Bridging ecojustice and media education


A Multicultural Approach to Media Literacy in the 21st Century

Bridging media literacy with ecoliteracy, Mediacology seeks to redefine media education so that it harmonizes with ecological design principles.

Mediacology proposes a design-for-pattern approach called “Media Permaculture,” which restructures media literacy to be in sync with new media practices connected with sustainability and the perceptual functions of the right brain hemisphere. In the same way that permaculture approaches gardening by establishing the natural parameters of its ecological niche, Media Permaculture explores the individual’s “mediacological niche” in the context of knowledge communities. By applying bioregional thinking to the symbolic order, Media Permaculture redresses the standard one-size-fits-all literacy model by taking into account diverse cognitive strategies and emerging convergence media practices.

Drawing on his extensive experience as a grassroots mediamaker and time spent teaching media at Native American schools, Antonio Lopez applies a practical knowledge of alternative media, crosscultural communication and ecology to build a meaningful theory of media education.

Peter Lang Publishing, 2008

Chapter summaries


“Antonio Lopez is devoted to opening the minds of young people to the perils and possibilities of our multimedia world. His work on media permaculture, influenced equally by Native American concepts and Marshall McLuhan, opens up the holistic and pedagogical possibilities of the new peer-to-peer networks that are transforming culture and society.”

Erik Davis, author of The Visionary State and Techgnosis

“As a fellow happy mutant, Antonio Lopez offers DIY expertise for understanding media education.”

Mark Frauenfelder, co-founder and co-editor of

“Media literacy’s role, according to Lopez, is to bring together all aspects of media. Rather than equipping students to do battle with media, Lopez wants teachers to help their students make the stories cohere, to help their students participate actively in new media communities, and to aid in the creation of new media. The “mediacologist” uses the Hopi symbol of the cross within the wheel as a talisman to bring together the logical, linear with the holistic and integrative. Antonio Lopez dares educators to think differently about media literacy. This book provides us with the theoretical foundation to begin the journey.”

Teacher College of Record

“López’s rich writing draws on indigenous and philosophical ways of thinking and knowing. Drawing on Gregory Bateson, he argues we are both human individuals, and part of the environments in which we live. This view of media literacy education is one of relationship and process. I recommend this book to anyone teaching media literacy-related courses at the undergraduate or graduate level.”

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

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