Edmund Carpenter: Dialogues, Diversions & Digressions


Menil Photo Session 2008.01.25; A7626 Summer_Winter Mask_0277

Presented in collaboration with the Estate of Edmund Carpenter

On October 15, 2016, as part of The Toronto School International Conference, the Estate of Edmund Carpenter presented “Edmund Carpenter Dialogues, Diversions & Digressions”, curated by MICHAEL DARROCH, HART COHEN, PAUL HEYER and JANINE MARCHESSAULT.

Edmund “Ted” Snow Carpenter (1922-2011) was Marshall McLuhan’s closest collaborator during the 1950s, and remained a key dialogic partner throughout McLuhan’s life. Overlooked for his influence on Toronto School scholarship, Carpenter worked in CBC radio and TV in the 1940s and 50s, contributing his studies of Inuit concepts of space and time to the very shape that early communication and media studies would take.

Carpenter’s cross-disciplinary research included interventions in media analysis, anthropology, Indigenous arts and cultures, archaeology, ethnography, intercultural communication, and cybernetics. McLuhan turned frequently to Carpenter’s keen sense of media and cultural trends to nourish his own scholarly digressions. This public presentation showcased a selection of interviews, collaborative film experiments, and archival materials representing Carpenter’s lifework in research scholarship and pedagogy before and after his collaborations with McLuhan.