From War of the Worlds to Welcome to Night Vale

The course will focus on the rise of the modern fictional podcast from its roots in Golden Age radio drama. Students will listen and respond to several vintage radio dramas and modern fictional podcasts. Students will prepare a handful of sonic adaptations and write/produce several original podcasts, as well as one video. The course will also consider other forms of multimedia composition, including graphic narrative and video game storytelling.

BLOG: A relevant essay/article, podcast, or video (or combination of all three) will be regularly assigned and posted on the class blog. Students MUST post reactions (minimum 250 words) to the assigned reading/listening/viewing. Students are encouraged to additionally respond to other student reactions. 

WORKSHOP: Students will workshop podcast narratives/scripts prior to production.

PRODUCTION: Students will work on two main podcast productions (a "sound story" and an "ear movie"), as well as a final video essay (rising from either of the podcasts) during/outside of class.

IN-CLASS INDUSTRY VISITS/PERFORMANCES  The course we'll be punctuated by a series of digital/in-person visits by relevant industry professionals (see "Visit" page for likely guests), as well as in-class (and extracurricular) performances of classic radio dramas (incl. Lucille Fletcher's Sorry, Wrong Number and The Hitchhiker) by Raconteur Radio.

INSIDE THE WRITERS HOUSE: Sessions meet in the Plangere Culture Lab, Murray Hall 302, and occur at a variety of times. Students must attend a minimum of THREE sessions (TWO sessions are included during your regular class session; that means you must seek out a third session convenient to your schedule). Additional attendance will serve as extra credit. Each guest assigns a writing prompt, to get full credit for the session, you must post both a 250 word "review" of the session (i.e. what you thought of the guest/work, and your takeaway) and a creative response to the prompt. Both the review and the prompt response are to be posted on the home page under the appropriate heading. (It'll be obvious in that it'll say "Inside the Writers House" followed by the date and name of the guest; headings will appear day of.) Click heading for more info.

LISTENING: Students will listen to a variety of professionally produced (and student-created) podcasts during/outside class. Professional podcasts are likely to include: Welcome to Night Vale, Tanis, Lore, Limetown, Serial, Snap Judgement, The Moth, The Truth, The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bernie's Bontanarium, Homecoming, Black Tapes, Alice Isn't Dead, and Orbiting Human Circus.


This course addresses the following SAS Common Core Curriculum Goals:

AH r: “Students will engage critically in the process of creative expression.” 

ITR y: “Employ current technologies to access information, to conduct research, and to
communicate findings.”

Note: This class operates as a “Mac shop” - meaning that the programs and equipment that will be covered will be Apple brand.  The skills that are obtained in the course are transferrable to a PC environment.  All of the equipment for the course will be provided through Writers House and the Plangere Culture Lab. 

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