Toronto
Tanya Krupiy Tilburg University -The Netherlands
Alex Kuskis University of Toronto
Elena Lamberti Università di Bologna
Paul Levinson Fordham University
Robert K. Logan University of Toronto
Anne-Marie McLoughlin University of Toronto
Andrew McLuhan McLuhan Institute
Teri McLuhan Author and Film Maker
Andrey Miroshnichenko York University
Philip Morais University of Windsor
David Nostbakken McLuhan Foundation
Aaron Pingree University of Toronto
B.W. Powe York University
Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof Ryerson University
Adam Pugen Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Barbara Rauch OCAD University
Mira Rawadi University of Toronto
Father Leo Reilly University of Toronto
Anat Ringel . Bar Ilan University
Phil Rose McMaster University
Carlos Scolari Universiat Pompeu Fabra – Barcelona
Marshall Soules Vancouver Island University
Read Mercer Schuchardt Wheaton College