• Antecol, Michael. “Understanding McLuhan: Television and the Creation of the Global Village.” Etc . 54 (Winter 1997-98): 454-73.


  • Belgrad, Daniel. The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998.


  • Carey, James W.. “Marshall McLuhan: Genealogy and Legacy.” Canadian Journal of Communication 23.3 (1998) 293-305.

“McLuhan taught us to see the ‘problem of communications’ as a historical one, a problem that could not be understood simply by a universal and mathematical theory of communications such as proposed by Norbert Wiener (1948), Claude Shannon & Warren Weaver (1949), and others who pioneered cybernetics and information theory. The latter group understood communications solely as a problem of transmission. McLuhan’s decisive advance, though he was not alone in this, was to argue that communication has three interlarded dimensions: transmission, creation, and retention. The problem of communications was not to be analyzed solely as the speed and capacity with which a given medium can disseminate ‘bits’ of information. Rather, McLuhan analyzed the varying but interrelated capacities of different media to transmit or disseminate, to retrieve or store, and to create or produce an entire culture. Media were not only things with which messages were sent but, in addition and more importantly, things with which to think and with which to shape collective memory. As was his playful manner, he often threw away this insight in a slogan: ‘the medium is the message’ or it is ‘culture retrieved rather than received that counts.’ But by enlarging the generally accepted understanding of communication, he was able to direct attention away from the ‘revolutions’ in materials (iron, copper, brass) or forms of economic organization (mercantilism, industrialism, capitalism, socialism) or politics (the divine right of kings, the social contract, the dictatorship of the proletariat) and onto revolutions in communications (from speech to script to print to electronics). Again, these latter ‘revolutions’ were not merely extensions of the speed and distance of communications, as important as such variations were, but alterations in the apparatus through which the world could be ‘thought’ and retrieved in ‘memory.'”


  • Driedger, L. et. al.. “Testing the Innis and McLuhan Theses: Mennonite Media Access and TV Use.” The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology . 35.1 (1998): 43-63

45: “In discussing the effects of television, McLuhan also introduced the concept of ‘acoustic space,’ which sees the world of simultaneous communication to be part of the modern experience. Historically, in preindustrial oral cultures, the individual located himself or herself in the center of a spherical space. However, in print-based cultures, the individual’s experience was seen as being more at the edge of visual space, looking in [.]. According to McLuhan, the first revolution occurred when the oral tradition was replaced by writing, and the present revolution has occurred as electronic communication has come to replace print. McLuhan argued that these new technologies would return societies to more tribal forms. Television would lead them to see the world from their home space, and interpret their experience from their own spatial and social context, including ethnicity, religion, and community. Levinson (1990), for one, has argued that this analysis of the human experience of space, and its relationship to the organization of thought is McLuhan’s most central contribution.”


  • Fishwick, Marshall. “Marshall McLuhan [review].” Journal of Popular Culture 31.4 (1998): 187-90.

189: “McLuhan began to reconceive history as a pageant whose inner meaning is our metamorphosis through media. New forces would control our lives. Electronic media would create a Global Village. All information would be shared, simultaneously, by everyone. Walls between people, races, nations, art, and thought would come tumbling down. Universities, corporations, television executives, and think tanks vied for his time and insights. Discs buzzed his name on their programs: ‘Whatcha doin’, Marshall McLuhan?’ Packing his bags and his nicknames (Pop Daddy, Oracle of Electronics, Massage Man among them), he returned home to head the Center for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. For a while, it was a shrine for the faithful.”


  • Genosko, Gary. Undisciplined Theory . London: SAGE, 1998.


  • Grosswiler, Paul. Method is the Message: Rethinking McLuhan Through Critical Theory . Montreal: Black Rose, 1998.


  • John, Adrian. The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998.


  • Jones, Paul. “The Technology is Not the Cultural Form? Raymond Williams’ Sociological Critique of Marshall McLuhan.” Canadian Journal of Communication 23.4 (1998): 423-454.

“The immediate intellectual influence of the projects of Raymond Williams and Marshall McLuhan has long passed but their major works remain in print and each still warrants inclusion in textbooks of ‘media theory’ (e.g., Stevenson 1995). More than this, each has figured prominently in recent influential literatures. There is now a well-established case that McLuhan’s work prefigured many of the concerns made prominent by postmodernists in the 1980s (Ferguson 1991) and in some influential texts of that period at least, direct influence was acknowledged (e.g., Eco 1987). The still-current wave of work on ‘globalization’ has also renewed interest in McLuhan, often by naïvely reproducing the very features of his work which Williams most heavily criticized.”


  • Krupnick, Mark. “Marshall McLuhan Revisited: Media Guru As Catholic Modernist.” Modernism / Modernity 5.3 (1998): 107-22.


  • Leonard, Garry. “Forward Through the Rearview Mirror [review].” University of Toronto Quarterly 67.1 (1997-1998): 313-6.

316: “As for the secret of McLuhan’s remarkably lively and thoughtful analysis of nearly everything attracting his attention, I think we can see him as a moralist who never permitted himself to moralize. ‘Moral indignation,’ he said, ‘is a technique to endow the idiot with dignity.’ And I wonder if this was not a stern admonition to himself. Commentators report, late in his career, that he was alarmed and unhappy about the events of his time. But I think the unhappiness and alarm were there from the first. It’s just that he didn’t see how that was going to help him, or anybody else, cope, and so he urged himself and others, as one of the commentators here puts it, ‘to stop saying “is this a good thing or bad thing?” and start saying, “What’s going on?'” [Forward through the Rearview Mirror: Reflections on and by Marshall McLuhan ] is a valuable and concise overview of an important thinker, one we find ourselves turning back to because the ‘tools we shape shape us’ and McLuhan is one of our more important tools for understanding the present as it is really happening, and not as we would like to imagine it.”


  • Livesay, Dorothy. “McLuhan Criticized.” Archive for Our Times: Previously Uncollected and Unpublished Poems of Dorothy Livesay . Ed. Dean J. Irvine. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp P, 1998.


  • McConnell, Frank. “Marshall McLuhan [review].” Commonweal 125 (February 27 1998): 24-6.

24: “If  ‘Media Studies’ has a father or a godfather, it’s surely H. Marshall McLuhan (1911-80). Not that he invented the field: Plato, I think, did that in his distinction between speech and writing in the Phaedrus. And in our century there were earlier and brilliant analyses, including Eric Barnouw’s studies of broadcasting and Harold Innis’s epochal work on the influence of print on the shaping of modern consciousness (work absolutely essential to McLuhan’s own best writing, and oddly–characteristically–soft-pedaled in Gordon’s book). But McLuhan made it all sexy, imbued it all with an aura of freedom and play. ”


  • McLean, Adrienne L. “Media Effects: Marshall McLuhan, Television Culture and ‘The X-Files.'” Film Quarterly 51.4 (1998): 2-11.

4: “McLuhan did not only predict the future, however. He helped to chart its discursive course. In fact, his work is now being acknowledged as visionary for what scholars had heretofore dismissed with contempt as formal and theoretical faults. The aphoristic and fragmentary nature of McLuhan’s discourse, its ‘weird and hybrid dabbling’ in ‘scientific mysticism,’ as Lapham puts it, have all become familiar as a postmodern style of writing and, equally important, historical investigation. In a climate in which historians desire to ‘free themselves,’ Robert Rosenstone claims, ‘from the constricting bonds of metanarratives and the Historical discipline (the way history is taught in schools,)’ the fragmentary theorizing of McLuhan no longer seems so idiotic. Although in 1975 it made sense for Raymond Williams to declare that ‘as descriptions of any observable social state or tendency’ McLuhan’s images of society were ‘ludicrous,’ clearly this is no longer the case.”


  • Roth, Moira. “The Aesthetic of Indifference.” Difference / Indifference: Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp, and John Cage  (Amsterdam: G and B Arts, 1998).

34: “McLuhan’s The Mechanical Bride …was an early announcement of this new tone of indifference. … [A] study in advertising manipulations, The Mechanical Bride was written in a cool rather than indignant manner.”


  • Shayon, Robert Louis. “Understanding McLuhan in Theological Space.” Wide Angle 20.2 (1998): 105-15.

109-110: “There are virtually no references to Christianity in The Gutenberg Galaxy. McLuhan notes that Christ, Socrates, and Pythagoras avoided publication of their oral teachings, thus disdaining and deprecating writing. Understanding Media is even less explicitly given to Christian allusions, but the religious underground, like hot spring waters, can be detected in many passages. The desire for a deeper spiritual experience is reflected in McLuhan’s sympathetic comment on the mood of suburban beatniks in the sixties, cited in Understanding Media . ‘They reject a fragmented and specialist consumer life for anything that offers humble involvement and deep commitment.’ ‘It is the same mood that recently turned girls from specialist careers to early marriage and big families… The same new preference for depth participation has also prompted in the young a strong drive toward religious experience with rich liturgical overtones.'”


  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Cultural Talks in the Hot Peace: Revisiting the ‘Global Village.'” Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. Eds. Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins. (Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 1998) 329-348


330: “Globality is invoked in the interest of the financialization of the globe, or globalization. To think globality is to think the politics of thinking globality. In support of this intuition, I looked at two books. The conference [1993, in Lund, Sweden] had invoked Marshall McLuhan’s The Global Village . I dragged the line forward to Jean-Francois Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition . Although McLuhan belongs to the mad scientist phase of the 1960s, and Lyotard leans on the critique of the paradigms of modern science produced by philosophers of science such as Kuhn, Feyerabend, Roy Bhaskar, and Nancy Cartwright, the two share a common and stated presupposition: that the advances in electronic technology have made it possible for ‘the West’ (McLuhan) or ‘telematic society’ (Lyotard) to go back to the possibility of precapitalist spiritual riches without their attendant discomforts. McLuhan launches the argument in terms of the activities of the left brain-rational and visual-in which the West has so far been engaged-over against the activities of the right brain-holistic and acoustic-to which the West is graduating, thanks to electronic technology. To prove this he proposes to rewrite the history of scientific discoveries through the rationalist model of the tetrad, which he passes off as a metaphor.”


  • Tehranian, Majid and Michael Ogden. “Uncertain Futures: Changing Paradigms and Global Communications.” Futures 30.2-3. (1998): 199-210.

201: “To be sure, one also finds in almost any discussion of technological innovations in global communications the usual anxious remonstrations of neo-Luddites as well as a surfeit of blind optimism, only now it is magnified a thousand-fold by the reproductive and distributive capacities of the communications technology itself! This ubiquitous telecommunications network never shuts down, it is constantly moving information around the world – instantaneously – in a stream of digital bits propelled at the speed of light. Perhaps Marshall McLuhan’s ‘global village’ has indeed arrived, but it is neither inclusive, nor intimate and participatory. Whereas the digital information revolution has promised to offer wide-ranging cultural and educational enrichment as well as the possibilibty of increased political empowerment, it has at the same time introduced us to a darker, perhaps even seamier side of the promised technotopia: a world of malevolent hackers, cyber-porn, computer espionage and information warfare, information overload, and the omnipresent threat of ‘Big Brother Is Watching You!'”


  • Tremblay, Tony. “The Literary Occult in the Letters of Marshall McLuhan and Ezra Pound.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 27.2-3 (1998): 107-27.


  • Wasser, Frederick. “Forward Through the Rearview Mirror [review].” Journal of Communication 48.3 (1998): 146-52.

149-150: “The greatest difficulty with a postmodern interpretation of McLuhan is that it strips moral and political questions from the project of understanding media. To be sure, McLuhan often downplayed a moralistic agenda because his contemporaries began and ended their media analysis with moral condemnation of the content of mass media. McLuhan, however, played a more subtle game by transferring understanding and judgment from the content of mass media to its form. This was a new game and made it easy to overlook McLuhan’s moral stance. The moral stance was also obscured by McLuhan’s reluctance to display his deeply felt Catholicism, a reticence that Gordon admirably redresses. McLuhan did have an agenda, a very obvious one, if one listens to the contempt he displayed for the printing press and the rise of “typographic” man. He also had a cautious optimism about the new electronic age of communications. His optimism may have been utopian at times, certainly in his hopes that the emerging electronic communications would overcome all the ills of the print age. Technological proponents seized on his optimism. Those who listened to the man rather than the hoopla, though, could hear that McLuhan was also issuing warnings about the links between instant global communications and the increased capacity and willingness for violence. In any case, it is precisely because we understand media as a site for struggle and power that we wish to use the Innis-McLuhan tradition for insights into processes and changes.”



  • Williams, David. “The Politics of Cyborg Communications: Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, and The English Patient.” Canadian Literature 156 (1998): 30-55.