Marshall McLuhan's insights are fresher and more applicable today than when he first announced them to a startled world. A whole new generation is turning to his work to understand a global village made real by the information superhighway and the overwhelming challenge of electronic transformation.“Before anyone could perceive the electric form of the information revolution, McLuhan was publishing brilliant explanations of the perceptual changes being experienced by the users of mass media. He seemed futuristic to some and an enemy of print and literacy to others. He was, in reality, a deeply literate man of astonishing prescience. Tom Wolfe suggested aloud that McLuhan's work was as important culturally as that of Darwin or Freud. Agreement and scoffing ensued. Increasingly Wolfe's wonder seems justified.”From the IntroductionHere in one volume, are McLuhan's key ideas, drawn from his books, articles, correspondence, and published speeches. This book is the essential archive of his constantly surprising vision.
Brings together the key writings of Marshall McLuhan. In a communications environment transformed by the rapid spread of electronic media, McLuhans insights are fresher and even more applicable than when first written.
Ecocritical Perspectives on the New English Literatures
Category: Literary Criticism
In the New Literatures in English, nature has long been a paramount issue: the environmental devastation caused by colonialism has left its legacy, with particularly disastrous consequences for the most vulnerable parts of the world. At the same time, social and cultural transformations have altered representations of nature in postcolonial cultures and literatures. It is this shift of emphasis towards the ecological that is addressed by this volume. A fast-expanding field, ecocriticism covers a wide range of theories and areas of interest, particularly the relationship between literature and other ‘texts’ and the environment. Rather than adopting a rigid agenda, the interpretations presented involve ecocritical perspectives that can be applied most fruitfully to literary and non-literary texts. Some are more general, ‘holistic’ approaches: literature and other cultural forms are a ‘living organism’, part of an intellectual ecosystem, implemented and sustained by the interactions between the natural world, both human and non-human, and its cultural representations. ‘Nature’ itself is a new interpretative category in line with other paradigms such as race, class, gender, and identity. A wide range of genres are covered, from novels or films in which nature features as the main topic or ‘protagonist’ to those with an ecocritical agenda, as in dystopian literature. Other concerns are: nature as a cultural construct; ‘gendered’ natures; and the city/country dichotomy. The texts treated challenge traditional Western dualisms (human/animal, man/nature, woman/man). While such global phenomena as media (‘old’ or ‘new’), tourism, and catastrophes permeate many of these texts, there is also a dual focus on nature as the inexplicable, elusive ‘Other’ and the need for human agency and global responsibility.
"Transforming McLuhan explores the radical, humanist line of descent in interpreting Canadian media and culture theorist Marshall McLuhan's work, rejecting the dominant view of McLuhan as a conservative, uncritical herald of technological determinism andcapitalism. This McLuhan is the oppositional critic of modernity, resisting uncontrolled technological change, who seeks new media forms with a human face. Contributors from diverse international and academic perspectives include Douglas Kellner, Nick Stevenson, Gary Genosko, Richard Cavell, Lance Strate, Glenn Willmott, Patrick Brantlinger, Donna Flayhan, and Bob Hanke." ""Marshall McLuhan was the first to theorize and to develop a concept of media, indicating their importance to all areas of society and culture. Today media are far more pervasive than in the 1950s and 1960s when he wrote. Yet his work has still not received its due attention. Transforming McLuhan will begin to correct this oversight."---Mark Poster, University of California-Irvine; Author of What's the Matter with the Internet? and Information Please" ""Transforming McLuhan re-reads the McLuhan phenomenon in light of today's media-saturated, 24/7 news and smartphone world. Here we meet again with the visionary Tiresias in the Underworld whose dark sayings once lit the late afternoon of the twentieth century. These critical readings create a time-out to question him again and to open space-time interstices for alternate thoughts and alternate actions." ---Michael Heim, Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles; Author of The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality and Virtual Realism" ""Transforming McLuhan offers a rich and textured reconsideration of Marshall McLuhan's ideas, demonstrating how McLuhan's work is a better match for current multi-dimensional and ambivalent understandings of media and culture than it was for the narrower conceptions that guided those who dismissed McLuhan in his own time. These provocative and well-written essays persuasively engage in what I have calledá morphing' McLuhan with other key theoretical frameworks. As a resuit, Transforming McLuhan illustrates that cultural theorists have much to learn from McLuhanism, but that McLuhan's perspective also has much room for enrichment t from critical media studies." ---Joshua Meyrowitz, University of New Hampshire; Author of No Sense of Place: The Impact of Media on Social Behavior"--BOOK JACKET.
Marshall McLuhan discusses the information age and its implications, making stunningly accurate revelations about the 20th and 21st centuries. Tracing the descent of technological culture from the phonetic alphabet and resulting "lineal" thought that gave birth to Western civilization, McLuhan explores the contemporary transition from lineality to simultaneity, from text to image, from sequence to spontaneity, and from left to right hemisphere. Topics include:- the environment itself becoming information- the effects of products being written into their design- from 'jobs' to 'roles' in an electronic society- myth as a coping strategy of information overloadand more.
Claims of ideology's end are, on the one hand, performative denials of ideology's inability to end; while, on the other hand, paradoxically, they also reiterate an idea that 'ending' is simply what all ideologies eventually do. Situating her work around the intersecting publications of Daniel Bell's The End of Ideology (1960) and J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey (1961), Laurie Rodrigues argues that American novels express this paradox through nuanced applications of non-realist strategies, distorting realism in manners similar to ideology's distortions of reality, history, and belief. Reflecting the astonishing cultural variety of this period, The American Novel After Ideology, 1961 - 2000 examines Franny and Zooey, Carlene Hatcher Polite's The Flagellants (1967), Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead (1991), and Philip Roth's The Human Stain (2001) alongside the various discussions around ideology with which they intersect. Each novel's plotless narratives, dissolving subjectivities, and cultural codes organize the texts' peculiar relations to the post-ideological age, suggesting an aesthetic return of the repressed.
The book is divided into two parts, representing modern and postmodern periods. Willmott examines McLuhan's relationship to critical and aesthetic modernism, and political and historical sense of modernity in North America, from the early 1930s to the 1950s.
The importance of polling public opinion is widely recognized. This work examines the impact that polls have on the thoughts and behaviour of the public. It considers the power of public opinion polls as an element of mass persuasion in media stories, advertising, and government policy.