Those of you who are familiar with Carey's scholarship know that he was a leading expert on the work of the Harold Innis
, and that Innis was a Canadian economist who, toward the end of his career, turned his attention to the study of communication and, particularly, the relationship between forms of communication and social organization.
Not only did the Canadian Social Science Research Council and the Humanities Research Council of Canada both receive more than 90 percent of their funding from American philanthropy before their integration into the activities of the Canada Council in 1957, but Brison also shows to what extent the well-known anti-American nationalists Harold Innis
and Donald Creighton benefited from funding they received from American foundations.
The treatment of the historical context in Chapter 1 suggests that connection between communication and empire that Harold Innis
first theorized 50 years ago.
The image of filmmakers as nickel miners gives new life to the staples thesis, though perhaps not in the way Harold Innis
would have intended.
Subjects covered in this part include a discussion of the work of Neil Postman, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, Harold Innis
, Lewis Mumford, and Jacques Ellul; a discussion of the formal roots of media ecology in the study of language and symbolic communication; and a general discussion of media ecology as an intellectual approach.
John Watson's masterly portrait of Harold Innis
, Marginal Man (reviewed in the December 2005 issue of the LRC) showed that pioneering genius to be at odds with conventional colonial mapmakers.
Moreover, Paul Heyer has recently published a definitive biographical study, Harold Innis
decades earlier than McLuhan by his mentor Harold Innis
in his 1951 work
McKenzie, and he also had a major influence on the work of Harold Innis
According to such writers as Harold Innis
, Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, and others, graphic, filmic, and electornic media create different kinds of communications environments.
Historically, this perspective provided the initial foundation for the academic study of communications in Canada and produced such internationally renowned scholars as Harold Innis
and Dallas Smythe.
Now, the ghost of Harold Innis
has been evoked again in Ralph Matthews' essay "Committing Canadian Sociology" (Matthews 2014).