This course has two aims. The first is to teach the necessary skills (including interview technique, field recording, editing, and scoring) to make broadcast-worthy audio nonfiction. The second is to use this process to investigate fundamental aspects of narrative. How does a story build a contract with listeners? What’s the role of the narrator? How can one appropriately speak for (and sometimes against) another person? This is not a course in journalism, but rather an experiment in documentary cinema for the ear. We’ll do some reading in radio history and technique, and will listen to exemplary works (including episodes of This American Life, RadioLab, Love & Radio, and Serial), but most of our time–and this is a time-consuming course–will be spent making and critiquing each other’s pieces. Students will produce five or six pieces total, at least two of which must develop out of interviews with strangers.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: five short audio pieces; attendance and active participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: sophomores; English majors; students with radio or studio art training
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: FMST Core Courses