Call for Papers

The Twenty-First Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association

“Communication Choices and Challenges”


June 18–21, 2020

Adelphi University, Garden City, New York

Extended Deadline: January 10, 2020

Media Ecology is a discipline whose history, perspectives, and scholarly interests incorporate a broad array of academic and professional disciplines focusing on “the study of complex communication systems as environments“ (Christine Nystrom, 1973). Every year, the MEA convention provides a unique opportunity for academics and professionals to come together in a relaxed and collegial environment that encourages conversation and creativity.

The theme of the 2020 convention is “Communication Choices and Challenges.” In every act of communication, people make choices. We choose where, when, and how to express ourselves or locate and use information. We choose the medium that seems best suited to the task: are we trying to reach the largest possible audience, get the word out quickly, or ensure that our message reaches future generations? Do we wish to convey a deep sense of intimacy, empathy, authority, or cool distance? Are we looking for information from a wide variety of perspectives, confirmation of what we already believe, or the deepest possible exploration of an issue?

Featured speakers at the 2020 convention include Jay Rosen, press critic and author of PressThink.org, What Are Journalists For?, and countless articles and essays on American journalism; and Maryanne Wolf, international advocate for children and literacy and author of Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century, and Dyslexia, Fluency, and the Brain.

We invite all papers, thematic panels, roundtable discussion panels, creative projects, performance sessions, and other proposals of interest to media ecologists. We also encourage submissions that explore the convention theme. For example, we are interested in submissions that address choices and challenges related to

  • the construction of identity and the presentation of self on social media
  • the use of media to establish and/or maintain relationships (among individuals, in families, between political leaders and their constituents, in between celebrities and fans, etc.)
  • representation and storytelling by producers of news and entertainment
  • promotional and strategic communication—the choices involved in designing strategic messaging, as well as the impact on audience attitudes, decisions, and behaviors
  • the erosion or illusion of choice due to the concentration of media ownership
  • the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which will take place just months after the convention

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION: Please submit paper and panel proposals, in English, by January 10, 2020 to MEA2020Convention@gmail.com. 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).

For the 2020 Annual Convention, the Media Ecology Association will award a limited number of competitive travel grants to graduate students towards attendance at the Annual Convention at Adelphi University. Travel grant applications will be due after acceptance notifications. More information about the application process will follow soon.

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 15, 2020.

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).

INFORMATION: Please direct questions to Peggy Cassidy, MEA2020Convention@gmail.com.

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