Announcement of a New Book & Forthcoming Conference on Frankenstein


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

About the Book: 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.

About the Author: Mark A. McCutcheon is Professor of Literary Studies at Athabasca University. His scholarly publications include articles on such subjects as Canadian popular culture, Frankenstein adaptations, and copyright policy in English Studies in CanadaDigital Studies/Le champ numériqueContinuum, and Popular Music, among other scholarly journals and books. Mark has also published poetry and short fiction in literary magazines like EVENTExistereCarousel, and subTerrain. Originally from Toronto, Mark lives in Edmonton. His scholarly blog is and he’s on Twitter as @sonicfiction. (Publisher’s Listing:

From the Introduction: The question that animates this book might at first sound like the start of a joke: what do modern technology, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Canada have to do with one another? The short answer is “Marshall McLuhan,” and much of what follows will be devoted to explaining this punchline. I want to venture a twofold argument: first, that Shelley’s Frankenstein effectively “reinvented” the meaning of the word “technology” for modern English; and, second, that Marshall McLuhan’s media theory and its receptions, especially in Canadian popular culture, together constitute a tradition in adaptations of Frankenstein that has globalized this Frankensteinian sense of the word. So my two main tasks here are to provide a concrete account of the historical origins and transformation of the definitively modern word “technology” and, by closely reading Frankenstein and its Canadian adaptations, many of which also adapt McLuhan, to model new directions for adaptation studies.
I aim to show how Frankenstein, technology, McLuhan, and Canadian popular culture relate to one another, in historical and cultural contexts, and to explore the implications of this interrelation…

Download the Free eBook: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited. Download from here:


Reading Frankenstein: Then, Now, Next. A Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818-2018) Symposium/Exhibit/Public Reading 26 October 2018 (

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