1. The Global Village
1. Marshall McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962), 21; 31.
2. One recent edited volume themed on McLuhan’s “global village” makes no mention of McLuhan’s obsession with the dangerous effects of “de-tribalization” in the colonial and postcolonial world. The one contributor who mentions McLuhan’s deep intellectual debt to John Colin Carothers fails to note that Carothers’s theories were based on his advisory role to Kenya’s villagization. Indeed, the editors gloss the book’s “transatlantic perspectives” to mean Canadian-European perspectives, neglecting the vital role that African colonialism played in McLuhan’s thought. See Carmen Birkle, Angela Krewani, and Martin Kuester, eds. McLuhan’s Global Village Today: Transatlantic Perspectives (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014).
2. Neocolonialism and Nootechnologies
1. On the Kikuyu literacy campaign, see Derek Peterson, “Writing the Revolution: Independent Schooling and Mau Mau in Nyeri,” in Mau Mau and Nationhood, ed. E. S. Atieno Odhiambo and John Lonsdale (Nairobi: EAEP; Athens: Ohio University Press; Oxford: James Currey), 76–120.
2. Peterson, “Writing the Revolution.”
3. Peterson, “Writing the Revolution.”
4. On the use of Psy-Ops in Kenya, see “Notes from Psychological Warfare Staff, 1956” in TNA FCO141/6473. Meeting minutes describe the need for broadcast media in the forests of Kenya’s Rift Valley as a form of wartime propaganda.
5. “One of Mboya’ s instruments is the African newspaper which he owns called ‘Uhuru’ . . . [which] was very largely instrumental in encouraging the growth of the Kenyatta cult [i.e., the anticolonial resistance led by Jomo Kenyatta]. Another instrument at Mboya’s disposal is the very large number of unemployed Africans . . . who have drifted into Nairobi from the reserves.” TNA CAB/129/96, 1.
6. Brian Larkin gives some history of the use of traveling cinema vans by the British in Nigeria as means of indirect rule. See Larkin, Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008), chapters 1 and 3.
7. I refer to a number of Stiegler’s works here, including the Symbolic Misery (La Misére Symbolique) series and Taking Care of Youth and the Generations (Prendre Soin, De la jeunesse et des générations), trans. Stephen Barker (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2010).
8. On the early conceptualization of a relation between computer technologies, agriculture, and the peasantry, refer to discussions in the journal AGORA in the 1970s and 1980s. Also see “Media Arts” in Ginger Nolan, Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Techniques and Disciplines of Creativity, c. 1880–1985 (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 2015).
1. For a summary of Carothers’s activities in Kenya, see Jock McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry and the African Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), chapter 5.
2. Carothers summarizes his theory on the relation between nonliteracy and magical thought in the article McLuhan cites: “Culture, Society, and the Written Word,” Psychiatry, November 1959. However, Carothers first explained these ideas, at much greater length in a book written shortly after having been sent to Kenya: The African Mind in Health and Disease (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1953).
3. J. C. Carothers, Psychology of Mau Mau (Nairobi: Government Press, 1955), 22–23.
4. Carothers, Psychology of Mau Mau, 22–23.
5. “Kenya Plan for the Rehabilitation and Reabsorption of Mau Mau Detainees, Convicts, and Displaced Persons,” September 27, 1955, TNA FCO 141/6263. See also TNA CAB/129/96, 1. See also Evelyn Baring to W.A.C. Mathieson, Colonial Office, London; September 8, 1956, TNA FCO 141/6263.
6. Carothers, The African Mind, 36 and 180–81.
7. Carothers, The African Mind, 110–11 and 120–24
8. Carothers, The African Mind, 36 and 180–81. Carothers later fell into step with colonial administrators’ insistence that postwar rehabilitation involve programs of education, including Christian education, largely as means of political pacification. See Carothers, Psychology of Mau Mau, 25–27.
9. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 31.
10. Additionally, in Gutenberg Galaxy and Understanding Media, various conjugations of “tribal” appear 101 times, and “primitive” 51 times.
11. On Tyrwhitt and self-help planning, see Ijlal Muzaffar, “Modern Architecture and the Making of the Third World” (PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007).
12. Olga Touloumi has not yet published this material, so I am citing our personal conversations.
13. Tyrwhitt to McLuhan, May 16, 1954, as cited in Michael Darroch, “Giedion and Explorations: Confluences of Space and Media in Toronto School Theorization,” in Media Transatlantic: Developments in Media and Communication Studies between North American and German-Speaking Europe, ed. Norm Friesen (Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2016), 159. See also Michael Darroch and Janine Marchessault, “Anonymous History as Methodology: The Collaborations of Sigfried Giedion, Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, and the Explorations Group (1951–55),” in Place Studies in Art, Media, Science, and Technology: Historical Investigations on the Sites and the Migration of Knowledge, ed., Andreas Broeckmann and Gunalan Nadarajan (Weimar: VDG, 2008), 9–27.
14. Muzaffar, “Modern Architecture and the Making of the Third World.”
15. In 1953, responding to the outbreak of war in Kenya, the secretary of state for the Colonies sent Kenya’s administrators a report prepared by G. A. Atkinson, the colonial liaison officer in Building Research who cited the self-help architecture of military villagization in Malaya as the most impressive of colonial housing schemes in Asia. See TNA, CO 822/481. Subsequently, a letter from the colonial treasury notes that self-help housing in the detainment camps would be necessary from an economic standpoint but also because “the value of the detainees undertaking the work themselves is of the greatest importance from the rehabilitation standpoint.” See letter from Treasury on March 31, 1954, TNA FCO 141/5688.
16. McLuhan describes Alport in his notes on Cambridge Union Society debates. See Graham Larkin, “Finally Getting the Message: McLuhan’s Media Practice.” Lecture delivered at the Canadian Embassy, Berlin, in 2011. Transcript available at https://mcluhan.consortium.io/.
17. C. J. M. Alport, “Kenya’s Answer to the Mau Mau Challenge,” African Affairs 53, no. 212 (July 1954): 241–48.
18. McLuhan, Understanding Media, chapter 30: “Radio: The Tribal Drum.”
19. See “Radio: The Tribal Drum,” in Understanding Media, 297–307.
20. For example, McLuhan writes: “The subliminal depths of radio are charged with the resonating echoes of tribal horns and antique drums. This is inherent in the very nature of the medium, with its power to turn the psyche and society into a single echo chamber.” Understanding Media, 299.
21. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 46, emphasis added.
22. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 269.
23. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 45.
4. From Global Market to Global Village
1. For a longer discussion of Kenya’s colonial agricultural policies, see Nolan, “Cash-Crop Design: Architectures of Land, Knowledge, and Alienation in Twentieth-Century Kenya,” Architectural Theory and Review, No. 3 (December 2017): 280-301.
2. Roger Swynnerton, A Plan to Intensify the Development of African Agriculture in Kenya (Nairobi: Government Printer, 1955): 10.
3. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 272.
4. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 272.
5. Robert F. Gray to Walter S. Rogers, “Kikuyu Villagization,” Nairobi, January 11, 1955, 2–3, in Robert F. Gray Newsletters, 1954-56 (Institute of Current World Affairs).
6. “Kenya Plan for the Rehabilitation and Reabsorption of Mau Mau Detainees, Convicts, and Displaced Persons,” September 27, 1955, from Secretary, Cabinet Office, TNA FCO 141/6263.
7. On malnutrition in the detainment camps, see the following: Marshall S. Clough, Mau Mau Memoirs: History, Memory, and Politics (London; Boulder, Colo.: Lynn Rienner Publishers, 1998): 157; David P. Sandgren, Mau Mau’s Children: The Making of Kenya’s Postcolonial Elite (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), 28; and Caroline Macy Elkins, Detention and Rehabilitation during the Mau Mau Emergencey: The Crisis of Late Colonial Kenya (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), 448–49.
8. See photographs in TNA CO 1066.
9. McLuhan cites at length an interview with John Wilson concerning the work of the Colonial Film Unit in Africa. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 36–39.
10. “Memorandum on the results of a research into the Audience Reactions to the film, carried out in Udi Division in Feb. 1948,” October 1948, TNA CO 927/83/2.
11. See “Memorandum on the results of a research into the Audience Reactions to the film” and “Report from meeting on Cinema Audience Research in Africa,” October 8, 1948, TNA CO 927/83/2.
5. Feedback Loops / Barbed-Wire Fences
1. Participation was also deemed the basis of the global village, in this case referring to the interaction of geographically disparate societies. McLuhan writes: “As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. . . . It is this implosive factor that alters the position of the Negro, the teen-ager, and some other groups. They can no longer be contained, in the political sense of limited association. . . . This is the Age of Anxiety for the reason of the electric implosion that compels commitment and participation, quite regardless of any ‘point of view.’” McLuhan, Understanding Media, 5.
2. Majid Rahnema, “Participation,” in The Development Dictionary, ed. Wolfgang Sachs (New York: Zed Books, 2007), 116–31.
3. McLuhan, Understanding Media, 28
4. McLuhan, Understanding Media, 28.
5. On Psy-Ops in British Malaya, see Susan Carruthers, Winning Hearts and Minds: British Governments, the Media, and Colonial Counter-Insurgency, 1944–1960 (Leicster, UK: Leicster University Press, 1995). See also Mohammed Azzam Mohd. Hanif Ghows, The Malayan Emergency Revisited, 1948–1960: A Pictorial History (Kuala Lumpur: AMR Holding; Petaling Jaya: Yayasan Pelajaran Islam, 2006) and John Coates, Suppressing Insurgency: An Analysis of the Malayan Emergency, 1948–1954 (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1992).
6. On related uses of film as propaganda in the context of Nigeria, see Brian Larkin, Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008).
7. Tactics of Psy-Ops and the routines of villagization are described in Ghows, The Malayan Emergency Revisited.
8. Ghows, The Malayan Emergency Revisited.
9. Frederick K. Iraki, “Cross-media Ownership and the Monopolizing of Public Spaces in Kenya” in (Re)membering Kenya: Identity, Culture, and Freedom, ed. Mbũgua wa Mũngai and G. M. Gona (Nairobi: Twaweza House, 2010), 142–59.
10. Leonard Doob, Communications in Africa; A Search for Boundaries (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1961).
11. On “pastoral power,” see Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–78, ed. Michel Senellart, trans. Graham Burchell (Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan and République Française, 2007); and Michel Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim: Towards a Criticism of Political Reason,” in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, ed. Sterling McMurrin, 2:225–54 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1981.)
6. Semiotic Poverty in the World
1. Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller Roazen (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998), 166–80.
2. Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal, trans. Kevin Attell (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2004), 49–56.
3. Agamben, The Open, 49–56.
4. Tellingly, Richards’s efforts to spread Basic English throughout China had captured the attention of Victor Purcell, working for the British Protectorate in Malaya on issues related to language and education. See Rodney Koeneke, Empires of the Mind: I. A. Richards and Basic English in China, 1929–1979 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2004).
5. McLuhan, Understanding Media, 80.
6. “Multilingualism against translation” is how Rosalind Morris has described British policies of ethnic-linguistic segregation in Malaya, where the colonial production of ethno-linguistic roles and hierarchies depended on a strict control of literacy and language education along ethnic lines. See Morris, “Imperial Pastoral: The Politics and Aesthetics of Translation in British Malaya,” in Representations, Summer 2007, 159–94.
7. C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards, The Meaning of Meaning: A Study of the Influence of Language upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1927), 24–43.
8. See Eileen Fletcher, “Hard Core of Mau Mau,” TNA FCO 141/6604. See also the anonymous memorandum, “The Removal of Mau Mau Key Men from the Settled Areas,” TNA FCO141/6608. Robert Blunt argues that British hysteria around the oath was largely used as propaganda in Great Britain and in the international community against widespread censure of Britain’s war in Kenya. See Blunt, “Kenyatta’s Lament: Oaths and the Transformation of Ritual Ideologies in Colonial Kenya,” The Journal of Ethnography 3, no. 3 (2013), 167–93.
7. An Archaeology of De-oathing
1. On pastoral power, see Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim,” 225–54 See also Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, Lectures 5–9.
2. See “The Removal of Mau Mau Key Men from the Settled Areas,” TNA FCO141/6608. See also Carothers, The Psychology of Mau Mau, 18–19, and Tom Askwith, From Mau Mau to Harambee: Memoirs and Memoranda of Colonial Kenya, ed. Joanna Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, The African Studies Centre, 1995), 113–14.
3. Carothers, Psychology of Mau Mau, 18–19.
4. Askwith, From Mau Mau to Harambee, 113–16. On a history of the “Pipeline,” see Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya (New York: Henry Holt, 2005), 107.
5. Askiwth recommended Christian missionary activity as one of the methods of rehabilitating Kikuyu. Leakey’s own parents were Christian missionaries in Kenya, and it seems likely that the mania for extracting confessions owes something to this Christian tradition. See Askwith, From Mau Mau to Harambee, 113.
6. “Kenya Plan for the Rehabilitation and Reabsorption of Mau Mau Detainees, Convicts, and Displaced Persons,” September 27, 1955 from Secretary, Cabinet Office. TNA FCO 141/6263, 10.
7. Giorgio Agamben, The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath, trans. Adam Kotsko (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press). see especially 4–8 and 22–23.
8. Agamben, The Sacrament of Language, 40–43.
9. McLuhan, Understanding Media, 20.
10. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, passim.
11. I draw from arguments Agamben elaborates throughout The Sacrament of Language.
8. Pastoral Beauty / Pastoral Power
1. Kenneth Meadows, “Finding Jobs for the Out-of-Work Kikuyu,” East African Standard, January 24, 1958. See also “Kenya Plan for the Rehabilitation and Reabsorption of Mau Mau Detainees, Convicts, and Displaced Persons, Sept. 27, 1955,” TNA FCO141/6263.
2. Anne Thurston, Smallholder Agriculture in Colonial Kenya: The Official Mind and the Swynnerton Plan (Cambridge, UK: African Studies Centre, 1987), 8–12. See also John Lonsdale and Bruce Berman, “Coping with the Contradictions: The Development of the Colonial State in Kenya, 1895–1914,” Journal of African History 20 (1979): 487–505.
3. Swynnerton, A Plan to Intensify the Development of African Agriculture.
4. Thurston, Smallholder Agriculture in Colonial Kenya, 76.
5. Thurston, Smallholder Agriculture in Colonial Kenya, 114–17.
6. On the relation between the Georgic and pastoral, see Annabel Patterson, Pastoral and Ideology: Virgil to Valéry (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), 133–92. See also Morris: “Imperial Pastoral.”
7. See, for example, Elspeth Huxley, On the Edge of the Rift: Memories of Kenya (New York: Morrow, 1962).
8. See Foucault’s discussion of the eighteenth-century Physiocrats in Security, Territory, Population, 29–49.
9. On the pastoral as ideology, see Patterson, Pastoral and Ideology.
10. On the idea of pastoralism as nostalgia for the rural or Golden Age (of which there are countless sources), see the following well-known texts: Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973); Leo Marx, Machine in the Garden (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964); Renato Poggioli, The Oaten Flute: Essays on Pastoral Poetry and the Pastoral Ideal (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975). Against the tendency to reduce the pastoral genre to a dialectic between city and country, see Paul Alpers, “What Is the Pastoral?” Critical Inquiry (Spring 1982): 437–60.
11. Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 46–49.
12. Paul Alpers argues that pastoralism involves a metonymic substitution of the shepherd for society in general. Following his line of reasoning, it could be added that other such substitutions are at play, such as pastoral economies for new economic paradigms. See Alpers, What Is Pastoralism? (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
13. See Vittoria DiPalma, Wasteland: A History (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2014), chapter 2.
14. “Problem of Resettling Dangerous Men,” East African Standard, August 4, 1955, TNA FCO 141/6324.
9. Owning Land / Owning Letters
1. Swynnerton, A Plan to Intensify the Development.
2. Robert Blunt, “Kenyatta’s Lament: Oaths and the Transformation of Ritual Ideologies in Colonial Kenya,” The Journal of Ethnography 3, no. 3 (2013): https://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau3.3.008.
3. Turgot reasoned that by the fact of owning land, landowners were invested in the economic and social welfare of the nation, such that they could be expected to justly support taxation and large public-works projects to the general benefit of the nation. See Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, “Mémoire sur les municipalités a ètablir en France,” in Oeuvres Posthumes de M. Turgot (Lausanne: 1787): 22–27.
4. Turgot writes: “[V]ous pourriez gouverner comme Dieu par des loix génerales, si les parties intégrantes de votre empire, avoient une organisation régulière.” Turgot, “Mémoire sur les municipalités,” 6. On the establishment of voting structure, see Turgot, “Mémoire sur les municipalités,” 16–35.
5. Turgot writes: “[L]es propriétaires du sol . . . sont liés à la terre par leur propriété ; ils ne peuvent cesser de prendre intérêt au canton où elle est placée.” Turgot, “Mémoire sur les municipalités,” 24.
6. One needs only turn to Letters from an American Farmer, written amid the United States’ war for independence, to see the inherent connection drawn at the time between land ownership, literacy, and self-governance. See J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer, ed. Susan Manning (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).
1. Christopher Leo, “The Failure of the ‘Progressive Farmer’ in Kenya’s Million-Acre Settlement Scheme,” The Journal of Modern African Studies 6, no. 4 (December 1978): 619–38.
2. Leo, “The Failure of the ‘Progressive Farmer’”
3. Leo, “The Failure of the ‘Progressive Farmer.’”
4. John Lonsdale, “The Depression and the Second World War in the Transformation of Kenya,” in Africa and the Second World War, ed. David Killingray and Richard Rathbone (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986), 97–142.
5. Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, trans. Mark Ritter (London: Sage Publications, 1992).
6. See, for example, Tapash Talukdar, “Farmers Too See a Bright Futures in Trade,” The Economic Times, January 16, 2011: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/money-you/farmers-too-see-a-bright-futures-in-trade/articleshow/7294874.cms.
7. Stiegler is drawing his idea of individuation from the work of Gilbert Simondon. See especially Stiegler, Decadence of Industrial Democracies (Mécréance et Descrédit, tome 1: La decadence des dömocraties industrielles), trans. Daniel Ross and Susan Arnold (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2011).
11. Monuments, Villages, Camps
1. “Report on Future of the Athi River Detention Camp, September 1954,” TNA FCO 141/5688. See also TNA FCO 141/6492.
2. “Architecture and Planning in Kenya,” in Arquitectura Madrid, 1966: 2–46.
3. See Frederick K. Iraki, “Cross-media Ownership and the Monopolizing of Public Spaces in Kenya,” in (Re)membering Kenya: Identity, Culture, and Freedom, ed. Mbũgua wa Mũngai and G. M. Gona (Nairobi: Twaweza House, 2010), 142–59.
12. “The Nomos of the Modern”
13. We, the Global Villagers
1. Stiegler is interpreting Kant’s idea of intellectual but also historical maturity and the “battle” this requires. Stiegler, Taking Care of Youth and the Generations, chapter 2.
2. McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, 21.
3. Talal Assad, “Free Speech, Blasphemy, and Secular Criticism,” in Is Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013), 25–26.