The theme of the 2023 convention is “Arts/Symbol/Context/Meanings.” In this time of global pandemic, political breakdowns, environment devastation, and mass confusion, we look to the arts and artists: what do the arts have to teach us? Media Ecology has a long and honored connection to the arts. In abandoning established forms of academic expression, Marshall McLuhan was fond of quoting Ezra Pound’s dictum “the artist is the antennae of the race.” Philosopher Susanne Langer underscored the contributions of artists to human knowledge as those who put “feeling into form” in a way that speech is unable to do. Neil Postman and Christine Nystrom urged the centrality of context in understanding the meaning of symbols and insisted on humor and plain language to communicate some of the most penetrating and enduring ideas of media ecology. In short, the arts employ forms and symbols that shape our view of the world, give us tools for thought, and allow us to reshape, re-imagine and re-contextualize our world.
The annual meeting of the MEA provides an opportunity for our community of scholars, artists, educators, professionals and practitioners to exchange experiences and ideas in a friendly environment.
New York City, traditionally a stronghold and showcase of both the popular and fine arts, will be the context in which our discussion takes place. The home of the Bowery and Broadway, doo-wop and opera, wall graffiti and some of the finest art museums in the world, New York will provide the backdrop to our conversation about the arts, symbols, contexts and meanings.
Michael Schudson is a Professor of Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of eleven books and co-editor of four others concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, Watergate and cultural memory. His most recent books include The Rise of the Right to Know, Why Journalism Still Matters, and Journalism: Why It Matters.
Richard Sennett is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University and serves as Senior Advisor to the United Nations on its Program on Climate Change and Cities. Dr. Sennett has studied social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world. He is the author of The Uses of Disorder, The Fall of Public Man and several other books and articles.
Douglas Rushkoff, named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT, is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. His twenty books include Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires, as well as the recent Team Human, based on his podcast, and the bestsellers Present Shock, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus. He also made the PBS Frontline documentaries Generation Like, The Persuaders, and Merchants of Cool. His book Coercion won the Marshall McLuhan Award, and the Media Ecology Association honored him with the first Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity.
Vera Dika holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University and has taught at UCLA, USC, NYU and currently at New Jersey City University. Specializing in 1970s and 1980s mainstream and avant-garde film, Dika is the author of The (Moving) Pictures Generation: The Cinematic Impulse in Downtown New York Art and Film, Recycled Culture in Contemporary Art and Film: the Uses of Nostalgia, and Games of Terror: Halloween, Friday the 13th, and the Films of the Stalker Cycle.
Kipp Bradford is an inventor, entrepreneur, technology consultant, educator, author of Distributed Network Data (Hardware Hacking for Data Scientists), with Alasdair Allan, and the founder or cofounder of start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices. Bradford is a major proponent of DIY culture and the Maker Movement.
Every year at its annual convention, the MEA announces its awards. Authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award were instructed to indicate this on their submission(s). The deadline for submitting your paper to the convention planners has now passed.
Submission guidelines for manuscripts for authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award:
The Institute of General Semantics — one of our affiliate organizations and co-sponsors — is holding an in-person seminar on general semantics and related non-aristotelian systems from Monday, June 19 to Wednesday, June 21 at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus — i.e., right before the MEA convention! The 3-day intensive course will include lecture, discussion, and exercises designed to provide participants with a thorough grounding in the discipline and its applications. Those planning to attend the MEA’s convention are encouraged to attend, as the MEA convention will include several sessions sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics. There is a $100 fee for IGS members, $150 for non-members. The seminar will be taught by Mary Lahman, Corey Anton, Mike Plugh, and Lance Strate. For more information and to register, click here.
|Thursday, June 22
|Friday, June 23
|Saturday, June 24
|Sunday, June 25
Opening Ceremony (1.1)
Michael Schudson (2.1)
Plenary Session (3.1)
Vera Dika (1.2)
Plenary Session (2.2)
Richard Sennett (3.2)
General Business Meeting (4.2)
Video Presentation (1.3)
Kipp Bradford (2.3)
Douglas Rushkoff (3.3)
Lunch Break/Board Meeting
Parallel Sessions (1.4)
Parallel Sessions (2.4)
Parallel Sessions (3.4)
Parallel Sessions (1.5)
Parallel Sessions (2.5)
Parallel Sessions (3.5)
Parallel Sessions (1.6)
Parallel Sessions (2.6)
Parallel Sessions (3.6)
Marc Salem (1.7)
TC McLuhan (2.7)
Welcome Reception (1.8)
Michelle Shocked (2.8)
MEA Awards & President's Address
The full convention program — which includes all the specific panel, paper, and presenter information — is available for download in PDF form below:
Note: this program is subject to minor updates. For the latest version, please check this page, which will always contain the most-recent information.
In addition, the MEA has obtained discounted rates at the Empire Hotel, which is right across the street from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus at 44 West 63rd Street. The rates are $269 for a standard and $299 for a superior room, not including taxes and fees. The rate applies for Sunday, June 18 to Sunday, June 25, with a limited block of rooms set aside. Click here to reserve a room.
The Media Ecology Association awarded a limited number of competitive travel grants to students towards attendance at this year’s convention. Applications for those have now closed.
All events except for the banquet take place on Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus in
Leon Lowenstein Hall
113 West 60th St.
NY, NY 10023
Registration and Plenary Sessions are in Pope Auditorium, just inside the main entrance. Breakout sessions are on different floors. Rooms SL11E and SL11F are on the main floor. Rooms 1013 and 1020 are on the 10th floor. Room 1124 is on the 11th floor. Elevators are located on the Plaza level (turn right when leaving Pope Auditorium and take escalators up a level).
The Thursday evening reception is in the Atrium on the Plaza level.
The Saturday evening banquet is at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South, NY, NY, 10003 (the equivalent of 20th St., off Irving Place, which is the equivalent of Lexington Ave, on the east side). Dress code is business casual.
By car/taxi, it’s approximately 25 minutes away depending on traffic.
By subway, walk to 59th St. Columbus Circle Subway Station. Take the B or D train to 34th St. Herald Square and transfer to the R or W train to 23rd Street station. Or take the 1 train to Times Square 42nd St. and transfer to the R train to 23rd Street station. Walk down to 20th Street, turn left, and walk east to the Players.
Or walking (Google Maps directions), approximately one hour, go south to 58th St., take Broadway to 20th St., turn left and continue on to the Players.
At the convention, most participants will be part of a panel of three or four people. We ask that you plan to speak for no more than 15 minutes so that your fellow presenters will have time to give their talks, and so that there’s time for discussion afterward.
Early registration prices are as follows:
Early registration prices were good until May 22, 2023. After that, regular member and student member registration costs will increase to $125 and $45, respectively. In order to ensure they’ll be included in the program, presenters were asked to register by April 30.
For those planning to attend the banquet, there is a separate meal charge of $50. The banquet, co-sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics, will be at The Players club in New York starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 for wine and cheese.
Please note that The Players has a dress code:
Neat, business casual dress, with slacks or well-kept denim. Non-collared or t-shirts are permitted only with a sweater or sport coat. No workout attire, gym shoes, shorts, flip-flops, or hats on gentlemen other than religious head coverings. Event-specific dress, seasonal modifications, or other dress code changes will be announced to the membership. Outerwear and bags are checked at entry.
Sustaining and Institutional members don’t have to pay for the convention, but they still must register for it above.
All convention participants and attendees are encouraged to join the MEA.
Please email the convention planners at MEA2023Convention@gmail.com if you have any questions and stay tuned for updates.
Last updated: 21 June 2023