A close and careful reading of major works of media theory understood as a branch of modernity theory, in liaison with questions of literariness and literary study. We’ll begin with the work of Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan, as an effort to “unthink” Euro-Atlantic modernity, or shift it into reverse. Subsequently, we’ll examine the extension and refinement of McLuhan’s project in the writings of Walter Ong, Elizabeth Eisenstein, Friedrich A. Kittler, and Vilém Flusser. If this array of “masocritical” conflict can be said to mark the struggle of Euro-Atlantic modernity with itself, can it point us to work to be done without its episteme?