Article Discussion: McLuhan (with a little Kress)

Joint presentation with Mike Carroll. See for Mike’s excellent Kress presentation and downloadable handout at .

Reading: Google Docs, McLuhan (7-9; 22-23), Understanding Media (1964)

Handout (McLuhan, Kress)


< >   name

::=    is defined as

|       OR

+      AND, in combination with

[ ]    optional

…    repeats

The Medium is the Message (McLuhan)

<medium> | message> ::= <content> [<content>]…

<content> ::= <medium> | <activity> | <effect>

Q: How does defining <medium> or <message> in terms of <content> account for the light bulb? (8)

A: The message of the light bulb is recognized after an activity or effect calls our attention to it. (9)

Q: What about “hot” and “cold” media?

A: In the reading assignment, “hot” and “cold” refer to data density and to the relative speed at which a medium changes human society. This change is McLuan’s primary concern.

Q: How might we illustrate the impact of “The medium is the message” in human affairs?

A: “The Conversation Prism,” Version 3.0, Brian Solis and JESS3 (2008-2018).



Mode and Multimodal (Kress)

<meaning> ::= <mode> [+ <mode>] …n

where n is a user-defined number of modes

<mode> ::= <language> | <image> | <sound> | <gesture> | <spatial relation>

Additional sources:

Kress, Gunther and Theo van Leeuwan. Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. Oxford UK. Oxford University.

“Multimodal: Key Concepts; Berit Henrisken in Conversation with Gunther Kress”; Produced by MODE Institute of Education: University of London, Copyright 2012; http://MODE.IOE.AC.UK



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