Accepting Nominations for the 2015 McGannon Book Award

Each year, the McGannon Center presents the Donald McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communications Technology Research to the most notable book addressing issues of communications policy published during the previous year. The Center recognizes the winning entry with a $2,000 prize.

Nominations for the 2015 Award currently are being accepted. Please note that last year we changed the focus of the award to book-length research published in 2015 that addresses or informs the social justice and/or ethical dimensions of communication technology, broadly defined. Authors of the winning book will be awarded $2,000 and receive a plaque commemorating the award.

Nominations should consist of a cover letter briefly summarizing the book’s research focus and findings, along with four copies of the book. Self-nominations are welcome, as are submissions from early career researchers and scholars from diverse backgrounds. Edited volumes are not eligible for consideration. Deadline for consideration is March 1, 2016.


McGannon Book Award
Faculty Memorial Hall 430
Fordham University
441 E. Fordham Rd.
Bronx , NY 10458

For more information and a list of past winners, please see this page.

NOTE: We also welcome suggestions for nominations. If you read a great book this year that you’d like to informally nominate, please email us with the author and title and we’ll take it from there.

Announcing the 2014 McGannon Book Award Winners

war on learning - Elizabeth Losh low power

We are very excited to announce the co-winners of our 2014 McGannon Book Award, Christina Dunbar-Hester’s Low Power to the People (MIT) and Elizabeth Losh’s The War on Learning (MIT).

Low Power to the People is an ethnographic examination of low-power radio activists, self-proclaimed “geeks” who help to set up small community radio stations around the country, while actively lobbying for FCC reform of radio spectrum allocation. Dunbar-Hester (a former McGannon Visiting Scholar, now a professor at Rutgers/USC Annenberg) does a wonderful job examining media activism critically, presenting a hacker/maker community as a source of hope while acknowledging its limitations (particularly along lines of race and gender). We thought this book was exemplary in its treatment of the social justice implications of technology and looking at media policy from a rarely-explored angle. One reviewer said that Low Power to the People will be a “valuable resource for scholars across a broad array of disciplines, researching a diverse array of technologies and cultures, for years to come.” Another called it a “wonderfully readable, and I think important, book about technology and politics.”

The War on Learning is a balanced and critical discussion of so-called “EduTech,” or the ways that digital technologies such as online courseware and tablets are incorporated into the classroom. Losh, a senior scholar at William & Mary who is deeply involved with the MacArthur-funded Digital Media and Learning Initiative, uses rhetorical criticism to evaluate both dystopian and utopian claims about educational technology. She argues that educational technologies are not neutral, but often actually undermine equality and agency of both educators and students. The review committee found this book to be an important contribution to current debates at both the K-12 and higher educational levels, and appreciated its critical, data-driven perspective. One reviewer wrote, “Losh’s topic is so important, and her conclusions so thoughtful, that I wish all of my colleagues would read this book.”

Congrats to both winners, and thanks to our superlative review committee and last year’s McGannon GA, Camille Tacastacas, for all their hard work.