ISSN: 15397785
Online ISSN: 20480717
First published in 2002
4 issues per volume
Current Issue:
Volume 13 / Issue 1
Call for Papers

Download the EME Notes for Contributors

Explorations in Media Ecology
, the journal of the Media Ecology Association, is a peer-reviewed international journal dedicated to extending our understanding of media and media environments and of the relationship between symbols, culture and technology at the individual, social and institutional levels, from the local to the global. EME seeks contributions embracing diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of media environments, including communication, philosophy, history, art, music, literature, psychology, sociology, anthropology, politics, economics and natural sciences, as well as applied, professional and pedagogical perspectives. In addition to scholarly articles, EME publishes essays, commentaries, and critical examinations relevant to media ecology as a field of study and practice. EME welcomes submissions focusing on teaching strategies and resources, pedagogical concerns, and issues relating to media ecology education. EME publishes reviews of books and other materials, such as audio and video recordings, computer software, and Internet resources.

EME’s interest in media includes the traditional mass media; the various forms of new media and social media; interpersonal media such as the telephone; communication technologies such as the printing press, the alphabet, and other writing systems; human media such as speech, memory, and the body; codes, symbol systems, and symbolic form, including language, images, and other types of art; modes of communication such as dialogue and public address; contexts and situations such as the classroom, libraries and museums, and public space; other forms of technology including technologies of transportation, architecture, and power and production; techniques such as the assembly line, statistics, and systems of classification; and the general concepts of media, communication, symbol, information, and technology.

EME is interested in exploring any aspect of this expanded concept of media in isolation, as well as interactions within a media environment. EME is concerned with the relationship between media in all of its varieties and the human person, human affairs, and human history, and with communication, consciousness, and culture. EME encompasses the relationships, interaction, structure, and grammar of media and media environments, and the ways in which they influence and are influenced by thought, feeling, behaviour, social organization, and cultural continuity.

EME was launched in 2002, its name reflective of the journal Explorations, which Marshall McLuhan and anthropologist Ted Carpenter founded in the early 1950s at the University of Toronto as an outgrowth of the work of a group of scholars engaged in a series of Culture and Communication seminars. As the editor’s statement read, Explorations embodied a multidisciplinary approach to communication studies, “designed, not as a permanent reference journal that embalms truth for posterity, but as a publication that explores and searches and questions. We envisage a series that will cut across the humanities and social sciences by treating them as a continuum. We believe anthropology and communication are approaches, not bodies of data, and that within each the four winds of humanities, the physical, the biological and the social sciences intermingle . . . .”

EME grew from a nucleus of scholars who founded the media ecology graduate program at New York University in the 1970s and a new generation of scholars. Media ecology perspectives revolve around key texts that explore the impact of technology on culture as media environments, including the works of Harold Innis, McLuhan, Neil Postman, Walter Ong, James Carey, Lewis Mumford, Jacques Ellul, Elizabeth Eistenstein, Eric Havelock, Edmund Carpenter, Jack Goody, Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Robert K. Logan, Joshua Meyrowitz, Walter Benjamin, Daniel Boorstin, Susan Suntag, Gary Gumpert, Tony Schwartz, Regis Debray, David Altheide, Jay David Bolter, Paul Levinson and Christine Nystrom, among others.

Defining media ecology, Postman wrote: “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. The word ecology implies the study of environments: their structure, content, and impact on people. An environment is, after all, a complex message system which imposes on human beings certain ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.”

Nystrom contextualized media ecology as a “metadiscipline” responding to “an era of change, of change unprecedented in its scope, its pace, and its potential for violent effects on the fabric of civilization.” Defining media ecology “as the study of complex communication systems as environments,” Nystrom wrote, “Media ecologists know, generally, what it is they are interested in—the interactions of communications media, technology, technique, and processes with human feeling, thought, value, and behavior—and they know, too, the kinds of questions about those interactions they are concerned to ask.”

The founding editor of EME, Lance Strate defined media ecology inclusively as “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. Media ecology is the Toronto School, and the New York School. It is technological determinism, hard and soft, and technological evolution. It is media logic, medium theory, mediology. It is McLuhan Studies, orality-literacy studies, American cultural studies. It is grammar and rhetoric, semiotics and systems theory, the history and the philosophy of technology. It is the postindustrial and the postmodern, and the preliterate and prehistoric.”

It is within and outside of these expanded borders of the territories where media, technologies, consciousness, symbols and cultures collide that EME explores, seeking contributions in these topic areas, among others:

• Media effects
• Media environments
• Media cultures
• Communication history
• Orality and literacy
• Memory and mnemonics
• Writing systems and scribal cultures
• Typography and print culture
• Graphic revolution and image culture
• Audiovisual media
• Secondary orality
• Electronic media
• Information theory, Cybernetics and Systems Theory
• Information technologies and telecommunications
• Surveillance technologies
• Digital media and computer technology
• Convergence
• New Media, Participatory Media, and Social media
• Mobile technologies
• Technology and culture
• Technological society and technopoly
• General semantics and linguistic relativism
• Symbolic interaction and relational communication
• Art and perception
• Media literacy
• Media and nature
• Spiritual and religious communication
• Rhetoric, Grammar, and Dialectic
• Communication theory
• Critical/cultural studies
• Postmodernism and poststructuralism
• Global media
• Music and sound
• Urban media
• Phenomenology
• Journalism and news media
• Cyberspace and virtual reality
• Freedom of expression
• Bodies and technologies
• Politics and media
• Literature and media
• Education and media

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