An Update for Our Readers

Dear Reader, You may have noticed a slow-down in the essays, poems, and reviews that we normally offer here at Second Nature over the past several months. For those of you who looked forward to our material, I am sorry to have disappointed you. For those of you who submitted content for publication, I am […]

Media Ecology in Music

Being privy to the effects of technology on culture is all the rage these days. Whether you’re Childish Gambino writing an entire album entitled “Because the Internet” or whether your a bluegrass group eccentrically weaving the themes of worship and wireless together, if you want the ear of the modern public you better have something […]

McLuhan Reconsidered by LA Review of Books

How to Become a Famous Media Scholar: The Case of Marshall McLuhan Following the link, you’ll find an article by Jefferson Pooley for the L.A. Review of Books. The title, you may have noticed, is a bit sardonic. And reading the rest of the article will convince you, the author clearly has his issues with […]

RIP Leonard Cohen

Rest in piece, Leonard Cohen. See these two eulogies: Leonard Cohen, the Christ-Haunted – Joe Heschmeyer My Friend Leonard Cohen: Darkness and Praise – Leon Wieseltier

Media Literacy Books of the Near Future

Classic media literacy books, re-imagined for the near future in which they will be necessary:   1. The Emojis of Style   2. How to Read a Blog   3. Why Johnny Can’t Tweet

Amish is the new counter-culture

Ross Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times, published a short article pushing a “technology-driven hypothesis” for the apparent decline in youth of various immoral behaviors over the past few decades. The basic idea is extremely simple. Instead of studying how digital media “affect” our values and rituals, we should pay attention to how they […]

Film and History Association Conference Call for Papers!

The Film and History Association Conference has dedicated four special sessions to the Media Ecology Association! They’ve called for papers and proposals from anyone who has something to add to these four conversations: Media, Iconology, and Celebrity on Screen – Cinema and the Shaping of Popular Culture Gods “For over a century, the film industry […]

Presence in the Modern World by Jacques Ellul–A New Translation!

Jacques Ellul’s classic book on the Christian’s role in a technologically mediated society just got a fresh translation, the first in over 50 years. And let me just say, the new cover is so cute, so modern. It hits the hipster aesthetic nail on its bearded, ray-bans wearing head. This book will look great on your coffee table or bookshelf as […]

Three Lessons from Father Daniel J. Berrigan

At least for my generation (Millennials), “the 70’s” means sex, drugs, and bad hair, and “the 80’s” means sex on TV, good music, and the decade my thrift-store clothes are from. What doesn’t come to mind is “penniless, powerful” or “defiant priest.” And yet, anyone familiar with the pacifist resistance movements in those years will […]

For Whom is the Meeting the Message?

Just a couple weeks ago, the grand imam of a major Sunni University, Ahmad el-Tayeb, met Pope Francis at the Vatican for a peaceful conversation. The pope sat facing the grand imam beside his desk instead of with the desk between them as a gesture of equality. More awkward than fraternal, if you ask me–unless […]

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