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[book cover] The Medium Is the Monster

Mark A. McCutcheon

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April 2018

9781771992367 (Hardcover)
9781771992244 (Paperback)
9781771992251 (PDF)
9781771992268 (ePub)

$100.00 (hardcover)


โปรแกรมพรีเมียร์ลีกLiterature / Technology


  Monster Mix

Listen to a music mix by the author featuring songs and tracks that adapt Frankenstein and are discussed in the book.




About the Book

From dance culture to scifi to Big Oil, Mark McCutcheon traces the McLuhanesque Frankenphemes of technological monstrosity—and their threat of future mischief—with an intensity that won't let you put this book down.
—Richard Cavell, author of Remediating McLuhan


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 Canada, Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, Continuum, and Popular Music, among other scholarly journals and books. Mark has also published poetry and short fiction in literary magazines like EVENT, Existere, Carousel, and subTerrain. Originally from Toronto, Mark lives in Edmonton. His scholarly blog is and he’s on Twitter as @sonicfiction.


“In this groundbreaking work, Mark McCutcheon wrestles with the question of what is distinctively Canadian about contemporary literary, cinematic, scholarly, and popular cultural adaptations of the Frankensteinian myth-eme. McCutcheon’s answer is seemingly simple at first glance: each of these adaptations/discourses bears the undeniable imprint of Marshall McLuhan’s influence. Yet that seemingly simple answer evolves, as the book proceeds into a detailed genealogy of these complex ‘Frankenphemes,’ always sensitive to the nuances of cultural production, which, in McCutcheon’s interpretation, often take an ‘ironic’ or ‘parodic’ turn, through Canada’s ambivalent cultural positioning. Ultimately, McCutcheon also argues for the diffusion of this McLuhanite interpretation of technology beyond Canadian borders to become a global and multifarious ‘figure of manufactured monstrosity.’ An erudite, compelling, and timely must-read for scholars of postcolonial theory, adaptation studies, and media, communication, literary, cinematic, and cultural studies.”

—Caroline Joan “Kay” S. Picart, Esq., author of Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film


“From dance culture to scifi to Big Oil, Mark McCutcheon traces the McLuhanesque Frankenphemes of technological monstrosity—and their threat of future mischief—with an intensity that won't let you put this book down.”

—Richard Cavell, author of Remediating McLuhan



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Copyright: 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.


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Select a Chapter

DownloadFront Matter

DownloadTable of Contents



Download1. Technology, Frankenstein, and … Canada?

Download2. Refocusing Adaptation Studies

Download3. Frankenstein and the Reinvention of “Technology”

Download4. The Medium Is the Monster: McLuhan’s “Frankenpheme” of Technology

Download5. Monstrous Adaptations: McLuhanesque Frankensteins in Neuromancer and Videodrome

Download6. “Technology Implies Belligerence”: Pattern Propagation in Canadian Science Fiction

Download7. Is It Live or Is It Deadmau5? Pattern Amplification in Canadian Electronic Dance Music

Download8. Monster Mines and Pipelines: Frankenphemes of Tar Sands Technology in Canadian Popular Culture