The Official Newsletter for the Media Ecology Association


September 2021 Newsletter


Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

July 7–10, 2022

“Dewey opens an important chapter in Experience and Nature with the seemingly preposterous claim that ‘of all things communication is the most wonderful.’ …The object, then, of recasting our studies of communication in terms of a ritual model is not only to more firmly grasp the essence of this ‘wonderful’ process but to give us a way in which to rebuild a model of and for communication of some restorative value in reshaping our common culture.” —James W. Carey, 1989

The Media Ecology Association (MEA) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for panels for presentation at its 23rd Annual Convention, which will be held from July 7-10, 2022 at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2021.

The annual meeting of the MEA provides an opportunity for our community of scholars, 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 are interested in papers, thematic panels, roundtable discussion panels, creative projects, performance sessions, and other proposals of interest to media ecologists.

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 2022 convention is Celebration. A long period of turmoil has seen social division, self-isolation and perpetual stress become our daily norm. Through various conflicts and trials, it has been the strength of our relationships and associations that have sustained us. Resilience is more than an individual trait. It is the product of self-care and mutual concern. The so-called “good life” includes our ability to individually and collectively endure great challenges, while reminding ourselves that joy must not be inhibited by the obstacles in our way. We continue to celebrate our accomplishments and our associations as an affirmative enterprise in making and remaking this human condition. The annual Media Ecology Association Convention helps our community mark these important milestones, celebrating our hard work and our commitment to one another. This is true in any year, but in particular in these times it is vital to raise up this sensibility and center it as a cause in our 2022 proceedings.

General topics of interest related to the convention theme (but not limited to):

  • Community Life
  • Rituals of Celebration and Affirmation
  • Technology as a Connecting Agent
  • Art and the Expression of Joy
  • Education and the Learning of Resilience
  • Surviving the Maelstrom … and Thriving
  • Positive Psychology and Media Ecology
  • Science and Sanity: General Semantics

Guidelines for Submission

Please submit paper and panel proposals, in English, by December 20, 2021 to 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).

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 that wish to be considered for Top Paper or Top Student Paper must send the completed paper to the convention planner by May 6, 2022.

Submission guidelines for manuscripts eligible 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 with your institutional affiliation and other contact information.
  3. Include an abstract (maximum 150 words).

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


The Media Ecology Association’s Executive Board includes members elected by the Association’s membership. Each year, three to four positions on the MEA’s Board come up for election/re-election, and you may nominate a member, or volunteer yourself as a nominee. You do not need to have prior board experience (of any type) to be nominated and elected to the board.

There are four elected positions to be filled this year:

  1. Vice President Elect (1-year term): The Vice President Elect shall be elected by the general membership annually, and shall serve a four-year period of service. In the second year, the Vice President Elect will succeed to the office of Vice President, in the third year to the office of President, and in the fourth year to the office of Immediate Past President. The Vice President shall serve as the officer in charge of the annual convention and will either provide the site to host the convention, or will work in conjunction with the site host. Should the Office of the President become vacant after the conclusion of the annual convention, the Vice President shall succeed to the presidency immediately. Prior to the convention, the Immediate Past President takes on the role of President if need be. Finally, the Vice President Elect serves as the MEA’s liaison to other professional organizations, such as the Institute of General Semantics and the Canadian Communication Association, and ensures our presence and participation in their events.
  2. Member-at-Large (3-year term): This position runs for three years from 2022 through 2024. Members at large help to promote the activities of the association, assist in the MEA’s legal and fiduciary matters, help to establish policies and direction and review programs which promote the aims of the Association, and help to recruit officer candidates for succession planning.
  3. Newsletter Editor (1-year term): This is a yearly elected position. The term is for one year and begins January 2022. Besides the duties listed above for the members-at-large, the Newsletter Editor compiles, edits and disseminates the association’s newsletter, In Medias Res.
  4. Recording Secretary (1-year term): This is a yearly elected position. The term is for one year and begins January 2022. Besides the duties listed above for the members-at-large, the Recording secretary records, collects, and disseminates the discussions, activities, and reports of the MEA Board meetings.

Nominations are open until September 30, 2021. Nominees must be MEA members in good standing and will be asked to provide a brief (100–150 word) statement about themselves and their interest in the MEA for inclusion on the ballot.

Voting will take place in October 2021. Details to follow.

Results will be reported on by the end of October 2021. Those elected will start their terms of office in January 2022 and, assuming we have an in-person meeting, should make plans to attend the Executive Board Meeting in New York City at that time.

Send nominations or self-nominations to our Executive Secretary Fernando Gutiérrez at


The Institute of General Semantics is pleased to announce that Siva Vaidhyanathan will deliver the 69th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture on October 1, 2021.

A two-day general semantics symposium will follow on October 2-3, 2021.

Details on the events are in the early stages of planning. Save the dates and watch the IGS website ( for updates.

  • For more information about the 69th AKML, and to RSVP, click here.
  • For more information about the two-day general semantics symposium, and to RSVP, click here.

About the Speaker

A cultural historian, media scholar, and lecturer, Siva Vaidhyanathan speaks on the impact of digitalization on society and democracy. In his speeches, he encourages audiences to consider how technology like Google and social media shape the way we think, and what we can do to foster a new Internet ecosystem designed to benefit the whole world.

At the University of Virginia, Siva serves as the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and the director of the Center for Media and Citizenship. He is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues on public radio shows and news programs, notably BBC, CNN and NBC.

Siva has authored several books, including Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018). His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Nation.

About the AKML

  • For a history of the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series, click here.

About General Semantics

General semantics is a popular, practical discipline that applies modern scientific thinking toward the solution of personal and professional problems. Through the application of general semantics ideas and principles, general semantics brings about clearer thinking, peaceful interaction, and greater sanity to one’s life. General semantics has served as the foundation for numerous approaches to human problems with its unique applications adapted from modern science.

MEA @ NCA 2021

The Media Ecology Association
at the 107th Annual Convention of
The National Communication Association

Seattle, WA
November 18–21, 2021
“Renewal & Transformation”

MEA @ NCA Program Planner: Michael Plugh,

Read more on the convention resources tab on NCA's website.


(as presented at our 2021 convention)

The Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology to B.W. Powe and Marshall Soules for The Charge in the Global Membrane

The Walter Benjamin Award for Outstanding Article in the Field of Media Ecology to Justin C. Tackett for "'I heard his silver Call': Emily Dickinson and the Poetry of Telegraphic Acoustics"

The Erving Goffman Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Social Interaction to Larry Busbea for The Responsive Environment: Design, Aesthetics, and the Human in the 1970s; and Deborah Eicher-Catt for Recovering the Voice in Our Techno-Social World

The Susanne K. Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Symbolic Form to Robert Albrecht and Carmine Tabone for The Arts and Play as Educational Media in the Digital Age

The Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture to Daniel Belgrad for The Culture of Feedback: Ecological Thinking in 70s America

The Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Technics to Jaqueline McLeod Rogers for McLuhan’s Techno-Sensorium City: Coming to Our Senses in a Programmed Environment

The Harold A. Innis Award for Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation in the Field of Media Ecology to Richard S. Lewis for "Relating Through Our Selves: Situating Media Literacy with Intersubjective Mediation"

The Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fictional Work to Ted Chiang for Exhalation

The John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in the Field of Media Ecology to John McDaid for Trails of Mars (audio recording)

The Louis Forsdale Award for Outstanding Educator in the Field of Media Ecology to Ellen Rose

The Jacques Ellul Award for Outstanding Media Ecology Activism to Joshua Meyrowitz

The James W. Carey Award for Outstanding Media Ecology Journalism to Kara Swisher

The Christine L. Nystrom Award for Career Achievement in Service to the Field of Media Ecology to Stephanie Gibson

The Edmund S. Carpenter Award for Career Achievement in Editing in the Field of Media Ecology to Corey Anton

The Walter J. Ong Award for Career Achievement in Scholarship to David R. Olson

The Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity to Naomi Klein


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 5pm EST.

MEA Member Achievements

Dr Rea Beaumont is the recipient of the SOCAN Foundation/ MUSCAN Award of Excellence for the Advancement of Research in Canadian Music, a prestigious national award presented in recognition of her extensive contributions and publications in the field.

Congratulations to MEA award winner and board member Julia M. Hildebrand on the recent publication of her book:

Aerial Play: Drone Medium, Mobility, Communication, and Culture

Palgrave Macmillan (Geographies of Media Series)

This book explores recreational uses of consumer drones from the lenses of media ecology, mobile communication, mobilities research, and science and technology studies. In this provocative ethnography, Julia M. Hildebrand discusses camera drones as mobile media for meaningful play. She thus widens perspectives onto the flying camera as foremost unmanned aircraft, spying tool, or dangerous toy towards a more comprehensive understanding of its potentials.

How should we situate drone practices in recreational spaces? What ways of seeing, moving, and being do hobby drones open up? Across chapters about drone geography, communication, mobility, visuality, and human-machine relations, Aerial Play introduces novel frameworks for drone affordances, such as communication on the fly, disembodied mobilities, auratic vertical play, and drone-mindedness.

In the mobile companionship with her own drone, Hildebrand contributes an innovative “auto-technographic” method for the self-reflective study of media and mobility. Ultimately, her grounded and aerial fieldwork illuminates new technological, mobile, visual, and social relations in everyday spaces.

To purchase a copy: 

To access the ebook via SpringerLink:


“In Aerial Play, Julia M. Hildebrand provides a serious, scholarly, and accessible study of a highly significant new medium that is altering the world that we live in, and the way that we view ourselves. Drones are not simply toys, they are our future, and this book offers us essential aid in understanding this important aspect of our evolving media environment. Drawing on the powerful tools made available via the media ecology intellectual tradition, combined with a multidisciplinary methodology, Hildebrand delivers an analysis that is both rigorous and readable, and above all insightful and provocative. Read it, and you will never look up at the sky in the same way again!”

Lance Strate, Fordham University, USA

“In a short amount of time, drones have become a ubiquitous technology. And while scholarly attention has been focused on commercial and military contexts, the recreational drone has been relatively overlooked. That is, until Aerial Play: Drone Medium, Mobility, Communication and Culture. Aerial Play addresses some of the complex debates around quotidian surveillance and mundane mobilities and how these practices recalibrate how we understand media ecology, mobile communication, mobilities research, and science and technology studies. Traversing themes such as drone geography, communication, mobility and new visualities, Aerial Play also explores how drones can help us reinvent our digital methods. Hildebrand’s playful and yet robust approach to drones encourages us to rethink the paradigm between media and mobility.”

Larissa Hjorth, RMIT University, Australia

“Dr. Hildebrand offers no-nonsense and straightforward insights into one of the growing niches of drone practices: flying for fun! Written at the crossroads of mobilities and media studies, Aerial Play is a must-read for students, researchers within media, mobilities, geography, and technology studies. Recreational drone flyers may indeed also find it useful.”

Ole B. Jensen, Aalborg University, Denmark

Recent article published by Bernadette "bird" Bowen, "That's Miss[ed] Diagnosis to You, Sir: Mediated Grieving Over the Neurodivergent Gender Gap"

Good Burdens: How to Live Joyfully in the Digital Age - New Book by Christina Crook

What if a simple shift in thinking could eliminate digital stress, reconnect us to the real world, and give greater meaning to our lives? Award-winning author Christina Crook reveals there is, and it’s in reach of all of us. In her new book, GOOD BURDENS: How to Live Joyfully in the Digital Age (Nimbus; Fall 2021) and top podcast, the JOMO(cast), Crook offers concrete solutions for flourishing in the digital age.

In thoughtful prose, GOOD BURDENS, Christina Crook's insightful follow up to the acclaimed The Joy of Missing Out, builds on her pioneering work in digital well-being, pinpointing how and why we hide and distract ourselves online. GOOD BURDENS is a powerful reckoning for an unchecked technological zeitgeist palliating us with frictionless convenience and comfortable distractions that divert our attention from life-giving experiences and our ultimate goals.

Crook advocates for a realignment of our energies, online and off, towards effortful pursuits - cultivating relationships, community, and creative projects that bring lasting joy. But GOOD BURDENS is more than actionable advice—it’s also a lively intellectual tour of this simple yet powerful idea, introducing readers to social media gurus, offline rebels, academics, and everyday heroes who have embraced the joy of missing out on the right things to make space for good burdens.

I’ll refrain from adding more to this pitch. Let me know if you’d like to book an interview and/or see an advanced copy of GOOD BURDENS and my publicist (Karen McMullin | National Publicist, 647-461-3824 - CC'd here) will assist you. 



Christina Crook is a pioneer and leading voice in the field of digital well-being. As the author of the award-winning book The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World and the leader of the global #JOMO movement, she regularly shares her insights in outlets including The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and the BBC and interviews other mindful tech leaders as the host of the JOMO(cast) podcast.


"Christina Crook is among the most clear-sighted and well-spoken commentators of the culture of technology in our time.”

-–Dr. Albert Borgmann, Regents Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Montana  

“Profound. GOOD BURDENS is a powerful reckoning for an unchecked technological zeitgeist. Crook’s call for a reclamation of effortful living, on and offline, stands to steer our lives toward destinations brimming with joy. The notion of 'good burdens' is already transforming how I show up in my world.”
— Kelly Riback-Small, Best-Selling Author of The Conscious Creative

“Fully understanding our relationship to technology is a vital question for all of us as humans. Christina is ready to have that conversation.”
-–Tiffany Shlain, Emmy-nominated filmmaker & author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week

“Once again, Christina Crook shows us that the one thing we shouldn’t miss out on is her heartfelt, soulful thoughts on where we can tap into the joy around us.”
-–David Sax, author of The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter

“In a culture barraged by the trends of hustle, tech, and self-improvement crazes, Christina Crook not only reminds us what it’s like to be human—but gives us a much-needed road map to feeling like a whole one.”

-–Jess Davis, founder of Folk Rebellion

“JOMO isn’t a trend—it’s the future for our families, friendships, and communities. The coming decade is going to be all about learning the tools Crook shares here. This book is inspiring for anyone who wants to remember—or learn—what it feels like to be a whole person. Read it and share it.”
-–Sarah Selecky, Giller Prize-nominated author of Radiant Shimmering Light & This Cake is for the Party

“Christina Crook is the perfect mentor in slowing down and savouring the moment. Far from being a call to reject all technology, Christina encourages a life where perfection and comparison take a back seat to connecting with others and sharing in our joyful, messy humanity.”
-–Dr. Jess Perriam, Professor of Digital Sociology at Open University

“Christina Crook is a master of intention and the best possible guide to show you how to step away from the mundane and lean into the meaningful.”
-–Sarah Vermunt, bestselling author of Careergasm & Career Rookie

“My whole life is oriented around remaining connected, and for me, the value of Christina’s voice and the discussion of how to live better is that reminder of where the line is between what matters and what doesn’t…this is a conversation that matters to me.”
-–Aaron Reynolds, author and founder of Effin’ Birds

Call for Submissions for Explorations in Media Ecology Vol. 20

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

• Ernest A. Hakanen, Editor:

• Alexander Jenkins, Managing Editor:

• Gregory Loring-Albright, Editorial Assistant:

• Corey Anton, Probes Editor:

• Jeff Bogaczyk, Review Editor:

• Adeena Karasick, Poetry Editor:

• Emanuela Patti, Forum Editor:

• Michael Plugh, Pedagogy Editor:

Call for Papers - EME's 20th Anniversary

Call for Papers: Invited special issue in celebration of EME’s 20th anniversary.

Issue: 20:4

We welcome contributions that celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Explorations in Media Ecology: The official Journal of the Media Ecology Association. Contributions can come in the form of analyses, essays, poetry, art, reviews, etc. Possible topics welcomed in the issue, but not limited to: Past and future trends in the journal or media ecology Discussion of influential articles, poetry, art, reviews Inspirational authors of the MEA Traditions kept alive by the journal and ME.

Please email contributions directly to EME's Editorial Assistant, Gregory Loring-Albright, at

Working Group for Increasing Inclusivity

Following a special workshop in the 2020 MEA convention, organized by Carolin Aronis (University of Colorado, Boulder), Peggy Cassidy (Adelphi University), Rachel Armamentos (Fordham University), and Bernadette Ann Bowen (Bowling Green State University)sixteen MEA members volunteered to become new members of this group. Three of them stepped forward to lead the group. The new group members include board members, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, all from different institutions and countries, and some are more new to the MEA while others are long standing members. 

Multiple issues to strengthen MEA and the Media Ecology as a field of study were identified through the convention session (thank you for all contributors!). 

Virtual Coffee with a Media Ecologist

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. 

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 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.

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