Their conferences fall somewhere between a traditional academic conference and a DisinfoCon. And, best of all, they're open to papers and presentations from anyone. My favorites of the past few years were one by Lian Amaris on the World of Warcraft funeral raid, and Corey Anton on the Tao and media.
I just received the call for submissions for the next conference, and I encourage anyone with interesting ideas about any aspect of media to make a submission. This isn't one of those stodgy academic groups, so you don't have to present in any officially recognized format. Just tell them what you want to talk about, or do. I can promise you'll have an audience of smart, weird, and friendly people giving feedback you can use. In the flesh.
Call for papers Media Ecology Association 2009 Annual Convention June 18-21, 2009 Saint Louis University St. Louis, Missouri
"Ecology" a word derived from the Greek words meaning "household knowledge." For the 2009 MEA convention, we seek papers on any aspect of media ecology. Special interest in the places and spaces of media interactions: Silicon Valley or St. Louis; screen, studio, library, or street. Does place matter? Local systems, larger systems, and changing relationships in the ecology of media. The role(s) of media in different ecological systems. The changing geography of media: Why do some forms emerge and others recede? The ethics of (not) setting boundaries. Living in information systems: Are we the center, the web, the flaneur? What is the I in the culture of iPods, iPhones, and iGames? Because the 2009 MEA Convention will meet at Saint Louis University, where Walter J. Ong was a faculty member, papers on any aspect of his work are especially welcome. Papers and session proposals should be sent by January 15 to Prof. Sara van den Berg, Dept. of English, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63108-3414. Electronic submissions (preferred) to email@example.com. All submissions will be acknowledged.
This meeting will be sponsored by the Walter J. Ong Center for Language and Culture, the Department of English, and the Department of Communication at Saint Louis University. This conference will feature special exhibits and tours of the Walter J. Ong Archives and a reception at the Pius XII Library. Housing (single rooms/private bath) will be available at Reinert Hall ($44/night) or the Water Tower Inn ($85/night).
Winner of the Media Ecology Association's first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other's values. He is technology and media commentator for CNN, and has taught and lectured around the world about media, technology, culture and economics. His new book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, a followup to his Frontline documentary, Digital Nation. His last book, an analysis of the corporate spectacle called Life Inc., was also made into a short, award-winning film.