The Official Newsletter for the Media Ecology Association


June 2023

Come Be A Part of It: Gearing up for MEA in NYC . . . 

The 24th Annual Convention of the MEA is upon us. As we approach our scholarly reunion in NYC, we are reminded that we must go beyond media themselves to understand what McLuhan described as the total 'service environment' media bring forth in discussing convention theme of Arts/Symbol/Context/Meanings.”

This month's newsletter offers reminders for those attending the convention, including details about the Pre-Convention hosted by the Institute for General Semantics, advice for navigating Lincoln Center and Fordham University, updates about convention programing, and other crucial information about times, dates, and locations of convention activities and events.

In addition to convention news, this issue of the newsletter contains a letter from the MEA President, Michael Plugh, information related to MEA board nominations, upcoming graduate seminars and events in media ecology, contributions from MEA members, and paper calls for NYSCA and the1st MEA Student Symposium. 

In this issue . . . 

  • MEA @ NYC: 24th Annual Convention Details (check web)
  • Update from MEA President, Michael Plugh
  • MEA Board Nominations: Roles & Responsibilities 
  • Media Ecology Booknotes: Reading Postman's Conscientious Objections w/ Ryan McCullough
  • Upcoming Graduate Seminar with Dr. Adriana Braga hosted by Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City
  • Call for Papers: Special Issue of Communicar on 'Metaversal and Transhumanist Environments'
  • NYSCA 2023 Call for Papers: Communication in a Digital World
  • Media Ecology Student Symposium Call: Enlarging the Field
  • Invitation for Future Contributions

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 Fordham UniversityInstitute of General SemanticsNew York Society for General Semantics, and the Urban Communication Foundation

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. 

MEA Convention Schedule at a Glance

(Be sure to Check the MEA Convention webpage for the most recent updates!)

Thursday, June 22 Friday, June 23 Saturday, June 24 Sunday, June 25
9:00 AM
Opening Ceremony (1.1)
9:00 AM
Michael Schudson (2.1)
9:00 AM
Plenary Session (3.1)
9:00 AM
Breakfast/Poetry (4.1)
10:00 AM
Vera Dika (1.2)
10:00 AM
Plenary Session (2.2)
10:00 AM
Richard Sennett (3.2)
10:00 AM
General Business Meeting (4.2)
11:00 AM
Video Presentation (1.3)
11:00 AM
Kipp Bradford (2.3)
11:00 AM
Douglas Rushkoff (3.3)
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Lunch Break
12:00 PM
Lunch Break/Board Meeting (Plaza South Lounge)
12:00 PM
Lunch Break
1:00 PM
Parallel Sessions (1.4)
1:00 PM
Parallel Sessions (2.4)
1:30 PM
Parallel Sessions (3.4)
2:30 PM
Parallel Sessions (1.5)
2:30 PM
Parallel Sessions (2.5)
3:00 PM
Parallel Sessions (3.5)
4:00 PM
Parallel Sessions (1.6)
4:00 PM
Parallel Sessions (2.6)
4:30 PM
Parallel Sessions (3.6)
5:30 PM
Marc Salem (1.7)
5:30 PM
TC McLuhan (2.7)
6:30 PM
Welcome Reception (1.8)
6:30 PM
Michelle Shocked (2.8)
6:00 PM
MEA Awards & President's Address

MEA 2023 Convention Program

Travel Info

This year’s MEA convention will be held at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus. Fordham helpfully provides a list of nearby hotels.

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.

At the Convention

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

Here’s a map of the campus. If you need parking, Fordham has a list of nearby garages

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.


Registration prices are as follows:

  • Regular member: $125
  • Student member: $45
  • Non-member: $225
  • Non-member student: $50
Click Here to Register

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.

A Message from the MEA President

Greetings from the Media Ecology Association! We’re very excited about a number of things in our near future, including our annual convention, to be held at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus from June 22nd - 25th. There’s still time to register for the convention, so please think about dropping in on us to support our many wonderful panelists, speakers, performers and friends. For more details, including information about the Institute of General Semantics’ pre-convention seminar, please visit our website at:

In the pages that follow, you’ll undoubtedly find important news and information about our organizations upcoming plans, including a Call for Papers for the first MEA Student Symposium, to be conducted on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024. We’re very excited to offer students of all levels the opportunity to show off their media ecology scholarship, receive constructive feedback from experienced and thoughtful members of our community, and celebrate the start of a wonderful journey in exploring the things we collectively love to explore. 

There’s a lot more ahead for MEA in the near future. We invite you to spend some time with us, connecting and building the MEA community. Check these pages for more information, and stay on top of things by following us on our website and in our social media channels as well. Website

MEA on Facebook

@MEA on Twitter

Hope to see you all very soon. Best wishes.

Mike Plugh

MEA President

MEA Executive Board Nominations

Be sure to attend the MEA Board Meeting & Luncheon on Friday, June 23rd, during the MEA Convention. Members will have the opportunity to nominate others for the four elected positions on the MEA Executive Board. These positions include: Vice President Elect, Recording Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and Member at Large (descriptions of each listed below with full descriptions found in the MEA Constitution & Bylaws).

  • Vice President ElectThe Vice-President Elect shall serve as the officer in charge of the next year’s annual convention, and assist the Vice-President as deemed necessary.
  • Recording SecretaryThe Recording Secretary shall record minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board and the General Meeting at the Association’s Convention.
  • Newsletter EditorThe Newsletter Editor shall edit, publish, and distribute the Association’s newsletter, In Medias Res.
  • Member at LargeThe At-Large Officers shall attend Executive Board meetings and otherwise perform duties on an ad hoc basis.

Nominations will be taken until August 31st, 2023, at which point candidates will be asked to provide statements of their qualifications before membership voting in October of this year. 

Any nominations not made during the MEA Board meeting on should be sent to Adriana Braga via email

Media Ecology Booknotes: Taking up Postman’s Conscientious Objections

Ryan McCullough, Assoc. Professor

Dept. of Media & Visual Arts

West Liberty University

When our newsletter editor, Austin Hestdalen, asked me to write this piece on Neil Postman, he suggested that I discuss a book of his that we might tend to overlook.

To be honest, the thought that anyone might overlook one of Postman’s texts is a bit shocking to me. Even though I have read every one of his single-authored and most of his co-authored texts, I find it hard to believe that someone could or would overlook something. To me, everything he has written elucidates our study of media as environments and the way that one should think about our engagement with media, language, and education. 

Having said that, for those looking to expand their knowledge of Postman, or for those who might only have encountered his most popular text, Amusing Ourselves to Death, I would recommend picking up 1988’s Conscientious Objections: Stirring Up Trouble about Language, Technology, and Education, a collection of essay about … well … language, technology and education. While not necessarily overlooked, according to Thomas Gencarelli in his 2006 essay, “Neil Postman and The Rise of Media Ecology”, Conscientious Objections served as follow up to Amusing Ourselves to Death and tried to take advantage of Postman’s ascendance into the zeitgeist of the late 1980s. In addition, nearly half of the essays in Conscientious Objections were published previously. 

Despite this, I believe three of the essays in Conscientious Objections are particularly valuable to media ecology and those interested in unlocking Postman’s particular strand of media ecology.

First, the opening chapter, “Social Science as Moral Theology” acutely summarizes Postman’s views on media ecology and social/cultural criticism. Postman invites us to think of media ecology as a form of narrative construction. Through media ecology, we can construct coherent narratives that enable us to navigate, understand, and comment on the media environment. While individual scholars or schools of thought on media ecology might vary, Postman centers our conversations about media ecology. Even if you think Postman is dead wrong about media ecology, this essay reveals why he approaches in the way that he does. It is a must read.

Second, “The Educationist as Painkiller” serves as a nice primer on Postman’s perspective on education. Whether you think education should subvert, conserve, end, or build a bridge to the past, “The Educationist as Painkiller” reveals Postman’s belief that a teacher, and education as a whole, should help students. The whole point of studying media as environments or studying the semantic environment created by language is, as Postman discusses, to help students navigate the world that inures them with change, complexities, and confusion. 

Third, “Alfred Korzybski” introduces the uninitiated to the tradition of general semantics. While many working within the tradition of media ecology encountered general semantics before or during their first encounter of media ecology, others might not have any sense of “what is going on” with general semantics. In this essay, Postman offers a brief biographical sketch of Korzybski and introduces some of the central concepts to general semantics. If you have little knowledge of general semantics, I would suggest reading this short essay before picking up Science and Sanity, S.I. Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action, Wendell Johnson’s People in Quandaries, or J.S. Bois’s The Art of Awareness. This essay provides the grounds for entrance into general semantics from the perspective of media ecology.


About Ryan: Ryan teaches courses related to communication theory/research, public relations, and speech communication and his research interests include media ecology, communication law, communication ethics, and rhetoric. In particular, he is interested in the influence of media and communication technology on strategic communication and communication practices. Ryan can be reached directly for questions via email, here (

Graduate Seminar on Media Ecology in Mexico

This June, the Department of Communications at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City invited Professor Adriana Braga, Past President of the MEA, for a visiting scholarship period. She will teach a 15 hr Graduate Seminar on Media Ecology: Introducción a la Ecología de los Medios – tecnología y cultura. (Introduction to Media Ecology – technology and culture) Dr. Braga will also present a Keynote Speech (Conferéncia Magistral) for the Department’s students and faculty, called: Qué Es Ecología de los Medios? Historia del concepto y desarrollos actuales (What is Media Ecology? A history of the concept and recent trends).

This visiting scholarship, beside its institutional goals, has also the intention to widen up the scope of Media Ecology perspective by offering introductory lectures and seminars in Latin America.

For further information about how to sign up for the seminar, please contact Adriana Braga directly via email

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Communicar Invites Scholarly Contributions in Media Ecology

Metaversal and transhumanist environments: Perspectives on our impending digital reculturalization 

Deadline for submission: 2023-09-30

Expected Publication Dates: Online 2024-01-30

Print Edition 2024-04-01

We extend this invitation to participate in the Call for Papers 79 of the journal Comunicar. This time the theme will be: Metaversal and transhumanist environments: Perspectives on our impending digital reculturalization 

Recently, the 2022 Scopus impact factor (CiteScore), which indexes 44,000 scientific journals from around the world in the most varied disciplines of knowledge, was made public. The journal Comunicar has positioned itself as the 1st in the world in Scopus in Cultural Studies, out of a total of 1,203 indexed journals in this macro-area. It has achieved the best position for a Spanish journal in absolute values, displacing the journal that has been the leader in the last decade: 

In addition, Comunicar confirms the best Spanish and Latin American position in the 'Communication' and 'Education' databases, being in both cases Q1 and top 2% worldwide (98th percentile), and leading all scientific publications in Spanish. The Scimago Journal Rank (SJR), recently published, has also confirmed Comunicar as the best journal in the Latin American community in 'Communication', 'Education' and 'Cultural Studies', establishing itself as a reference in social sciences. Only the Web of Science (WoS) results remain to be known. The quality of the journal, its rigor, transparency, objectivity, and excellence as a maxim, yield the best fruits and, therefore, impact as recognition from the scientific community. 30 years of uninterrupted publication, of which a decade in Q1 in the main and most prestigious databases in the world, consolidate Comunicar as the quintessential reference journal. Now it will start a new, even more international editorial process, bringing together the Latin American world with other global contexts under the direction of a new English editorial group.

This year, Lance Strate, Fernando Gutiérrez and Octavio Islas will coordinate this issue of Comunicar dedicated to transhumanist environments.

For more information about the Call for Papers write


NEW YORK STATE COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION 2023 CALL FOR PAPERS 81st Annual Conference | October 13-15, 2023

Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center 365 Villa Roma Road, Callicoon, NY 12723


The internet and smartphone have transformed the way we communicate in profound ways. We are now moving toward normalizing new features like artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality applications in day-to-day use, poised to further change our relationship with technology and with each other in the near future. We live in a digital world of full of information and misinformation, character limits and fast-paced communication, influencers and followers, ceaseless scrolling and mediated interaction – but also in a world that reveals structural disparities and unequal access to digital communication platforms. The last few years, especially, have seen an accelerated transformation toward remote work and learning, changing the way we live and work, and the way we think of online and offline spaces in both personal and professional contexts. Contemporary issues we face as local, national, or even global societies have been the subject of oftentimes heated online discourse – issues like political unrest, social justice movements and activism, pandemics and public health, environmental justice, and concerns about the regulation of online platforms and privacy.

Acknowledging the impact of our transforming digital landscape and its effect on our lived experience, the 81st annual conference of the New York State Communication Association invites participants to consider how communication functions on digital platforms in intrapersonal, interpersonal, community-oriented, organizational, global, and virtual contexts. Scholars, practitioners, and students are encouraged to examine how their areas of study in communication intersect with the transformation of digital communication use and culture, with particular focus on the environmental, psychological, and social benefits and costs of the contemporary and future use of digital platforms.

We welcome submissions of completed papers, panels, roundtables, fishbowl conversations, student posters and other innovative and engaging programs. Work related to the conference theme is encouraged, along with a range of communication topics from a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.

Submission Guidelines

Completed paper submissions should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages (not inclusive of title and bibliography pages) and should not include any identifying information. The author, affiliation, and contact information should be provided separately in the body of the submission email. Papers should include a running head with an abbreviated title. Any standard style is permitted. Completed paper submissions from undergraduate and graduate students will be considered for student paper awards. Student submissions should indicate “undergraduate” or “graduate,” along with an abbreviated title in the running head.

For all other presentation formats, including panel proposals, posters (students only), roundtables, fishbowls, and other innovative programs, please include the title, the lead contact or panel chair, the participants/authors, affiliations, contact information, and a description of the panel, poster, roundtable, etc. For each paper in a panel or roundtable proposal, please include a title, a list of authors, and abstracts of no more than 125 words for each presenter.

Statement of Professional Responsibility

A statement of professional responsibility should be included on the first page of all paper/panel/roundtable submissions, or in the email accompanying video/audio files, and should state the following: “In submitting the attached paper/panel proposal, poster or roundtable, I/we agree to present at the 2023 NYSCA conference if it is accepted. I/we further recognize that all who attend and present at NYSCA’s annual meeting must register and pay the required fees.”

Contact Information Direct inquiries and email submissions to Arshia Anwer, Associate Professor, Communication Department at Manhattan College at

Deadline: All submissions and proposals are due no later than midnight EST on July 7, 2023.



The Media Ecology Association is proud to announce our first student symposium, scheduled for Saturday, February 3rd, 2024, exclusively conducted online. This symposium is aimed at offering students of all levels an opportunity to present their media ecology scholarship as the centerpiece of an official organizational event. The symposium will feature panels of student work throughout the day, conducted via Zoom, and each panel will be assigned a respondent from the MEA Executive Board for constructive feedback aimed at celebrating and advancing scholarship in our field.

Participation is limited to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students, officially enrolled at institutions of higher learning. Attendance is open to the general public. Registration is free to all MEA members. Non-Members will be able to register for a fee of $10.


Please submit paper and panel proposals, in English, by October 31, 2023 to A maximum of two submissions per author will be accepted. Authors who wish their papers to be considered for the Top Paper award must indicate this on their submission(s).

Submission Guidelines for paper and panel proposals: Include title(s), abstract(s) (maximum 250 words), and contact information for each participant. Outline, as relevant, how your paper or panel will fit with the convention theme. Authors with papers submitted as part of a panel proposal or as a paper proposal that wish to be considered for Top Paper must send the completed paper to the convention planner by December 1, 2023.

Submission guidelines for manuscripts eligible for MEA award submissions: Manuscripts should be 4,000–6,000 words (approximately 15 to 25 double-spaced pages) Include a cover page with your institutional affiliation and other contact information. Include an abstract (maximum 150 words).

Please visit for more information about the Media Ecology Association, our annual convention, and our publication profile.

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. 

Book Reviewers Wanted!

Have you read a good book with connections to Media Ecology?  Please consider submitting a review for publication in Explorations in Media Ecology.  Are you reading a new book for use in an upcoming class?  Please consider submitting a review and helping out other scholars looking for new texts.  Do you just like writing book reviews? Consider writing one for EME!!  :)  Contact for more information and to get a format template.  Reviews should be between 1000 and 2000 words.

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.

Start Spreadin' the News: Contribute a Segment for In Media Res

Austin Hestdalen, Duquesne University

I invite members to submit content in any of the below areas of interest listed for publication in our monthly newsletter. 

  • Media Ecology - Booknotes: A segment originally appearing in the first few issues of In Media ResBooknotes offers membership the opportunity to contribute short reviews of books that are either directly or tangentially related to the study of media ecology and offer the potential for reconsidering important aspects of media ecological study.
  • Media Ecology - Scholarship In Brief: The scholarship in brief segment appeared in the earliest issues of the newsletter and offered frameworks for revisiting what might be described as the foundational texts of media ecology. This segment offers membership the opportunity to discuss both old and new interpretations of 'canonical' works in media ecology. 
  • Media Ecology at Work: An older segment in which members have the chance to parse the professional and practical implications of media ecology in their daily lives. Contributions take an almost essayistic format in which membership contemplate how media ecology might inform everyday activities of work, play, and anything in between. 
  • Media Ecology and the Arts: This segment focuses on ever-emerging considerations of media in music, and the visual, literary, performance, and plastic arts. Contributions contemplate media and the artistic counter-environments that allow us to negotiate media constraints.
  • Cornering Media Ecology: A new segment that invites media ecologists to offer critical understandings of media and the competing ecologies they generate in human communication. Contributions can include anything from critical reinterpretations of media ecological texts to those that parse the implications of the media ecological approach in a variety of contexts. 
  • General Letters to the Editor: This segment invites membership to share thoughts both on the newsletter and the MEA as whole and is open to any form discussion and critique. Contributions are encouraged to offer insights into how the newsletter and association might extend the study of media ecology in ways that reflect the interests of the membership. 

Contributions should be submitted to the newsletter editor, Austin Hestdalen (

Please be sure to include the name of segment for which you are submitting in the subject line.

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