New York University’s Department of Culture and Communication brings together articles and reviews exploring media analysis, history, technology, and propaganda in its first issue of Counterblast, a new e-journal publication. The journal is located at www.nyu.edu/pubs/counterblast/.
“Counterblast was created in response to the need for, what Marshall McLuhan described as a ‘counter-environment’ from which the dominant environment may be perceived and assessed,” notes Salvatore J. Fallica, Counterblast’s editor. “The e-journal’s title references McLuhan’s 1969 book of the same name that encompassed a variety of puns, probes, and critical text. McLuhan’s book, Counterblast, was itself a reference to the 1914 magazine, BLAST, written and designed by Wyndham Lewis and others from the Rebel Art Centre in London.”
Counterblast aims to provide an interactive setting where both contributors and readers can cultivate an understanding of the contemporary media world and all of its complexities. The first issue, posted November 2001, includes artwork by Ruth Liberman, Counterblast’s associate editor. The contributors to the premier issue include: James C. Morrison, MIT (“The Place of Marshall McLuhan in the Learning of His Time”); Aquiles Esteé, Universidad Central de Venezuela (“Peirce, McLuhan and Company: The Revenge of the Nerds”); Read Mercer Schuchardt, NYU (“Understanding Road Rage”); and Robin R. Means Coleman, NYU (“Maintaining Perspective During Troubling Research Interviews: A Reception Study with Three Convicted Murderers”).
Other critical reviews include contributions by Marco Calavita, California State University (“The Candidate: An Ellulian Response to McGinniss’s The Selling of the President”), Bilge Yesil, NYU (“Reel Pleasures: Exploring the Historical Roots of Media Voyeurism and Exhibitionism”), Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Wisconsin at Madison (“The Interlocutor of Tuskegee: The Role of Humor in Up From Slavery”), and Sue Collins, NYU (“‘E’ Ticket to Nike Town”).
Forthcoming issues of Counterblast will focus on other specific topics and relevant current events. Plans to expand the Counterblast website will include web art projects.