The 15th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association, Ryerson University, Toronto, 2014
Confronting Technopoly: Creativity & the Creative Industries in Global Perspective
June 19-22, 2014 – Ryerson University – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Convention Coordinator: Phil Rose (dr.philrose[at]gmail.com)
The ‘Toronto School of Communication’ represents one of media ecology’s main developmental pillars. And, in 2014, Ryerson University will host our 15th Annual Convention – the first to be held in the city of Toronto. The relationship between Marshall McLuhan and the former ‘Ryerson Institute of Technology’ began in the early 1950s, and the latter was later to provide the venue where McLuhan accomplished much of the work for his “Project in Understanding New Media” (1960). Completed for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, this work later formed the basis for his internationally renowned book Understanding Media (1964). A text in which McLuhan articulates his sense of the socio-cultural role that creativity and ‘integral awareness’ must play for future human survival, the 50th anniversary of its first publication coincides with our convention.
Neil Postman’s neologism ‘Technopoly’ – roughly what Jacques Ellul calls ‘La Technique’ and what McLuhan refers to as ‘technological trauma’ – is a rich concept. Denoting the digital age cultural conditions characterised by elements such as scientific management, scientism, information overload, and other forms of socio-technical conflict, it also includes the contemporary moral crisis associated with ‘autonomous technology’, corporatism, Pentagon capitalism, totalitarian technocracy, and American global hegemony. “Nature and history seem to have agreed to designate us in Canada for a corporate, artistic role,” McLuhan wrote in the late 1970s”. As the U.S.A. becomes a world environment through its resources, technology, and enterprises, Canada takes on the function of making that world environment perceptible to those who occupy it”. In the Canadian spirit, then, let us collectively probe the phenomenon of Technopoly in relation to any topics, but with particular interest in how creativity and the cultural or creative industries might evolve in relation to it, and possibly serve to neutralise its toxic effects. Though priority will be given to submissions that touch upon or reflect the conference theme, all abstracts for papers, panel proposal submissions, etc. that address media ecological topics are welcome. Authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper awards should submit manuscripts indicating the award they are applying for.
The convention site is located in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core, and those visiting us from afar may also appreciate paying a visit to the nearby Niagara Falls at the Canada/U.S. border – an environment inscribed by some as one of the ‘seven wonders of the world’.
Guidelines for Submission (Submission Deadline: November 1, 2013)
For Manuscripts: (for MEA award submissions)
1. Manuscripts should be 4,000-6,000 words (15 to 25 double-spaced pages)
2. Include cover page with academic/professional affiliation and other contact information.
3. Include a 150-word abstract, with the title. Use APA, MLA or Chicago style.
For Paper and Panel Proposals:
1. Include title, 250 words abstract, and contact information with your proposal.
2. Outline, as relevant, how your paper or panel will fit with the convention theme.
American citizens do not require a Canadian Visa, however some nationalities do and anyone requiring a visa should check the following for information about obtaining one for visitation purposes: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
About Ryerson University: http://www.ryerson.ca/about/
For more on the Media Ecology Association, visit the website: http://www.media-ecology.org/
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