Michel Serres


French Polymath Michel Serres is less well known in Media Studies criticism than perhaps he should be. His work is extraordinary in its blend of science and poetics, and his writing style is often difficult just because his flights of fancy are often so strange.

For students of media, his work on messengers (Hermes/Mercury or Angels) and his work on parasites is especially useful, and a little goes a long way. A single idea gleaned and understood from Serres is a rich vein to mine for inspiration

By thinking about parasites and/or angels in terms of the media, it’s possible to come to an understanding of exactly what it is that the media does to the messages transmitted and received. For advanced work, go beyond the medium itself, and discuss the messengers/parasites/angels within media texts themselves.


7 thoughts on “Michel Serres

  1. Dan Kirby

    Hello Mr. McMinn.

    Just wondering, if it would be possible for you to somehow make it possible for a discussion, on this blog, based upon politics and or current affairs?

  2. Paul T

    I like this theory a lot, its simple to understand and yet makes sense, even if its a little abstract.

    I will be writing an article (not sure what on) for the site, and may use this theory, if just a little to explain my ideas.

    Fun fact: Some of the static on an un-tuned TV is actually radiation left over from the Big Bang.

  3. Dr Bob

    Dan, I think that would be a good idea, especially if focused on “manufacture and transmission of the news”. I will (at some point) put up a suitable link/post, and the discussion can take place in the comments.

    Paul, I knew that! But then I read too much science fiction.

    By the way, I’ve adjusted the settings so that email addresses aren’t necessary to make comments (they weren’t visible to anyone else but me, and I don’t need them). That was on by default, but I’ve fixed it now. All first-time comments will need to be approved by moderator (me). After that, unless you comment from a different IP address (always possible), your comments should appear straight away.

  4. chinia


    This is a great theory and i can see how links to loads of film narratives (like Donny Darko as i mentioned in class). It is a little abstract at points with the idea of angels but i like how it links to the hyperdermic theory. P.s why are you Dr Bob this is very funny me thinks!

  5. Dr Bob

    A theory isn’t working unless it’s hurting your brain a little bit.

    I wonder if we can get away with classing Donnie Darko as “contemporary”? Discuss.

  6. Chris H

    Hey Dr Bob!

    Sorry I wasn’t around on the 26th June…Hospital appointment…. Great blog! I’ll keep reading! Can we adress you as Dr Bob in the future?

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