Carnegie Mellon University

Podcasting: Language and Culture Through Storytelling

Course Number: 82-285

Fulfills The Arts Gen Ed requirement

Do you love stories? Stories told on the radio have always had significant power. For example, the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles was so effective that it panicked the entire United States. Today, podcasts such as Serial, This American Life, and The Moth have the same power to tell stories and provide audiences with rich, intimate and immersive audio experiences while often supporting diversity and giving voice to minorities and those under-represented in mainstream media. Owing its rising popularity to the ease and accessibility of production and distribution, there has never been a better time to create and tell stories in audio. In this course students will take on the role of podcast producers, learning while creating a series of podcasts that explore linguistic and cultural landscapes with the goals of educating and entertaining. Possible audio resources include field interviews with native speakers in their own language, allowing student producers to document informants personal histories and aspects of their life related to culture, multilingualism, or political, social or environmental issues. Students will blend studio recordings with interviews and/or suitable found recordings, music, and sound. Coursework will include skill development on audio recording and podcasting, production management, creative thinking, materials sourcing, and giving and receiving constructive feedback from classmates and varied audiences on team and individual projects. The course will be offered in English.


Units: 9
Prerequisite(s): None