- Burgoyne, Patrick. “Where is David Carson?” Creative Review 24.4 (2004): 46-9.
“The organizers were a bit miffed, the delegates delighted: yet another of the many paradoxes that surround the man [David Carson] and his career. There is a perception that all he does these days is give talks, that he is famous for being famous. And yet he has a client list to die for – including Nike and Microsoft – and is now in the enviable position of being the art director and designer for the estate of Marshall McLuhan. In the 90s Carson was the most famous graphic designer on the planet: correction, he was pretty much the only famous graphic designer on the planet in the sense that the general public might actually have heard of him.” (46)
- Cavell, Richard. “Introduction.” Love, Hate and Fear in Canada ‘s Cold War . Ed. Richard Cavell. Toronto : U Toronto P, 2004: 3-32
“[Andrew] Ross places McLuhan precisely within the ‘mass / class’ nexus, arguing that McLuhan simply rewrote the equation in terms of (tele)visual and print media. McLuhan is anomalous in this regard, however, because he worked out this equation counter-intuitively, such that (tele)visual culture was deemed to be more involving (and thus ‘cool’), while print culture was understood to be passive (‘hot’).” (17)
- Richard Cavell, “Gould, McLuhan, and the Fate of the Acoustic.” Glenn Gould 10.1 (2004): 44-47.
- Denning, Michael. Culture in the Age of Three Worlds . London : Verso, 2004.
“[T]he word ‘communication’ was a key word for this generation. . [I]t captures the first key antinomy of cultural studies, the hesitation between the means of communication as the mass media and the mans of communication as the forms and codes by which communication takes place. On the one hand, the means of communication understood as a set of instruments and technologies-the mass media-was a constant temptation toward versions of technological determinism, from McLuhan’s The Mechanical Bride and Understanding Media , to the enormous prestige of Benjamin’s rediscovered ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.’ This line culminates in Armand Mattelart’s genealogy of communications, Mapping World Communication , which is both an ‘itinerary of technical objects’ and a history of theories that accounted for them. On the other hand, the means of communication understood as the forms and codes of symbolic action led to a resurrection of the ancient sciences of rhetoric and hermeneutics, with their concern for the tropes and allegories of social discourse, and the invention of the new sciences of signs and sign systems, semiology and semiotics. The influential work of Roland Barthes captured both the rhetorical and the scientistic sides.” (83-4)
- Fishwick, Marshall. “Marshall McLuhan.” Journal of American Culture 27.2 (2004): 244-5.
“McLuhan’s uncanny ability was (and still is) to reconceive history as a pageant whose inner meaning is our metamorphosis through media. Credit cards replace money. Photographs were brothels without walls. Movies were the reel world. Now all information could be shared simultaneously by everyone. The ancient walls between people, nations, art, and thought would come tumbling down. It was his special version of the Brave New World.” (244)
- Gillis, Charlie. “For the Common Good.” Maclean’s [special issue on Canadian innovators.] (2004): 24-6.
“Can there be such a thing as an intellectual superstar? If so, then McLuhan, the Edmonton-born English professor who made a cameo appearance in Woody Allen’sAnnie Hall in 1977, surely qualifies. So thoroughly have his ideas about electronic media penetrated the popular consciousness that they now serve as dinner-party shorthand — a whole vocabulary for the information age. ‘Global village’ and ‘the medium is the message’ are McLuhanisms we rarely credit anymore — appropriate, given his conviction that individual identity was doomed to drown in a tide of media ephemera. But McLuhan, inspired by Innis, had a larger mission: to alert the world to coming changes, and to mobilize our critical powers to cope with them. ‘To resist TV,’ he wrote in his seminal book, Understanding Media , ‘one must acquire the antidote of related media like print.'” (25)
- Irmscher, Christoph. “Humming With Gould [review].” Canadian Literature 180 (Spring 2004): 113-15.
“Cavell successfully disputes the prevalent notion of McLuhan as ‘vulgarizer’ of Harold Innis: McLuhan broke away from his predecessor when arguing that space and time are categories that can never be understood separately, that the objects we surround ourselves with are process as well as product. Nevertheless, he shared Innis’s sense that any ‘re-organization of our perceptual lives’ must have an ethical dimension, and that the point of becoming aware of the environments we have created is to alter them, to turn them into, as McLuhan would call them, ‘counter-environments’-expressions of our heightened awareness that who we are can never be distinguished from where we are.” (114)
- Kittler, Friedrich. “Universities: Wet, Hard, Soft, and Harder.” Critical Inquiry 31 (Autumn 2004) 244-255
“Contrary to McLuhan’s assertions in Understanding Media, Henry Ford, not Johann Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg, created the first assembly line. The movable and (at least for Europe) new letters were meant to enhance both the calligraphic beauty and the literal correctness obtainable by medieval and mostly academic scriptoria, where up to fifty copyists simultaneously had to write text books from oral dictation and, in doing so, unintentionally but unavoidably multiplied the number of errata.” (246)
- Lee, Pamela M.. Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s . Cambridge , MA.: MIT Press, 2004.
“Although not principally concerned with this later [postwar] period, The Gutenberg Galaxy bears enormous relevance for the postwar moment, particularly in introducing a concept explored more fully in [McLuhan’s] subsequent Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man of 1964. It is with the concept of the ‘ratio of the senses’ or the ‘sense ratio’ that we approach the issue of the Eye / Body problem as it is thematized within sixties popular culture and begin to see its inflections in the criticism around Op art. Briefly put, the ‘sense ratio’ is the relative and shifting index between the senses in the assimilation of knowledge or information. It is a kind of balance sheet of the sensorium, whether the privileging of one sense faculty over the next or their virtual mixing as synesthesia. In part the notion derives from McLuhan’s formulation of ‘extensions,’ … forms of media that negotiate the body’s relationship with the phenomenal world. … The historicity of extensions suggests likewise that the sense ratio is a deeply historical phenomenon and, by implication, culturally specific as well.” (184-5)
- Morra, Linda and John Moss, eds.. At the Speed of Light There Is Only Illumination: A Reappraisal of Marshall McLuhan . Ottawa : U of Ottawa P, 2004.
- Mielo, Gary. “Why McLuhan’s Still Hot and Cool.” Etc. 61.2 (2004): 215-18.
- Thomson, David. ” Marshall as I Knew Him [review].” Canadian Literature 181 (Summer 2004): 179-81.
“If it is arguable that the book fails to offer much critical insight, there is no denying that [Donald] Theall’s many first-hand descriptions of McLuhan have human interest. As McLuhan’s first doctoral student and close collaborator until 1964, Theall is prone to interleaving his criticism with first-person observations. This tendency highlights his unique perspective on his subject, even if the sudden shifts from ‘McLuhan’ to ‘ Marshall ‘ seem odd.” (180)
- Urban, Wayne . “Marshall McLuhan and the Book: A Reconsideration.”Historical Studies in Education 16.1 (2004): 139-54.
- Willmott, Glenn. “McLuhan’s Spaces: Asymmetries and Contradictions [review].” Essays on Canadian Writing 81 (Winter 2004): 181-91.