Commonwealth University-Mansfield Faculty Member Wins Award

MANSFIELD, PA – Commonwealth University-Mansfield Department of Media and Journalism faculty member Andrew Longcore has been named the Media Ecology Association’s 2022 winner of the Harold A. Innis Award for Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation in Media Ecology.

Longcore’s dissertation, “Camping Out in the Uncanny Valley: Symbolic Inversion in Animated Sitcoms,” offers a camp reading of five animated sitcoms from three sets of primary auteurs – Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad!), Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Futurama), and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park). This study focuses on the animated sitcom genre as an ecology of media, exploring the ways in which cartoon characters performatively re-configure social stereotypes and cultural conventions to challenge their underlying assumptions.

“I am truly honored to accept the 2022 Harold A. Innis Award for Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation in the Field of Media Ecology,” Longcore said. “I would be remiss if I neglected to thank my mom, my dad, and my sister, who encouraged me to embrace who I am and explore my passions, explaining to friends and family that, yes, Andy watches reruns of Family Guy and The Simpsons for a living.”

“I would also like to thank Dr. Zachary Stiegler – my dissertation advisor, media ecology mentor, and ‘academic homeboy’ who welcomed me into the fold at my first MEA conference in 2014 and sparked a now life-long obsession with McLuhan, Postman, Innis, and the rest of the giants upon whose scholarly shoulders I now stand,” added Longcore.

The Media Ecology Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the study, research, criticism, and application of media ecology in educational, industry, political, civic, social, cultural, and artistic contexts.

Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival.

The Innis award is open to any master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation completed for a degree granted in 2019 or later on any topic related to media ecology.