The Official Newsletter for the Media Ecology Association
May 2020 Newsletter
A Message Regarding COVID-19 Updates
Dear MEA members, community and friends,
We hope you are all well, and we are looking forward to our 21st Annual Convention happening next month! We would like to provide some updates:
- Convention Date: Wednesday June 17, to Saturday June 20, 2020.
- Using Zoom, our plans for an online convention include a mixed format, synchronous and asynchronous (live and recorded sessions), both for plenaries and for thematic panels.
- All sessions will occur synchronously on Zoom in Eastern Time (New York State current timezone). We do offer the opportunity to show recorded talks within those sessions if needed.
- Attendee Registration Deadline: June 17
- $10 for students
- $25 for members
- $25 for non-member students
- $50 for non-members
As a reminder, those who already paid for the annual convention can ask for a refund. However, we invite those members to donate that portion of their sustaining or institutional membership fees in support of the Association this year.
All online convention activities, panels, plenaries, and events will be accessible to all registrants.
Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding, and support as we work to create a re-imagined, innovative online convention experience.
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at MEA2020Convention@gmail.com.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with you to bring our first online convention to life.
Stay safe, stay well. We miss your faces and hope to see you online soon!
Paolo Granata, President
Peggy Cassidy, Annual Convention Coordinator
The Twenty-First Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association Communication Choices and Challenges
June 17-20, 2020
Garden City, New York
Media Ecology is a discipline whose history, perspectives, and scholarly interests incorporate a broad array of academic and professional disciplines focusing on “the study of complex communication systems as environments” (Christine Nystrom, 1973). Every year, the MEA convention provides a unique opportunity for academics and professionals to come together in a relaxed and collegial environment that encourages conversation and creativity.
The theme of the 2020 convention is “Communication Choices and Challenges.” In every act of communication, people make choices. We choose where, when, and how to express ourselves or locate and use information. We choose the medium that seems best suited to the task: are we trying to reach the largest possible audience, get the word out quickly, or ensure that our message reaches future generations? Do we wish to convey a deep sense of intimacy, empathy, authority, or cool distance? Are we looking for information from a wide variety of perspectives, confirmation of what we already believe, or the deepest possible exploration of an issue?
Featured speakers at the 2020 convention include Jay Rosen, press critic and author of PressThink.org, What Are Journalists For?, and countless articles and essays on American journalism; and Maryanne Wolf, international advocate for children and literacy and author of Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, Tales of Literacy for the 21stCentury, and Dyslexia, Fluency, and the Brain.
Presentations will address choices and challenges related to:
- the construction of identity and the presentation of self on social media
- the use of media to establish and/or maintain relationships (among individuals, in families, between political leaders and their constituents, in between celebrities and fans, etc.)
- representation and storytelling by producers of news and entertainment
- promotional and strategic communication—the choices involved in designing strategic messaging, as well as the impact on audience attitudes, decisions, and behaviors
- the erosion or illusion of choice due to the concentration of media ownership
- the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which will take place just months after the convention
Are you interested in media ecology and have some questions about it? Are you working on a study related to media ecology and searching for advice? Are you an instructor looking for a media ecology expert to invite as a virtual guest speaker to one of your classes?
Get in touch with us! We are happy to schedule a “virtual coffee” appointment with you. Simply fill out the form below to set up a short call or virtual meeting with a scholar from the MEA.
The format is open to all. We especially encourage students and early-career scholars interested in media ecology to get in touch with us.
Do you have a background in media ecology and would like to volunteer for virtual coffee meetings with those looking to learn more about it? Send an email to Julia M. Hildebrand.
Arrange a Virtual Coffee appointment on our website.
Call for Submissions for Explorations in Media Ecology Vol. 19
All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.
Explorations in Media Ecology, the journal of the Media Ecology Association, accepts submissions that extend our understanding of media (defined in the broadest possible terms), that apply media ecological approaches and/or that advance media ecology as a field of inquiry.
As an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary publication, EME welcomes contributions embracing diverse theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches to the study of media and processes of mediation through language, symbols, codes, meaning and processes of signification, abstracting and perception; art, music, literature, aesthetics and poetics; form, pattern and method; materials, energy, information, technology and technique; mind, thought, emotion, consciousness, identity and behavior; groups, organizations, affiliations, communities; politics, economics, religion, science, education, business and the professions; societies and cultures; history and the future; contexts, situations, systems and environments; evolution and ecology; the human person, human affairs and the human condition; etc.
EME publishes peer-reviewed scholarly articles, essays, research reports, commentaries and critical examinations, and includes several special features. Our Pedagogy Section focuses on teaching strategies and resources, pedagogical concerns and issues relating to media ecology education; we are particularly interested in articles that share great ideas for teaching (GIFTs) media ecology in the classroom. The Probes Section features short items that are exploratory or provocative in nature. Creative writing on media ecological themes can be found in our Poetry Section. Questions and matters of concern to media ecology scholars are taken up in our Forum Section. And our Review Section includes individual book reviews and review essays.
EME is a refereed journal. Strict anonymity is accorded to both authors and referees. References and citations should follow the Harvard Referencing system, and the journal otherwise follows standard British English for spelling and punctuation.
Submissions can be uploaded online at:
Direct inquiries to
Back Issues of EME
Pedagogy Sections Include Online Teaching
Access all back issues of Explorations in Media Ecology in the Members Area on the MEA website. These back issues include pedagogy sections that contain information about teaching, including teaching online.
MEA @ NCA 2020
The convention, “Communication at the Crossroads,” will be held in Indianapolis, IN from November 19–22, 2020.
The 2020 NCA convention theme, “Communication at the Crossroads,” suggests an emphasis on intra-disciplinary collaboration and exploration. Media ecology is situated to explore communication in this way as a metadiscipline that studies the ways in which human action shapes and is shaped by our media environments. The term “media” is broadly construed in the field and includes but is not limited to communication, technology, technique, orality and literacy, the arts, economics, education, ethics, etc. Thus, media ecology explores the conditions of human experience made possible by the complex patterns of interaction within and among our symbolic-material environments. These complex patterns of interaction represent a crossroads of sorts in an environment Neil Postman characterized by the phrase “information glut.”
“Communication at the Crossroads” also suggests the importance of our many human connections during uncertain times. The present circumstances are indeed a sort of crossroads, and we find ourselves navigating a very uncertain path together. The many ideas represented in media ecology may help our communities to address these challenges and choose a better path forward. Submissions related to our current circumstances, be they related to pandemic and public health, news coverage, online education, or the symbolic and ritual practices of community, are welcome.
Timely Digital Resources
Here are some helpful digital resources as we transition to virtual classrooms (Provided by the National Communication Association):
MEA @ ICA 2020
This year’s International Communication Association convention, “Open Communication,” has been converted to a virtual format. Read more details here.
The Media Ecology Association is sponsoring the below panel at this year’s International Communication Association conference, May 20–26, 2020.
More info from the ICA:
The conference will be asynchronous, as we have members/attendees in 87 countries and there is no time zone that accommodates everyone for a live session. The platform will be open 24 hours a day from 20 May to 26 May and you can log in, view content, and make comments at any time during that time. Do note that because our platform provider is in Canada, customer service/tech support will be available only during about half of that time (daytime at their office). At any point during that week, you may log in and engage with as much or as little content as you desire.
How do I log in? For everyone who has registered directly with ICA, we will upload that list and contact information to the platform and they will each receive an invitation email.
Can I visit the conference without paying? Unfortunately, no. We have to use the same registration system as always, and that list will be given to the platform administrators. Only those who are paid registrants will have password-protected access to the platform. You may not visit the exhibit hall, upload a video, view videos, upload or view posters, or anything else within the app without a registration log-in.
Call for the 2022 Annual Convention Host
The MEA is currently looking for a host for the Twenty-Third Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association in 2022. If you are interested in hosting, please visit our website and email our Executive Secretary Fernando Gutiérrez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate to MEA through AmazonSmile
When you order through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.”
To use it, go to ,https://smile.amazon.com> and sign in as you usually do. Directly under the search bar, you will find a pull-down for supported charities. Search for and select Media Ecology Association.
MEA Member News and Achievements
Monday Night Webinars - The McLuhan Institute
Hosted by MEA president Paolo Granata, these webinars run from 8:00-10:00 EDT on Monday nights.
The idea is simple. In response to the state of physical distancing and isolation, it’s time to bring back the McLuhan’s tradition of weekly Monday Night sessions in a brand new format: The Monday Night Webinars!
In a playful, relaxed, and experimental online format, a panel of participants – academics, artists, designers, raconteurs, innovators, and thinkers – will explore the mosaic of the metaphoric global village in light of the current global crisis, as a source of knowledge and inspiration.
Marshall McLuhan Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1394898027486287
The McLuhan Institute YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjVLgst11Hs
Virtual Church and Community
Relevant Magazine recently published MEA member Rachel Armamentos’ article, “What the Apostle Paul’s Letters Can Teach Us About Socially Distanced Church”. The article can be accessed here. Armamentos writes of the disembodying effects of virtual technology on the church by looking at both the current pandemic and the communication methods used in the New Testament Epistles.
Media Ecology for Educators: An Introduction
Matt McGuire has recently created a podcast called Media Ecology for Educators: An Introduction. Read below for the description:
“This podcast serves as an introduction to the field of media ecology, particularly to those who are interested in applying some of the contributions from its main scholars to the field of education. I attempt to weave some of the main scholars’ key concepts from the field of media ecology into a web directly pertaining to educational technology and shed light onto how these ideas might translate into a media ecology pedagogy for an audience new to these concepts.
This podcast is about three big questions:
- What is Media Ecology?
- Why is it important to study media?
- What useful approaches might students and teachers take to better understand media?”
Click here for the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/matt-mcguire-401558390/media-ecology-for-educators-an-introduction
CALL FOR NEWSLETTER CONTENT
To submit your news to In Medias Res, the official monthly newsletter of the Media Ecology Association, members can click here for the submission form.
We are looking for news that is relevant to the members of MEA. This might include member achievements (i.e., journal publications, books, creative works, etc.), awards received, upcoming relevant conferences, recent books that MEA members should be aware of, web content that might interest MEA members, news about upcoming EME issues, calls for submissions, etc.
The deadline for submissions to be included in the next month’s newsletter is the 28th of every month at 5 PM EDT.