The term “global village”—coined in the 1960s by Marshall McLuhan—has persisted into the twenty-first century as a key trope of techno-humanitarian discourse, casting economic and technical transformations in a utopian light. Against that tendency, this book excavates the violent history, originating with techniques of colonial rule in Africa, that gave rise to the concept of the global village. To some extent, we are all global villagers, but given the imbalances of semiotic power, some belong more thoroughly than others. Reassessing McLuhan’s media theories in light of their entanglement with colonial and neocolonial techniques, Nolan implicates various arch-paradigms of power (including “terra-power”) in the larger prerogative of managing human populations.
Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.