Background: This article uses archival material to revisit the intellectual and professional relationship between Harold A. Innis and Marshall McLuhan. Analysis: The author suggests four concepts by which to approach questions of influence, collaboration, legacy, and the emergence of intellectual "fields." Each offers a different view than an analogous term more frequently employed in narratives of intellectual history and legacy. These concepts are oscillation (over influence), fragment (over narrative), discovery (over provenance), and maintenance (over innovation). Conclusion and implications: The author shows how these concepts encourage generative approaches to theory-making more in line with the ethos of early media theory. They move considerations of intellectual history beyond assumptions about individual genius, nationalism, or institutional context, bringing to the fore intellectual contributions of marginalized figures such as Mary Quayle Innis (Harold's wife) and Margaret Stewart (McLuhan's secretary).

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Canadian Journal of Communication
School of Journalism and Communication

Young, L. (2019). The McLuhan-Innis field: In search of media theory. Canadian Journal of Communication, 44(4), 527–544. doi:10.22230/cjc.2019v44n4a3719