New Book Announcement: Re-Understanding Media: Feminist Extensions of Marshall McLuhan


I’m glad she qualified the title with “Feminine Extensions”…

Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s StudiesMedia Studies > Media TechnologiesCultural Studies

The contributors to Re-Understanding Media advance a feminist version of Marshall McLuhan’s key text, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, repurposing his insight that “the medium is the message” for feminist ends. They argue that while McLuhan’s theory provides a falsely universalizing conception of the technological as a structuring form of power, feminist critics can take it up to show how technologies alter and determine the social experience of race, gender, class, and sexuality. This volume showcases essays, experimental writings, and interviews from media studies scholars, artists, activists, and those who work with and create technology. Among other topics, the contributors extend McLuhan’s discussion of transportation technology to the attics and cargo boxes that moved Black women through the Underground Railroad, apply McLuhan’s concept of media as extensions of humans to analyze Tupperware as media of containment, and take up 3D printing as a feminist and decolonial practice. The volume demonstrates how power dynamics are built into technological media and how media can be harnessed for radical purposes.

Duke University Press – Pages: 280 – Illustrations: 39 – Publication: June 2022
“This brilliant collection thrillingly updates and interrogates Marshall McLuhan’s work, with abundant insights from feminist and critical race studies. Starting from the insight that ‘the medium is the message,’ Re-Understanding Media refuses the idea of technology as a mere tool, instead showing how it is a structuring form of power—from incubators to platform heels to facial recognition scanners. A challenging and important book.” — Rosalind Gill, City, University of London

“From wires, sidewalks, platforms, and records of Black escape to technologies of containment, fabrication, and incubation, the essays and conversations in this innovative collection bring new insight and crucial analysis to Marshall McLuhan’s media theory. Re-Understanding Media is rich with feminist methods of extending, troubling, and undoing disciplinary modes of knowledge production at the McLuhan Coach House, within media studies or elsewhere.” — Simone Browne, author of Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness
The Editors:
Sarah Sharma is Associate Professor and Director of the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She was the director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology from 2017–2022. Sharma is author of In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics, also published by Duke University Press.
Rianka Singh is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at York University, Toronto.Source: