Call for Papers

The Twenty-Fourth Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association

Fordham University
Lincoln Center Campus

New York City
June 22–25, 2023

Co-sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics, the New York Society for General Semantics, and the Urban Communication Foundation

The Media Ecology Association (MEA) invites the submission of papers and proposals for panels for presentation at its 24th Annual Convention, which will be held June 22–25, 2023 in New York City. The deadline for submissions is December 16, 2022. While we are open to explorations on any topic of interest to media ecologists, we also include a convention theme with the aim of generating further discussion and probes involving multiple perspectives. Submissions do not have to address the theme, but are invited to do so.

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.

Featured Speakers

Michael Schudson is a Professor of Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of JournalismHe 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 FilmRecycled 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. 

The annual meeting of the MEA provides an opportunity for our community of scholars, artists, educators, professionals and practioners to exchange experiences and ideas in a friendly environment. Participants at MEA conventions address a wide diversity of topics in our programs, and we encourage submissions that explore media ecological approaches from any number of different disciplines and fields of knowledge and social practice. We seek papers, thematic panels, roundtable discussion panels, creative projects, performance sessions, and other proposals of interest to media ecologists.

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, doowop 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. Held at various locations in New York, participants will have ample opportunity to explore the rich cultural life of the City and not be confined to just one venue or neighborhood.

Guidelines for Submission

Please submit paper and panel proposals, in English, by December 16, 2022 to MEA2023Convention@gmail.com. A maximum of two submissions per author will be accepted. Authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award must indicate this on their submission(s).

Submission Guidelines for paper and panel proposals:

  1. Include title(s), abstract(s) (maximum 250 words), and contact information for each participant.
  2. Outline, as relevant, how your paper or panel will fit with the convention theme.
  3. Authors with papers submitted as part of a panel proposal or as a paper proposal who wish to be considered for Top Paper or Top Student Paper must send the completed manuscript (see guidelines below) to the convention planners by April 28, 2023.

Submission guidelines for manuscripts for authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award:

  1. Manuscripts should be 4,000–6,000 words (approximately 15 to 25 double-spaced pages)
  2. Include a cover page with your institutional affiliation and other contact information.
  3. Include an abstract (maximum 150 words).

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