18,113 Media Ecology Association, April 2021 Newsletter

The Official Newsletter for the Media Ecology Association
      April 2021 Newsletter
The Twenty-Second Annual Convention of the Media Ecology AssociationTo Be Held Virtually Via Zoom

Dystopic Futures – Media Ecology in an Algorithm SocietyJuly 8–11, 2021

“Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival.” (Neil Postman, 1970).

“It is the study of media environments, the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs.” (Lance Strate, 1999)

THE MEDIA ECOLOGY ASSOCIATION (MEA) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for panels for presentation at its 22nd Annual Convention, which will be held from 8 to 11 July, 2021. In light of the effects of the pandemic on health and travel, we have decided to postpone hosting our annual meeting at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil until 2022, and will once again hold our convention online via Zoom.

The annual meeting of the MEA provides an opportunity for our community of scholars, educators, professionals and practitioners 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.

THE THEME OF THE 2021 CONVENTION is Dystopic Futures: Media Ecology in an Algorithm Society. Dystopian societies are represented in a variety of science fiction works as an effort to predict pessimistic consequences of our current practices. Films, books and other forms of art set their narratives in the future, to comment on our present culture while maintaining critical distance. However, nowadays we are living in a sort of dystopic present with undesirable and frightening realities. In addition to our natural, environmental, political, ethical, cultural, health and social problems, we have to deal with issues brought by technological advances. We are living in a technopoly (Postman, 1992), or in what some recent authors call an algorithmic society, “a society organized around social and economic decision-making by algorithms, robots, and AI agents, who not only make decisions but also, in some cases, carry them out” (Balkin 2016). What kind of dystopia can we envisage as consequence of our dystopic present?


Fees for the virtual convention will remain the same as last year’s inaugural virtual convention fees.

Non-members: $50Members: $25Student: $10INFORMATIONPlease direct questions to convention coordinator Adriana Braga, MEA2021Convention@gmail.com. For more on the Media Ecology Association, visit https://www.media-ecology.org.Download a PDF version of this CFP in English (or in Portuguese)to print or share!REGISTER HEREhttps://media-ecology.wildapricot.org/event-4166427
Lecture: «What is Media Ecology?» with Joshua MeyrowitzJoin Joshua Meyrowitz on Tuesday, April 24. This zoom lecture is free and open to the public, though registration is required. Click here to register.


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.


The MEA continues to be an affiliate organization/associate member of the International Communication Association.

This year’s ICA conference was supposed to be held in Denver, CO, USA from May 27–31. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, it was converted to a fully virtual conference.

For details, visit https://www.icahdq.org/page/ICA2021.The MEA is sponsoring the following panel:

“Engaging the Essential Work of Media Ecology in Care and Caring”

Michael Grabowski, Manhattan College


Jeff Bogaczyk, Independent Scholar
“Care in the Technological Society: An Ellulian Perspective”

One of the issues most prevalent in our current culture relates to how human beings, in an increasingly divisive and partisan environment, treat one another in interpersonal relationships. In this historical moment defined by extreme division and contention, this paper examines the idea of interpersonal care within the current technological society from the perspective of French sociologist Jacques Ellul. Ellul’s critique of La Technique provides insight for understanding the context around interpersonal care and how it has been informed by the technological society. He also provides perspective on a unique interpersonal entrance into how dialogue can serve as a bulwark against the impersonal influence of technology.

Michael Grabowski, Manhattan College
“Text as Image: Empathy and Group Identity in Virtual Environments”

The rules of engagement in social media have fostered the sharing of posts in which linguistic messages are embedded in images rather than presented as text. These posts resemble and sometimes have a similar function to the propaganda posters during World War I. This paper examines the development and role of these text/image posts, their historical antecedents and medium characteristics, and analyzes their communicative impact in the formation of group identity. The paper concludes with a model for an ethical framework in the production and dissemination of these text/images to promote empathy.

Robert MacDougall, Curry College
“Exploring ‘Epimediology’: On Human-Media-Induced Imbalance and Dis-ease”

The term “epidemiology” comes from the Greek words epi, meaning “on or upon”; demos, meaning “people”; and logos, meaning “the study of.” In other words, the word epidemiology has its roots in the study of what befalls a population (adapted from Wiki). The neologism epimediology is proposed: again, deriving from the Greek word epi, meaning on or upon; and connecting to medio [media] (see also references to membrane or what comes between); and logos, meaning the study of. In other words, epimediology has its roots in the study of how media propagate/diffuse into the world, and what befalls media and populations of media users given that propagation and diffusion (cf. Rogers, 2003). As a blend of media diffusion and media ecological outlooks, epimediology implies an empirical, evidence-based approach to the study of media innovation, adoption, diffusion, adaptation, abstention, avoidance, mediation, and remediation. Such an approach might help media designers, engineers, and everyday media users better understand extant and potential/future media with actionable guidance regarding media adoption and use and, where advisable, good reasons for non-adoption/non-use. It would track the spread of media-induced dis-ease occurring at multiple levels of reality (i.e., individual, institutional, socio-cultural, planetary). This project explores the potential contours and extent of a full-blown epimediology.

MEA @ NCA 2021

Call for Competitive Papers and Complete Panel Proposals
The Media Ecology Association
at the 107th Annual Convention of
The National Communication Association

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

Submissions Open: January 11, 2021
Submissions Close: March 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time
MEA @ NCA Program Planner: Michael Plugh, mplugh01@manhattan.edu

The Media Ecology Association welcomes submissions for the 2021 National Communication Association convention, centered on the theme of Renewal and Transformation. NCA’s annual gathering offers our community an opportunity to renew our associations, as we engage in the important rituals of community building and affirmation. After a trying period of physical distancing and compromise, we look forward to meeting, once again, to share questions, ideas, and good spirits, and to make sense of the many transformations this period has presented. How have our communities been transformed by these recent times and their challenges? In what ways can we renew old associations as a means by which to navigate a path forward?

This call invites you to explore these concerns, emphasizing the historical and intellectual roots of our field, and their relevance to the theme of Renewal and Transformation. As such, papers and panels that deal with topics related to the theme are encouraged (though not required). Likewise, proposals that link traditionally distinct thinkers or disciplines to media ecology, extend established ideas or concepts, or otherwise advance existing approaches to the field, are also welcomed.

Submission Method and DeadlineSubmission Method and Deadline

Online submission will be accepted through the NCA Convention Central website beginning January 11, 2021. The absolute deadline for submissions is March 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific.

Types of Submissions

Interested colleagues are encouraged to submit individual papers, paper sessions, and/or panel discussion proposals that address the convention theme as it relates to the study of media ecology. (Strict adherence to the NCA convention theme is, again, not a requirement for submission). The MEA program will accept the following three types of submissions: individual papers, paper sessions (common theme paper presentations); and panel discussions (common topic roundtable discussion).

  • Individual Papers: All paper submissions should include an uploaded file between 20 and 25 pages (double-spaced) in length, including references and tables, and have (a) a title; (b) a 250–500-word description; and (c) no personal identification of the author in the abstract or throughout the paper upload. Please remove all personal identification before uploading the document online. Individual papers will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: (a) a firm grounding in the established literature; (b) sound arguments with well-substantiated ideas; (c) clear expression of ideas; (d) a clear media-ecological orientation; and (e) a contribution to the general understanding of media ecology. If your submission is a student paper, please be sure to indicate this. Also, submitters should indicate their willingness to present as part of a Scholar-to-Scholar (S2S) program session.
  • Paper Sessions comprise a group of authors with papers to present centered upon a common theme. Paper Session proposals must include (a) a session title and description describing the session’s overall focus; (b) indicate the session chair and respondent; (c) the title of each paper on the session and author information; (d) an abstract of no more than 75 words for each paper; and (e) a rationale of no more than 250 words for the session. Paper sessions should include individuals representing multiple institutions rather than individuals from only one or two institutions. Further, a single person should not serve more than one role (i.e., chair, respondent, author, or presenter) in a submission.
  • Panel Discussions comprise a group of panelists who discuss a specific topic. Submitters may use the exact same text for both the abstract and rationale if they do not wish to create a separate rationale (reviewers will use the rationale when evaluating this type of panel). Complete panel discussion proposals in this format will therefore include (a) a panel title describing the panel’s overall focus; (b) a list of all presenters, with their affiliations; (c) an abstract of no more than 250 words; and (d) a rationale of no more than 250 words. Panel discussions should include individuals representing multiple institutions rather than individuals from only one or two institutions. Further, a single person should not serve more than one role (i.e., chair, respondent, author, or presenter) in a submission.

All panel discussion or paper session proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: (a) solid organization and preparation, with clear indication of the focus and rationale of the panel; (b) clear, strong integration/coherence among the topics of the individual papers or presentations; (c) interest to MEA members; (d) a clear media- ecological orientation; and (e) a contribution to the general understanding of media ecology. All submitters are also asked to consider creative collaborations and co- sponsorship with other units. Co-sponsorhip opportunities should be noted in the “special requests” tab.

The MEA has six session slots available for this convention. As a standard practice, paper sessions consisting of competitively refereed and accepted complete papers will receive priority ranking and scheduling privilege. Also, since we have limited panel allocations and hope to engage more of our colleagues in the MEA’s program, we urge all prospective contributors to send in only one submission—one complete paper or participation on only one proposed panel. Please also note that NO identical submissions may be made to more than one unit.

NCA Policy: Audio/Visual EquipmentNCA Policy: Audio/Visual Equipment

NCA policy entails providing reasonable A/V support of presentations at its annual convention. However, equipment requests must be kept to a minimum because of their high cost. Submitters must therefore adhere to the following guidelines:

  • A/V equipment requests MUST be made at the same time as the paper or panel’s submission, and will be screened by the program planner.
  • NCA will normally approve requests for the following equipment: laptop audio, Internet connection and LCD projectors.
  • NCA will NOT normally approve requests for equipment such as laptops, transparency projectors, VCR or DVD players, camcorders, satellite links, or teleconference/webinar equipment.

Individuals may, of course, elect to rent equipment for the convention at their own expense.

All submitters are encouraged to review the Professional Standards for Convention Participants prior to submission. Helpful resources (including the Professional Standards for Convention Participants), such as live and recorded step-by-step instructions on how to submit, are available in the NCA Convention Library (http://www.natcom.org/conventionresources).

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: https://callisto.newgen.co/intellect/index.php/EME/submissions

Direct inquiries to

• Ernest A. Hakanen, Editor: eah22@drexel.edu

• Alexander Jenkins, Managing Editor: arj28@drexel.edu

• Gregory Loring-Albright, Editorial Assistant: gsa33@drexel.edu

• Corey Anton, Probes Editor: antonc@gvsu.edu

• Jeff Bogaczyk, Review Editor: jbogaczyk@gmail.com

• Adeena Karasick, Poetry Editor: adeenakarasick@cs.com

• Emanuela Patti, Forum Editor: empatti@gmail.com

• Michael Plugh, Pedagogy Editor: mplugh01@manhattan.edu

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 gsa33@drexel.edu

Table of Contents for the upcoming EME 20.1

Explorations in Media Ecology 20.1 Table of Contents



MEA Conference

The Zossima Principle as an ideal for media ecology praxis 5–18


Solace in sound: Glenn Gould’s electronic Solitude 19–32



Conceptualizing communities of truth on YouTube 33–54


Sphere ecology: Peter Sloterdijk’s spatialanalytic approach to media environments 55–71





 ‘Literacy as deviance’ and virtual reality 


Space-biased or time-biased? Digital media and the big tension


Fake news or real news about the fake world: The effect of the internet on the traditional media 



The making of a counterenvironment: The arts and play as counterbalance in the education of children


Book Reviews

Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter, Terence W. Deacon (2011)



ETC: A Review of General Semantics is the official quarterly publication of the Institute of General Semantics, now in its 78th year of continuous publication.

ETC welcomes submissions about the symbolic environments in which humans spend their time, with a particular focus on the study of the intersection of language, thought, and behavior.  We are primarily interested in approaches to the nature of language as our species’ primary medium of human communication, how we use language to create what we call meaning, and how we can be better meaning-makers through an understanding of the relationships among language, meaning, thought, mind, symbols, media, technology, context, culture, etc.

Submissions fall into four main areas – keeping in mind, of course, that such categories are tentative, artificial, and always subject to revision.  The categories are meant to suggest the broad range of possible contributions, not to limit them.  Contributors are not required to specify into which area a particular piece falls.

Category 1: Articles about our various symbolic environments, emergent or persisting metaphors, and/or current or historical study of human symbolic use that advances our understanding of symbols, behavior, and culture.

Category 2: Cases and observations of language use and misuse in politics, commerce, relationships, and self-talk that contribute to an understanding of the relationship between language, thought, and behavior.

Category 3: Instructional frameworks, models, and principles intended to assist educators in illustrating general semantics principles: lesson plans, activities, demonstrations, etc.

Category 4: Artwork, illustrations, poetry, short fiction, and/or other vehicles that express or explain some idea about symbols and behavior, such as maps and territories, abstractions, non-categorical thinking, extensional thinking, or the principle of etcetera.


Article submissions are accepted electronically via e-mail.  All submissions must be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.  Please submit to:


The following are the guidelines for contributions to ETC: A Review of General Semantics (modified January 19, 2021):

Microsoft Word documents are preferred.  Please send your document as an e-mail attachment to thom.gencarelli@manhattan.edu or editor-etc@generalsemantics.org.  Contact the Editor if you experience any technical issues.

As we move toward the professional standard practice that is internal consistency within our pages, we request that contributors follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Ed., 2020) for all citations and bibliographic references.  However, because we are, at this time, an interdisciplinary community, we will continue to accept manuscripts that utilize the author’s choice of style guide (MLA, Chicago, etc.).

Please do not, under any circumstances, use the automated footnote or note referencing function of MSWord.

If you wish to include photos, illustrations, or graphics, you may incorporate them into your document yourself or send them as separate files with instructions for where to insert them within your manuscript.  Acceptable formats include JPG, JPEG, GIF, TIF, and BMP files.  Resolution/file size should be as large as possible.  All permissions for the use of copyrighted material are the responsibility of the author and must be obtained before submission.

Please include with your submission a brief author’s blurb, of no more than three sentences, as you wish to present yourself, and which we will publish at the bottom of the first page of the published piece.  Indicate your last degree and the institution from which you obtained it.

Finally, if you submit an article that has been previously published, please obtain reprint permissions prior to your submission to ETC, and make sure to provide evidence of such permission at the time you submit.

**ETC emphatically and especially welcomes and encourages submissions by students.**

For further information and/or to purchase current or back issues of ETC: A Review of General Semantics, please visit the IGS website at: http://www.generalsemantics.org/

Susan Langer Circle

Announcement: There is a newly founded Susan Langer Circle, and it currently convenes via ZOOM on the third Friday of each month. Contact j.mcleod-rogers@uwinnipeg.ca for further info.

She is scheduled to  present parts of her paper on Friday May 21 (12 noon CST): («Susanne Langer, Marshall McLuhan and Media Ecology: Feminist principles in humanist projects,» to be published in upcoming EME, special issue on Media Ecology and Feminisms). Her talk for the Circle is tentatively called: «Susanne Langer and Marshall McLuhan: Understanding Art and Language» 

Register for the Susan Langer Circle here: https://langercircle.sites.uu.nl/

Call For Papers: 21st Annual Gatherings in Biosemiotics

The Gatherings in Biosemiotics is the annual meeting for the study of sign processes in life processes. Researchers interested in the intersection of meaning-making and biology are the backbone of our interdisciplinary undertaking, and we welcome thoughtful submissions from scholars in any discipline relevant to a deeper understanding of the role of signs in life. Abstracts due June 1, 2021. More info can be found here: https://www.biosemiotics.org/2021-gatherings/

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

The Arts and Play as Educational Media in the Digital Age

Peter Lang’s «Understanding Media Ecology» series most recent release is The Arts and Play as Educational Media in the Digital Age by Robert Albrecht and Carmine Tabone. The digital revolution we are now entering as educators is an unchartered sea pregnant with wondrous possibilities but laden with a minefield of unforeseen consequences. A pedagogy that overlooks or downplays the disruptive and often dangerous influence of digital media on childhood development is necessarily a very shortsighted one.

More than just highlighting our misgivings about digital media, however, this book has a purpose far more ambitious and infinitely more useful. Based upon 45 years of work with young people in Jersey City classrooms, day camps, housing projects, libraries, church basements and community centers, the authors propose a pedagogical strategy that uses hands-on experiences in the arts as a strategy to offset and counterbalance the dominance of digital media in the lives of children.

Rather than call for the elimination of digital media—clearly an impossibility even if it were desirable—the authors maintain that children need to be exposed to non-digital, non-electronic experiences that cultivate alternative ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world. In sum, the book does not call for an end to the digital, but outlines ways in which the arts and creative forms of play help to establish a balance in the education and socialization of children as we enter more deeply into the Digital Age.

For more information and purchasing options, please visit the book’s page on Peter Lang’s 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 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.

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