The Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association
Call for Papers

Interfaces of Play and Game: Engaging Media Ecosystems

Deadline Extended to December 1, 2015

June 23-26, 2016  
University of Bologna 
Bologna, Italy

MEA Convention Coordinators: Paolo Granata, Elena Lamberti, Brett Lunceford (
UNIBO Coordinators: Roberto Farnè, Mirco Dondi

Submission Site:

The University of Bologna, Italy, is proud to bring the Media Ecology Association to Europe for the first time and host the 17th Annual Convention in Bologna and Rimini on June 23-26, 2016. Considered the oldest university in the Western world, the history of the University of Bologna speaks to its role as the crossroads of a variety of scholarly traditions and changes involving the broader society. The University of Bologna provides a welcoming setting for old and new MEA members, inviting scholars, professionals, and interested people to attend from different fields, as well as from different nations.

The 17th Annual Convention, focusing on the theme “Interfaces of Play and Game,” invites papers, panels and creative projects exploring the topic within complex media ecosystems. We encourage participants to start from an appreciation of game and play in the broader context of media ecology, therefore overcoming too specialized understanding of both terms. Playing with Johan Huizinga’s idea that game and play are older than culture, we seek to recall the multifaceted symbolic dimensions embedded by these very terms: at its roots the word game means participation, communion, and people together; similarly, the word play introduces the ideas of cultivating, taking care of, and performing. Therefore interfaces of play and game engage us in a plurality of explorations, all placing media and media environments at the core. Lines of investigations may include but are not limited to the following:

  • game/play as frames for meta-communication
  • game/play as rituals
  • game/play as strategies for storytelling
  • game/play as self/meta-representations
  • game/play as entertainment
  • game/play as educational strategies
  • game/play as system and complexity theories

Although we encourage submissions that touch upon or align with the convention theme, papers, abstracts, and panel proposal submissions from all areas of Media Ecology are welcome. A maximum of two submissions per author will be accepted. Authors who wish their papers to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award must indicate this on their submission(s). The top papers will be published in Explorations in Media Ecology. All submissions will be acknowledged. The language of the convention is English.

Guidelines for Submission (Deadline extended to December 1, 2015)

Submit Papers and Panels to:

For Manuscripts (for MEA award submissions):

  1. Manuscripts should be 4,000-6,000 words (approximately 15 to 25 double-spaced pages).
  2. Include a cover page (or e-submission page) with your academic or professional affiliation and other contact information.
  3. Include a 150 word abstract, with the title. Use APA, MLA, or Chicago style.
  4. Papers should be written in English.

For Paper and Panel Proposals:

  1. Include title, abstract, and contact information with your proposal.
  2. Outline, as relevant, how your paper or panel will fit with the convention theme.
  3. Presenters should be prepared to deliver their papers in English.
  4. Authors with papers submitted as part of a panel proposal or as a paper proposal that wish to be considered for Top Paper or Top Student Paper must send completed paper to the convention planner by June 1, 2016.

Inquiries: Contact the Convention Coordinators at For specific questions about paper and panel submissions, contact Brett Lunceford at

Convention Venues and Location

The University of Bologna has adopted a multicampus structure in order to permit the diffusion of educational offerings, foster research activity, and improve the functionality and quality of university community life. The MEA convention will be hosted by the University of Bologna at:

  • LILEC (Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures) - UNIBO Main Campus
  • DISCI (Department of History and Culture) - UNIBO Main Campus
  • QUVI (Department for Life Quality Studies) - UNIBO Rimini Campus

The University of Bologna is a city university, with the main campus in downtown Bologna. All facilities can be reached on foot easily from any hotels or university residency. We envisage a dedicated shuttle to bring MEA Convention participants from Bologna to Rimini and back. The City of Bologna and the City of Rimini will co-promote the Convention.

Travel to the Convention

Even though there are no direct flights from North America (with some exceptions in the summer, especially from NYC), the Bologna international airport is well connected to major European hubs (several daily flights to all EU hubs and capital cities). The Railway station in Bologna is connected to all main Italian cities, hourly (e.g.: 1,05 hour to Milan; 37 minutes to Florence; 2,05 hours to Rome).

Leisure Time / Excursions

Bologna is at the crossroad of many possibilities: MEA participants could easily reach many different Italian historical places by public means of transport (Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan, Ravenna, etc.). This opens up many possibilities for extended stays.

Similarly, from Bologna it is possible to organise short trips (about 30 minutes), also by train or bus, to such renowned cities as Ferrara (city of Bassani’s The Garden of the Finzi Contini and of Lucrezia Borgia) or Modena (city of the Ferrari team).

Bologna Tour

We would be happy to plan special guided tours within the city of Bologna, including:

  • University Collections (Bologna was the home city of Galvani, Aldrovandi, Marconi, and many other illustrious men and women of science and art; the University collections include memorabilia from various historical times).
  • Historical places (The “Seven Churches” and other Cathedrals; Giorgio Morandi’s studio and museum collection; The Anatomical theatre of the Archiginnasio, etc.).
  • Museums (as diverse as: Museum of Music; Museum of the City of Bologna; Museum of contemporary Art; Ducati Motors Museum; Pinacoteca Nazionale, etc.).

For more information about the convention, please contact the Convention Coordinators at For more information on the Media Ecology Association and updated convention details, visit Convention information is also available at

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