Sound Poetics x Sound Politics

Spring 2018
Lauren Neefe
ENGL 1102
Building on the multimedia strategies of composition and process students begin to develop in ENGL 1101, this course in multimedia rhetoric examines the influence of sound on experiences of belonging and access in the spaces we occupy and travel through, from the immediate environs of Georgia Tech to public spaces and sites of development throughout Atlanta.  An initial unit builds a vocabulary for recognizing and analyzing sounds in what R. Murray Schafer called a “soundscape.” It calls attention to Western cultural mythologies of hearing and listening, silence and deafness. A second unit uses the critical controversies surrounding the Romantic lyric poem and its legacy to examine the sonic qualities of poetry as well as the historical and political context of the soundscapes represented in them. If we think of a poem as a place, what are the political stakes of sound and voice in defining that space? Who belongs in a place and who doesn’t? Modeled in part on the Ivan Allen College Building Memories podcast, a final project will involve researching questions of equity and access in site-specific soundscapes around Georgia Tech and Atlanta, among them the Living Building newly under construction. Divided into small teams, the class will pitch, storyboard, and produce podcasts about the sites and sounds they research and investigate.
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