Defining Media Ecology

This essay was originally written as part of my PhD comprehensive exams. It was written in response to the prompt: "Define Media Ecology." Introduction             The meaning of the phrase “media ecology” will likely depend on the context in which it is used. When the phrase appears in popular discourse, it is often used in a … Continue reading Defining Media Ecology

Video: Marshall Arts – McLuhan and media scholars

The Institute of General Semantics has recently posted videos of presentations given at the 2011 General Semantics Symposium. Included is my presentation: "Marshall Arts: Retrieving McLuhan for Communication Scholars". This was my first conference presentation, and the paper eventually became my first academic publication. The focus of my work has shifted considerably in the time since, but … Continue reading Video: Marshall Arts – McLuhan and media scholars

Urban Media Studies conference in Zagreb, Croatia: post-trip report

On September 24th and 25th, I was on hand for the Urban Media Studies conference, hosted at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Political Science. The conference was organized by members of the ECREA temporary working group on media and the city. It was a thoroughly international event, with participants from across Europe and the … Continue reading Urban Media Studies conference in Zagreb, Croatia: post-trip report

Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Digital Rhetoric: Two views of Remediation

In Remediation: Understanding New Media (1999), Bolter and Grusin present a genealogy of media forms as it relates to current North American media phenomena built around three key terms: immediacy, hypermediacy, and remediation. The authors use the term “remediation” to refer to “the representation of one medium in another” (p. 45). They are primarily interested in … Continue reading Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Digital Rhetoric: Two views of Remediation

Memes, Enthymemes, and the Reproduction of Ideology

In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, biologist Richard Dawkins introduced the word “meme” to refer to a hypothetical unit of cultural transmission. The discussion of the meme concept was contained in a single chapter of a book that was otherwise dedicated to genetic transmission, but the idea spread. Over decades, other authors further developed … Continue reading Memes, Enthymemes, and the Reproduction of Ideology

Secondary Orality and Electric Rhetoric: the ground of sound

In Orality and Literacy, Walter Ong introduces the term secondary orality to characterize the recapitulation of oral communication characteristics in electronic media; thus, the introduction of secondary orality necessitates a definition of primary orality in order to function as a meaningful concept. Ong distinguishes between two categories of cultures: oral cultures existing prior to or … Continue reading Secondary Orality and Electric Rhetoric: the ground of sound

McLuhan and Mad Men

The final episode of acclaimed TV series Mad Men aired this week. I've not seen any of the show (though now that the series is complete it is ripe for binge-watching), but I did appreciate this piece from Stephen Marche at Esquire, analyzing Mad Men through Marshall McLuhan's media theory (spoilers if, like me, you're not … Continue reading McLuhan and Mad Men

Your brain on Kindle; 21st Century media literacy; how Disney shapes youth identity

Radio program New Tech City from WNYC interviewed Mike Rosenwald on his research into the effects of reading from a screen as opposed to print. Article and audio from the interview available here: Neuroscience, in fact, has revealed that humans use different parts of the brain when reading from a piece of paper or from … Continue reading Your brain on Kindle; 21st Century media literacy; how Disney shapes youth identity

Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

I've written about the media ecology tradition, attended the Media Ecology Association's conferences and had an article published in their journal, but up to now Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death are the only primary texts associated with the tradition that I've read. To broaden my knowledge of the tradition … Continue reading Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”