Cavell on the Spatial McLuhan
Analyzes Richard Cavell's essay "McLuhan and Spatial Communication" about early communication theorist, Marshall McLuhan.
# 29549 | 2,436 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on Aug 04, 2003 in Computer and Technology (Internet) , Computer and Technology (General) , Communication (General)
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Richard Cavell tackles one of the all-time greats of communication theory in his article on "McLuhan and Spatial Communication." The paper explains that Marshall McLuhan was one of the great prophets (some would say charlatans) of early communication theory. For a long time he was one of one of the only celebrities of the field and toured wildly to give his opinions on the subject. They were certainly opinions worth hearing, for he had some remarkably new and insightful things to say about media, communication, and the way in which technology affects human development. The paper shows, however, that within the scope of his own lifetime, he went from spokesman to outcast and academia widely turned against him. Before his death his saw the school he had founded shut down and his work widely discredited. Since the rise of the Internet, however, the development of other, new forms of entertainment and media, McLuhanism has enjoyed something of an academic comeback. It is with this background in mind that the paper approaches Cavell's work on McLuhan, for much of his essay deals with presenting an explanation for McLuhan's disenfranchisement from and eventual re-adoption by the academic community. According to Cavell's central thesis, McLuhan's anomalous position and his lasting durability within the field of communications theory both spring from his "elaboration of a spatial model of communication... based on the notion of acoustic space... situated within the spatial bias of postmodernist thought."
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