This course addresses the construction of identity through emerging media by drawing on key concepts in feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and disability studies. To engage these concepts, we focus on the notion of “the voice” as a sociopolitical construct and we analyze examples of aural media: radio, podcasts, music, and spoken word performance. Class activities and assignments will help us reflect on listening and speaking as practices of social negotiation: who gets to speak; how one is or is not heard; how institutions curtail access to representation; etc.
- Analyze the strategies by which media shapes perceptions of the self and others.
- Synthesize complex theories about the intersections of social identities in clear language.
- Develop communication skills by writing for different audiences.
- Build communities of shared interests and create media that engages broader publics.
- A computer with medium-speed internet connection
- A voice recorder (e.g. smartphone) and headphones.
- All required readings and listening materials linked below.
- Reading: Carla Kaplan, “Identity,” from Keywords for American Cultural Studies
- Reading: Amanda Weidman, “Voice,” from Keywords in Sound
- Listening: Another Round, “Sister Girl Bonds (with Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw)”
Part I: Voices
- Reading: E. Glasberg, Sarah Kessler, Taylor Black, and Mairead Sullivan, “The Butch Throat”
- Reading: Andrew Anastasia, “Trans Voice”
- Listening: Switched on Pop, “All About Those Baseline Assumptions about Femini$m in Pop“
Short Exercise #1
- Reading: Jennifer Stoever, “The Sonic Color Line and the Listening Ear”
- Reading: Lauren Michele Jackson, “The Messy Politics of Black Voices—and ‘Black Voice’—in American Animation”
- Listening: The Vocal Fries, “Beyoncé, Hoodies, and Obama Linguistics”
- Reading: A. Aneesh, “Neutral Accent”
- Listening: Code Switch, “Talk American”
- Listening: Jamila Lyiscott, “3 Ways to Speak English“
Short Exercise #2
- Reading: Pooja Rangan, “Autistic Counterdiscourses of the Voice”
- Listening: Phantom Power, “Test Subjects (Mara Mills)”
Week 7: Section Review #1
Part II: Collectivities
- Reading: Melissa Aronczyk, “Nation,” from Keywords for Media Studies
- Reading: Frantz Fanon, “This is the Voice of Algeria”
- Listening: On the Media, “Voice of America”
- Reading: Bruce Robbins, “Public,” from Keywords for American Cultural Studies
- Reading: Sarah Florini, “The Podcast “Chitlin’ Circuit”: Black Podcasters, Alternative Media, and Audio Enclaves“
- Listening: Radio Survivor, “Archiving LGBTQ Radio History”
- Listening: Code Switch, “Hold Up! Time for an Explanatory Comma”
Short Exercise #3
- Reading: Carlos Jiménez, “The Rise of an Indigenous-Language Low-Power Radio Station in Southern California”
- Listening: Latino USA, “Kichwa Hatari”
- Reading: Hilde Haualand, “Sound and Belonging: What Is a Community?”
- Reading: Kim Bellware, “Deaf Music Fans Are Finally Starting To Be Heard”
- Listening: 99% Invisible, “DeafSpace”
Short Exercise #4
Week 12: Section Review #2
Week 13-14: Final Project