Sign up for AU Press news

View AU Press 2018 Fall Catalogue

University Press Week 2015 banner

สูตรบาคาร่า 4 แถว_เกมส์ยิงปลา Fishing Master_เกมใหม่

[book cover] The Digital Nexus


About the Book

Over half a century ago, in The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), Marshall McLuhan noted that the overlap of traditional print and new electronic media like radio and television produced widespread upheaval in personal and public life:

Even without collision, such co-existence of technologies and awareness brings trauma and tension to every living person. Our most ordinary and conventional attitudes seem suddenly twisted into gargoyles and grotesques. Familiar institutions and associations seem at times menacing and malignant. These multiple transformations, which are the normal consequence of introducing new media into any society whatever, need special study.

The trauma and tension in the daily lives of citizens as described here by McLuhan was only intensified by the arrival of digital media and the Web in the following decades. The rapidly evolving digital realm held a powerful promise for creative and constructive good—a promise so alluring that much of the inquiry into this new environment focused on its potential rather than its profound impact on every sphere of civic, commercial, and private life. The totalizing scope of the combined effects of computerization and the worldwide network are the subject of the essays in The Digital Nexus, a volume that responds to McLuhan’s request for a “special study” of the tsunami-like transformation of the communication landscape.

These critical excursions provide analysis of and insight into the way new media technologies change the workings of social engagement for personal expression, social interaction, and political engagement. The contributors investigate the terms and conditions under which our digital society is unfolding and provide compelling arguments for the need to develop an accurate grasp of the architecture of the Web and the challenges that ubiquitous connectivity undoubtedly delivers to both public and private life.


About the Editor

Raphael Foshay has been teaching in Athabasca University’s MA Program in Integrated Studies since 2008. His interests lie principally in literary, cultural, and interdisciplinary theory. He has written on Derrida, Hegel, Heidegger, and Levinas, as well as such literary figures as Joyce, Yeats, Kafka, and Wyndham Lewis and is the editor of Valences of Interdisciplinarity: Theory, Practice, Pedagogy.



Ian Angus, Maria Bakardjieva, Daryl Campbell, Sharone Daniel, Andrew Feenberg, Raphael Foshay, Carolyn Guertin, David J. Gunkel, Bob Hanke, Paul Kellogg, Leslie Lindballe, Mark McCutcheon, Roman Onufrijchuk, Josipa G. Petruni?, Peter J. Smith, Lorna Stefanick, Karen Wall.



Download the eBook

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.


Download the entire book

Select a Chapter

DownloadFront Matter

DownloadTable of Contents


DownloadIntroduction: The Computational Turn and the Digital Network
Raphael Foshay


Download1. The Internet in Question
Andrew Feenberg

Download2. Emergent Meaning in the Information Age
Ian Angus

Download3. Responsible Machines: The Opportunities and Challenges of Artificial Autonomous Agents
David J. Gunkel

Download4. Open Source Transparency: The Making of an Altered Identity
Daryl Campbell


Download5. Hacktivist (Pre)Occupations: Self-Surveillance, Participation, and Public Space
Carolyn Guertin

Download6. Institutions and Interpellations of the Dubject, the Doubled and Spaced Self
Mark A. McCutcheon

Download7. The Network University in Transition
Bob Hanke

Download8. Spinning the Web: Critical Discourse Analysis and Its Online Space
Leslie Lindballe

Download9. Paramortals, or Dancing with the Interactive Digital Dead
Roman Onufrijchuk


Download10. The Rise of the National Surveillance State in Comparative Perspective
Peter J. Smith

Download11. Democracy and Identity in the Digital Age
Lorna Stefanick and Karen Wall

Download12. The Digital Democratic Deficit: Analysis of Digital Voting in a Canadian Party Leadership Race
Josipa G. Petruni?

Download13. Navigating the Mediapolis: Digital Media and Emerging Practices of Democratic Participation
Maria Bakardjieva

Download14. The Construction of Collective Action Frames in Facebook Groups
Sharone Daniel

Raphael Foshay

DownloadAppendix: Do Machines Have Rights? Ethics in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
David J. Gunkel, Interviewed by Paul Kellogg

DownloadList of Contributors


The Digital Nexus belongs to a new wave of scholarship inquiring into the many challenges and disruptions that networked communication imposes on public and private affairs. It looks at tech-driven transformation through the triple lenses of identity, agency (our ability to participate in society and take action) and political engagement—with a special focus on democratic processes and social action.[...]If we want technology that supports democracy, open dialogue and humanist values, then we will need to shape it accordingly. But there are other agendas at work and the struggle to determine the Internet's future has only just begun. For this reason, we've never needed books like The Digital Nexus more.”

Alberta Views