Marshall McLuhan at 100: Picking through the Rag and Bone Shop of a Career.

full name / name of organization: 
Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing and Cultural Rhetoric

Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing and Cultural Rhetoric

Special Issue
Marshall McLuhan at 100: Picking through the Rag and Bone Shop of a Career.

Guest Editors:
Kevin Brooks, North Dakota State University
David Beard, University of Minnestoa, Duluth

Marshall McLuhan would have turned 100 on July 21, 2011. His work, ideas, and methods are alive and well in the area of Media Ecology, and some excellent scholarship in the past 10 years has re-assessed his relevance for the 21st century. But McLuhan remains a marginal, sometimes mysterious figure, most notably in his home discipline of English studies; even his place in the history of rhetoric has not been firmly established, despite his career-long commitment to understanding rhetoric. The occasion of his 100th birthday presents a kairotic moment for re-assessing his contributions and continued relevance in all these disciplines, or any field concerned with rhetoric, writing, and culture. The collection, however, is not meant as a hagiography; work critical of McLuhan's approach, style, or politics is welcome.

McLuhan was fond of William Butler Yeats' image of the "rag-and-bone shop" of history, so this call for papers encourages scholars to "pick through the rag and bone shop" of McLuhan's career (40 years, 20 books, numerous articles), looking for gems, garbage, or just a trace of something useful for understanding games, language, literature, (new) media, rhetoric, technology, teaching, or writing in the electric, digital age. Work that pays attention to and/or learns from McLuhan's often overlooked texts (From Cliché to Archetype, Culture is our Business, Through the Vanishing Point, The Laws of Media) would be particularly valuable for expanding McLuhanesque scholarship upon the occasion of his 100th birthday.

Traditional scholarly essays are welcome. Studying McLuhan in the style of McLuhan or approaching an issue or problem via his style (a mosaic approach, an essai concrète, an audio or video mash-up), with minimal reference to his work, is also encouraged. A mix of approaches will make for a well-balanced and interesting collection.

Students unfamiliar with McLuhan's work are encouraged to consider another genre. McLuhan's works are encrusted by a half-century of secondary commentators. As a result, we sometimes miss the insights that fresh eyes might find. We welcome re/views, readings of McLuhan's books within the genre of the book review that help us connect his ideas to contemporary problems and concerns. Help us bring the diversity of McLuhan's works to light.

Initial Inquiries to Editors for Feedback and Guidance: January 31, 2011.
(Not all submissions must be queried first; we offer this query process to encourage and support authors as they encounter McLuhan and as they encounter writing for Enculturation.)
First submission, full manuscript: June 15, 2011. Earlier is welcome.
Notifications of Acceptance/Rejection/Revision: September 15, 2011.
Resubmission of Revised Manuscript: October 22, 2011.
Expected Publication: December 21, 2011 – the close of McLuhan's Hundredth Year.

Please send correspondence and submissions to and/or