Featured Speakers | Paper Awards | Pre-Convention IGS Event | Program | Travel Info | Registration
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.
Michael Schudson is a Professor of Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He 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 Film, Recycled 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.
Kipp Bradford is an inventor, entrepreneur, technology consultant, educator, author of Distributed Network Data (Hardware Hacking for Data Scientists), with Alasdair Allan, and the founder or cofounder of start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices. Bradford is a major proponent of DIY culture and the Maker Movement.
Every year at its annual convention, the MEA announces its awards. Authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award were instructed to indicate this on their submission(s). Authors must send the completed manuscript (see guidelines below) to the convention planners at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 28, 2023.
Submission guidelines for manuscripts for authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award:
The Institute of General Semantics — one of our affiliate organizations and co-sponsors — is holding an in-person seminar on general semantics and related non-aristotelian systems from Monday, June 19 to Wednesday, June 21 at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus — i.e., right before the MEA convention! The 3-day intensive course will include lecture, discussion, and exercises designed to provide participants with a thorough grounding in the discipline and its applications. Those planning to attend the MEA’s convention are encouraged to attend, as the MEA convention will include several sessions sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics. There is a $100 fee for IGS members, $150 for non-members. The seminar will be taught by Mary Lahman, Corey Anton, Mike Plugh, and Lance Strate. For more information and to register, click here.
Our convention program is now available in PDF form:
Note: this program is subject to minor updates. For the latest version, please check this page, which will always contain the most-recent information.
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 will award a limited number of competitive travel grants to students towards attendance at this year’s convention.
Click here to apply. Applications due by April 1, 2023.
Early registration prices are as follows:
Early registration prices are good until May 22, 2023. After that, regular member and student member registration costs will increase to $125 and $45, respectively. In order to ensure they’ll be included in the program, presenters should register by April 30.
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.
Convention registration entitles you to attend all convention panels, plenaries, and extra sessions including a conversation with T.C. McLuhan and a special show on Friday evening by mentalist and media ecologist Marc Salem (aka Moshe Botwinick; New York Times profile).
Sustaining and Institutional members don’t have to pay for the convention, but they still must register for it above.
All convention participants and attendees are encouraged to join the MEA.
Please email the convention planners at MEA2023Convention@gmail.com if you have any questions and stay tuned for more!