Media Marathoning at NCA

My family and I are heading to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to attend the National Communication Association’s annual conference. I am excited to return to the conference circuit after a one-year hiatus. I spent the previous academic year writing the first two-thirds of the media marathoning manuscript–and gestating a baby. This year is one of debuts: I look forward to presenting two new media marathoning chapters and introducing friends to new baby Rosaleen.

NCA logo

The first presentation is titled “Media Marathoning: The Future of Media Consumption and Media Studies.” The presentation takes place on Thursday, November 21st from 11-12:15 in the Omni Shoreham Hampton Room. Nazareth student Rachel Montpelier coded marathoner discourse and wrote up the findings with me last spring. The paper has since been revised dramatically, but the key ideas serve as the basis for my media marathoning introduction. We cover three synergistic variables that have collectively fueled the marathoning trend: new content delivery technologies, active audience behaviors, and media content that is increasingly dense and thought-provoking. We position content delivery technologies as the catalyst for the latter two changes: just as the written word allowed easier transmission and greater scrutiny of ideas, convenient, user-directed content delivery technologies have promoted both agentic media consumption practices and complex texts.

The second presentation is titled “Immersions in Emotion: Affective Components of Media Marathoning.” It takes place on Friday, November 22nd from 8-9:15 (that’s a.m.) in the Omni Shoreham Diplomat Ballroom. Amanda Davis Gatchet and I will be addressing the strong emotional bonds many marathoners formed with their stories, characters, and marathon experiences. We don’t just miss the characters, we miss the media ritual.

Speaking of missing “characters” and media rituals, I miss seeing my graduate school friends. NCA is a great time to catch up with the friends whose Hobbit Day sparked my interest in this research. I look forward to seeing some blog readers–both old friends and new faces–in D.C.

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