In thinking of the ways media studies can impact our awareness of environmental concerns, I have frequently sought to combine ecocritical explorations of the media with studies of audiences. As part of this orientation, I edited a special issue of Intellect’s Interactions: Studies in Communications and Culture. The scope of the issue draws from both reception theory and ecocritical media studies, and combines these with advances in ecophilosophy and media ecology.
Reception practices are very much implicit in much of the work of media ecologists as well as environmental humanities scholars, but even as we formulate complex understandings of how theory can become material (a key preoccupation of strands of media ecology), we need to get a better understanding of the different forms of impact the media have on their viewing publics. This is not intended as a call for simplification of theoretical advances, but as a means to ensure a place for thorough studies of audience understandings and appropriations of environmental messages in the media. Thus, while it is clear that audiences in general have been a central concern for ecomedia scholars, the cognitive and socio-political processes of reception are still not thoroughly understood. Thus, it is necessary to consolidate these brief observations into more systematic approaches to studying both hypothetical and actual audience responses to environmental communications, a concern this issue aims to address.
- Interactions: Studies in Communications and Cultures (Intellect)
- Volume 4 Issue 2
- Ecocinema Audiences
- Guest editor: Pietari Kääpä (University of Stirling)