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ENGL BC3223 New York in Ten Objects. 4 points.

"New York in Ten Objects" introduces students to the creative possibilities of the podcast. Drawing on the possibilities of interdisciplinary analysis and creative non-fiction, this course will equip students with a new storytelling medium that critically engages the city in which they live. The goal is to render ordinary topics extraordinary.

The starting points for our investigation are ten objects -- some iconic, some ironic, but all characteristic of New York City. Beginning with these quotidian objects, students will develop projects, in small groups and individually, that connect these objects with a broader societal movement, cultural idea, political cause, or scientific development significant to past or present New York City life. 

To prepare students to develop their projects in an audio medium, we will first become familiar with a broad range of current podcasts, and will begin to break down the elements of podcast-storytelling as practiced today. Through workshops with IMATS in a weekly lab session, staged writing assignments and hands-on experience, students will learn how to collect audio interviews and ambient sound, to record voice-over narration, and to select and use musical and other sound snippets available on sound banks. Every student will storyboard their ideas, develop scripts, and produce a podcast by layering and editing their audio files. 

In the end, this course will investigate how the popular medium of the podcast can serve as a locus of local conversation and public intellectual activity.   Students will discover the community in which they live in profound and intellectually rigorous new ways by learning how ordinary objects can breathe life into a story, and how audio stories can advance critical analysis.

Applications are due by 1 May: Please note that this seminar is limited to 14 students. After receiving admittance into the course, you MUST come to the first class to secure your seat. You should hear about your admission in time to add the course to your program during the summer.