'Feted and reviled in his own lifetime, Marshall McLuhan has made a dramatic comeback in recent years. Marchessault gives a balanced and carefully considered appraisal of McLuhan’s contribution to cultural theory, which may be even more pertinent now, in the early twenty-first century, than when he originally formulated it in the 1950s and ‘60s' Jim McGuigan, Professor of Cultural Analysis, Loughborough University Why is McLuhan important? What use can we make of his approach to the media today? In this insightful critical introduction, McLuhan's contribution is carefully explained and his reputation reassessed. The book: · Explains McLuhan's key ideas · Engages with critical issues in media and contemporary art · Demonstrates the relevance of his work for students of media and communications · Addresses his methodological contribution · Revises our understanding of his place in the history of ideas. Illustrated with many examples from the network society, the book works as a guide to anyone who wants to know why McLuhan is important.
Marshall McLuhan should be considered to have been first and foremost an English professor. His intellectual formation in English Studies at Cambridge University deeply influenced his methodological approaches to the media. To begin a study on McLuhan it is crucial to understand that his concept of the media, a term he made famous, starts with an awareness of the materiality of language, with language as techne. This awareness stems initially from his love of poetry. It is this passion for the beauty and organic existence of language, both written and oral, that sets McLuhan's writings on the media apart from the more empirically driven approaches that came to characterize the North American social sciences in the 1950s and 1960s. McLuhan's distinctive interdisciplinary ...