Originally published June 2, 2013

Grand Valley State University will play host to the Media Ecology Association’s 14th annual international convention June 20 through June 23.

Sponsored by the School of Communications, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Provost’s Office, the conference is meant to stimulate conversation and raise awareness about the effects of media on human life — on religion, politics, gender and more.

“In some ways, it’s more a study of the evolution of human consciousness and the possibilities of human relations,” said communications professor and convention co-planner Corey Anton. He added that the convention will consider the contributions of clocks, cell phones and all types of technology that “have shaped how humanity has become what it is today.”

The convention will feature panels, papers and various projects that highlight current research and academic thought in the field of media ecology. With an “unplugged” theme, it broadens the concept of media to include literacy, transportation, robots, neuroscience and more.

“It’s more than studying the media,” Anton said. “We’re really interested in environments as media and media as environments.”

While the convention contributes to a wide spectrum of specific academic fields, it also illuminates the general concept of human life.

“It’s important because there are few areas of study that give us a better understanding of what it means to be human — what are the possibilities, obstacles and opportunities — than to understand the various technologies and the environments that affect us,” Anton said.

It has taken GVSU years to win the competitive bid to host the convention. Anton said the university submitted a proposal to host many years ago, but the president of the organization did not think the Allendale campus was a good fit for the conference. The downtown campus ended up making the sale.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Amway Hotel in Grand Rapids. Students are invited to attend all sessions except the brunch for free. To register or receive information on the Media Ecology Association, visit http://www.media-ecology.org.


Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2013/06/international-media-convention-to-visit-gv