EME CoverExplorations in Media Ecology

Editor-in-Chief: Ernest A. Hakanen

Invited Special Issue:
“Gender and Media Ecology”

Guest Editors:

Julia M. Hildebrand, Eckerd College
Julia C. Richmond, Rowan University

Call for Papers:

We welcome contributions for an invited Special Issue on “Gender and Media Ecology” to be published in Explorations in Media Ecology, https://www.intellectbooks.com/explorations-in-media-ecology.

This special issue seeks research contributions that explore the intersections of gender and media ecology. Studying media as environments and environments as media, media ecology explores how human-made artefacts shape the way we think, feel, and act (Postman, 1970, 1995). Hence, the term “media” includes any technology from the printed book, telephone, television, and the Internet, to clothing, architecture, and vehicles. Such media can be understood as extensions of human faculties (McLuhan, 1964), which inherit certain “biases” and create certain “effects” for the human condition (Strate, 2017). This special issue seeks to advance the “meta-discipline” of media ecology (Nystrom, 1973) with attention to the gendered dimensions of such environments and extensions.

“We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us,” argues Culkin through a media ecological lens (1967: 52). Yet, who is “we” and “us”? Media ecological work has looked into some of the roles gender plays in the philosophies and expressions that go into and come out of various media (see for example Drucker & Gumpert, 1997; Meyrowitz, 1985; Mumford, 1961; Paglia, 1990; Pederson, 2011; Shlain, 1998). The scholarship, however, is limited. This is especially the case for contemporary and emerging concerns in, with, and through various media, from revenge porn to the #MeToo movement along with other manifestations of gender discrimination, subversion, and emancipation.

According to McLuhan, “the hybrid or the meeting of two media is a moment of truth and revelation from which new form is born” (1964: 63). The analytical bridging of media ecology and gender studies can be such a revelatory meeting of two media. Here, we also include related research in feminist theory and feminist technoscience for producing fruitful frictions. What could the resulting subfields of “gendered-media ecology” and “feminist media ecology” contribute to our understanding of media as environments and environments as media?

New research into gender and media ecology is beginning to take form (see for example several recent panels on gender and media ecology at the 2019 National Communication Association Annual Convention and 2020 Media Ecology Association Annual Convention; see also Sharma & Singh, forthcoming). This special issue aims to establish a forum for media ecologists, in which the gendered dimensions of media extensions and environments can be problematized.

Possible topics welcomed in this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Gender and media
  • Gendered environments and technologies
  • Gender and language
  • Gender as figure and/or ground
  • Gender biases and effects
  • Gender and the global village
  • Gender and formal cause
  • Gender and the “laws of media”
  • Gender and medium theory
  • Feminist technoscience and media ecology
  • Feminist readings of media ecology
  • Gender in the media ecology literature
  • Sexuality and media ecology
  • Intersectionality and media ecology

Abstracts (300 words) and a short biographical note should be submitted by August 20 via email to Julia M. Hildebrand hildebjm@eckerd.edu with the subject line “Gender and Media Ecology.”

About the journal Explorations in Media Ecology:

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 a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary publication, EME welcomes contributions embracing diverse theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches to the study of media and processes of mediation.

Important Dates:

  • Abstract submission (300 words): August 20, 2020
  • Manuscript submission: October 15, 2020
  • Notifications: November 30, 2020
  • Final manuscript submission: January 15, 2021
  • Target publication date: May, 2021

Paper Submission Format:

Contributors are asked to submit original papers between 4000-6000 words in the journal’s requested manuscript format. You can find more information about formatting here: https://www.intellectbooks.com/asset/8837/1/NfC_EME_16_1.pdf.

Special Issue Guest Editors:

Dr. Julia M. Hildebrand is Assistant Professor of Communication at Eckerd College. Her research bridges critical media studies, mobilities research, and feminist theory, with a special interest in mobile technologies, visual communication, and human-machine interactions. Her work has been published in such journals as Media, Culture, & Society, Digital Culture & Society, Mobile Media & Communication, Explorations in Media Ecology, and Mobilities. She serves on the Executive Board of the Media Ecology Association.

Dr. Julia C. Richmond is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Relations and Advertising at Rowan University. Her research focuses on the intersection of critical studies, media studies, and feminism. Her work has been published in Communication Theory, ETC: A Review of General Semantics, and Public Relations Review.


Culkin, J. M. (1967, March 18). A schoolman’s guide to Marshall McLuhan. Saturday Review, 51–53, 71-72.
Drucker, S. J., & Gumpert, G. (1997). Voices in the Street: Explorations in Gender, Media, and Public Space. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Meyrowitz, J. (1985). No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mumford, L. (1961). The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.
Nystrom, C. (1973). Towards a Science of Media Ecology: The Formulation of Integrated Conceptual Paradigms for the Study of Human Communication Systems (Doctoral Dissertation). New York University, New York.
Paglia, C. (1990). Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Pederson, V. V. (2011). Sex-Drug Technologies: A Media Ecological Approach to Birth Control and ED Drugs. In R. C. MacDougall (Ed.), Drugs & Media: New Perspectives on Communication, Consumption, and Consciousness (pp. 83–96). Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Postman, N. (1970). The Reformed English Curriculum. In A. C. Eurich (Ed.), High School 1980: The Shape of the Future in American Secondary Education (pp. 160–168). New York: Pitman.
Postman, N. (1995). The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School. New York: Knopf.
Sharma, S., & Singh, R. (forthcoming). MsUnderstanding Media. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Shlain, L. (1998). The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. New York: Viking.
Strate, L. (2017). Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition. New York: Peter Lang.

Download a PDF version of this CFP.

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