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The Digital Nexus: Identity, Agency, and Political Engagement

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Book Series: Cultural Dialectics ISSN: 19158378 ISBN: 9781771991292 9781771991308 9781771991315 9781771991322 Year: Pages: 352 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771991292.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-10 20:36:51
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Over half a century ago, in The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), Marshall McLuhan noted that the overlap of traditional print and new electronic media like radio and television produced widespread upheaval in personal and public life: Even without collision, such co-existence of technologies and awareness brings trauma and tension to every living person. Our most ordinary and conventional attitudes seem suddenly twisted into gargoyles and grotesques. Familiar institutions and associations seem at times menacing and malignant. These multiple transformations, which are the normal consequence of introducing new media into any society whatever, need special study.The trauma and tension in the daily lives of citizens as described here by McLuhan was only intensified by the arrival of digital media and the Web in the following decades. The rapidly evolving digital realm held a powerful promise for creative and constructive good—a promise so alluring that much of the inquiry into this new environment focused on its potential rather than its profound impact on every sphere of civic, commercial, and private life. The totalizing scope of the combined effects of computerization and the worldwide network are the subject of the essays in The Digital Nexus, a volume that responds to McLuhan’s request for a “special study” of the tsunami-like transformation of the communication landscape.These critical excursions provide analysis of and insight into the way new media technologies change the workings of social engagement for personal expression, social interaction, and political engagement. The contributors investigate the terms and conditions under which our digital society is unfolding and provide compelling arguments for the need to develop an accurate grasp of the architecture of the Web and the challenges that ubiquitous connectivity undoubtedly delivers to both public and private life.

The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology

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ISBN: 9781771992367 9781771992244 9781771992251 9781771992268 Year: Pages: 248 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771992244.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures --- Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2018-08-29 23:33:03
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Technology, a word that emerged historically first to denote the study of any art or technique, has come, in modernity, to describe advanced machines, industrial systems, and media. McCutcheon argues that it is Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein that effectively reinvented the meaning of the word for modern English. It was then Marshall McLuhan’s media theory and its adaptations in Canadian popular culture that popularized, even globalized, a Frankensteinian sense of technology. The Medium Is the Monster shows how we cannot talk about technology—that human-made monstrosity—today without conjuring Frankenstein, thanks in large part to its Canadian adaptations by pop culture icons such as David Cronenberg, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, and Deadmau5. In the unexpected connections illustrated by The Medium Is the Monster, McCutcheon brings a fresh approach to studying adaptations, popular culture, and technology.

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