Test Cover Image of:  Feed-Forward


On the Future of Twenty-First-Century Media

Even as media in myriad forms increasingly saturate our lives, we nonetheless tend to describe our relationship to it in terms from the twentieth century: we are consumers of media, choosing to engage with it. In Feed-Forward, Mark B. N. Hansen shows just how outmoded that way of thinking is: media is no longer separate from us but has become an inescapable part of our very experience of the world.

Drawing on the speculative empiricism of philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, Hansen reveals how new media call into play elements of sensibility that greatly affect human selfhood without in any way belongingto the human. From social media to data-mining to new sensor technologies, media in the twenty-first century work largely outside the realm of perceptual consciousness, yet at the same time inflect our every sensation. Understanding that paradox, Hansen shows, offers us a chance to put forward a radically new vision of human becoming, one that enables us to reground the human in a non-anthropocentric view of the world and our experience in it.

Author Information

Mark B. N. Hansen is professor of literature and media arts and sciences at Duke University, coeditor of Critical Terms for Media Studies, and the author of three books, including Bodies in Code: Interfaces with New Media.


Feed-Forward is an ambitious and remarkably exciting take on contemporary media read through Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy. Hansen builds an extremely inspiring study that is rich with implications for philosophers, media theorists, and anyone wanting to understand the microtemporal basis of contemporary culture. Feed-Forward opens up a range of fresh ideas.”
— Jussi Parikka, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton

Feed-Forward is a major work, original and highly important. Hansen’s revisionary interpretation of Whitehead’s thought is a deep, thorough, and learned one.”
— Steven Shaviro, Wayne State University

Feed-Forward embarks on a rigorously philosophical appraisal of Whitehead in relation to our contemporary socio-technical milieu and in the process unfolds a remarkable constellation of interlocking theses about human experience. A Hansen book is always an anticipated event, but Feed-Forward is truly extraordinary. It fundamentally alters the terms of the debate about human perception and cognition in twenty-first-century media environments.”
— Rita Raley, University of California, Santa Barbara

“A major contribution to the field. This is a potentially canonic book for specialists in philosophy, ethics, and media studies. . . . Essential.”
— Choice

Audience: Professional and scholarly;