This course has two aims. The first is to provide students with the necessary skills (including interview technique, field recording, editing, and scoring) to make works of broadcast-quality audible nonfiction. Second, we’ll use this process to investigate fundamental aspects of storytelling. How does a piece build a contract with its listener? When does editorial practice shade into lying? And above all: what stories might you want to tell? This is not a course in journalism, but rather an experiment in something like documentary cinema for the ear. We’ll do some reading in cultural history, and will listen to exemplary radio works, including Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds, episodes of This American Life, RadioLab, and The Moth, but most of our time — and this is a time-consuming course — will be spent making and critiquing each other’s pieces.
The Class: Type: studio
Requirements/Evaluation: a few written exercises; five short pieces (two to six minutes), some of which will be first-person; regular and vigorous engagement; each student will also choose one or two works to be broadcast on WCFM
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino 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 the instructor
Enrollment Preference: sophomores; English majors; students with training in radio, studio art, or comparative literature
Distributions: Division I;