Lecture: Why I Teach The Medium Is the Massage

The following is a revised version of a blog post I wrote on July 16, 2010. While it wasn’t my intention to explain why I believe teaching The Medium Is the Massage is so important, as I assayed1 the subject, I found myself ending up doing just that. From the July 16, 2010 Inside Higher Ed‘s […]

Lecture: The Structure of The Medium Is the Massage

Over the years that I’ve read and studied Marshall McLuhan, I’ve had a number of productive conversations and exchanges with Kevin Brooks, and his 2009 article “More ‘Seriously Visible’ Reading: McCloud, McLuhan, and the Visual Language of The Medium is the Massage,”1 set me to thinking about the structure of the book. While it’s certainly not […]

Lecture: Hot and Cool Media | Hot and Cool Perspectives

Building off the Old Messengers, New Media reading “McLuhan: Hot and Cool,” I’d like to add some additional comments. The concept, as the reading notes, is a bit fuzzy, and we need to keep in mind that it functions as a comparative model (i.e., not all hot mediums are as “hot” as each other.) As W. Terrance […]

Lecture: The Medium Is the Massage, pp. 150-151

One of my favorite image-text juxtapositions of The Medium Is the Massage is that on pages 150-51, the image of the surfing business man and McLuhan’s claim that Poe’s story “The Descent into the Maelstrom” can serve as “a possible stratagem for understanding our predicament, our electrically-configured whirl.” Below are five resources to help decipher the […]

Lecture: Print, Authorship, Copyright, Ownership

On pages 122-123 of The Medium Is the Massage, McLuhan and Fiore note that our sense of authorship changed after the advent of the printing press. Before then, book production was too labor intensive for books to be commercial product. And because books weren’t commercial products, the content of books – the stories and ideas […]

Lecture: The Medium Is the Massage, pp. 94-96, 119

Pages 94-96 of The Medium Is the Massage encapsulates the challenge of reading the book. In fact, in McLuhan, or Modernism in Reverse Glenn Willmot argues that The Medium Is the Massage is often undecipherable, and points specifically to the juxtaposition of the Dance of the Dead on pages 94-95 with that of the nude cellist on page 96. In trying […]

"The Medium Is…" A Pecha Kucha by Lance Strate

In honor of the Marshall McLuhan centenary in 2011, Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, created “The Medium Is…” a  the pecha kucha. 1 Pecha kucha is a style of presentation: 20 slides each for 20 seconds for a total of 6 minutes 40 seconds. ↩

Lecture: Mediums and the OHM Thesis

Much of what we have been reading for these first three weeks is related to what Vincent Casaregola, Professor of English at Saint Louis University and one of my former teachers, calls the OHM Thesis, which goes like this: “technologies of representation, communication, and mediation, when adopted widely in any cultural setting, and maintained over […]

Lecture: The Invention of Writing and the Changing of Consciousness

In “Digitization Ancient and Modern: Beginnings of Writing and Today’s Computers”1 and The Medium Is the Massage, Walter J. Ong and Marshall McLuhan claim that literacy itself changes the way we think and perceive the world, in short, that literacy changes consciousness. While Walter Ong’s article is based upon the work of art historian Denise Schmandt-Besserat’s Before Writing […]