The Praxis Studio partnered with the SpokenWeb research network in 2019 and has since continued to develop pedagogical materials for teaching and learning about literary sound recordings and audio in the humanities. Some examples include Julie Funk’s research on machine listening (and listening like a machine), Samuel Adesubokan’s annotations of talking drum performances by the Peter Adedokun ensemble, Faith Ryan’s treatment of listening as a question of access, and the Studio’s ongoing work to create prompts that introduce undergraduates to the apprehension and interpretation of audio in fiction.

Below is a link to SpokenWeb, followed by an official description of both the network and its pedagogy task force, of which I’m a member. I also point to an interview that SpokenWeb’s Emma Telaro conducted with Julie, Faith, and me and to some audio-related talks the Studio’s researchers gave in recent years.

Many thanks to SpokenWeb’s principal investigator, Jason Camlot, not only for his leadership but also for inviting the Praxis Studio to join SpokenWeb; to Karis Shearer, Deanna Fong, Michelle Levy, Emily Murphy, Jason Wiens, and everyone on SpokenWeb’s pedagogy task force; and to SpokenWeb and SSHRC for supporting the following research assistants at UVic: Samuel Adesubokan, Julie Funk, Stefan Higgins, Madyson Huck, Faith Ryan, and Asia Tyson.

Screen cap of SpokenWeb website, where Emma Telaro interviewed the Praxis Studio for Comparative Media Studies. The title of the interview is, "On Literary Machine Listening and Pedagogy: The Praxis Studio with Julie Funk, Faith Ryan, and Jentery Sayers," and next to the title are pictures of Julie, Faith, and Jentery

Research partnership network based at Concordia University | Jason Camlot, PI | Praxis Studio, partner since September 2019

Links: project website (HTML); team members (HTML); interview with the Praxis Studio (HTML); Julie Funk’s workshop on machine listening (HTML); the Praxis team’s talk on designing prompts for literary audio studies (HTML); my talk and listening session on Delia Derbyshire’s compositions (HTML with MP3s); my keynote at Concordia on sound and pedagogy (HTML); my plenary at UBCO on working with historical audio (HTML)

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), in particular through the SpokenWeb SSHRC partnership network.

About SpokenWeb

Since the introduction of portable tape recording media technologies in the 1960s, writers and artists have been documenting their performances of literary works, events and conversations with creative abandon. Yet, most of these audio archives remain inaccessible or in peril of imminent decay, or, if digitized, are still largely disconnected from each other.

The SSHRC-funded SpokenWeb partnership aims to develop coordinated and collaborative approaches to literary historical study, digital development, and critical and pedagogical engagement with diverse collections of literary sound recordings from across Canada and beyond.

These approaches include 1) new forms of historical and critical scholarly engagement; 2) digital preservation and aggregation techniques, asset management and infrastructure to support sustainable access; 3) techniques and tools for searching, visualizing, analyzing and enhancing critical engagement (for features relevant to humanities research and pedagogy); and 4) innovative ways of mobilizing digitized spoken and literary recordings within pedagogical, performative and public contexts.

The SpokenWeb program begins with the preservation and description of sonic artifacts that have captured literary events of the past, and quickly moves into a wide range of approaches and activities activate these artifacts in the present.

(The SpokenWeb’s “About” page is the source of this description.)

Pedagogy Task Force

The Pedagogy Task Force aims to produce research outputs (conferences, publications, and workshops) that enhance engagement with existing digital audio archives or analog collections. Our research and projects can be described by the following five categories: 1) development of pedagogical training modules & resources that can be shared amongst partners as well as with the public, 2) development of digital tools for use in classroom and public pedagogy, 3) development of a bank of pedagogical activities and resources that can be used by members of the SpokenWeb team and by teachers in a variety of settings, 4) knowledge production and mobilization on pedagogical theory and practice, and 5) identification and tagging of pedagogical content of recordings within the SpokenWeb member collections.

(The SpokenWeb’s “Governance” page is the source of this description.)

SpokenWeb logo and main image care of the SpokenWeb project. I created this page on 25 January 2022 and last updated it on 3 February 2022.