Last week in class, we discussed audio media and anthropology -- how anthropologists are (or, generally, are not) employing audio to communicate their findings or interesting tidbits about the field.
To start, I asked the students to talk about how, when, and why they listen to the radio and podcasts. Most everyone had experience listening to NPR in their cars, as well as audiobooks. There was a surprising lack of people who routinely listened to podcasts, but I wondered if that is related to the nature of commuting here in Pensacola. When I was a grad student at UNC, I couldn't park on campus; this meant it took me 30-45 minutes each day to walk to the bus stop, ride the bus, and then walk from the drop-off to wherever on campus I needed to go. I listened to a lot of podcasts. Here at UWF, there is ample parking and poor public transportation, so students tend to drive to school, listening to their radios along the way.
|Dr. Judy Bense, president of UWF, recording Unearthing |
Florida radio program at WUWF, our campus NPR station
As far as "best practices," we listened to a lot of examples of anthropological topics on radio, mostly from sources like NPR's This American Life, and realized that most of us preferred short(ish) segments (say, 10 minutes or less) on topics that related to our lives (like local history, food, relationships, etc.). I encouraged the students to take these ideas into consideration when they were creating their own audio projects: we may all thumb our noses at John Tesh's "Intelligence for Your Life," but millions of people hear those snippets and pay attention to the information in them because they're interesting and directly relate to their everyday lives.
Without further ado, here are the top three audio projects this week (sorry I can't embed them in Blogger; each link goes to an mp3 file in a new window):
Second Runners-Up - The team of Linda Hoang, Stella Simpsiridis, and Tina Estep created a series of under-2-minute audio programs called Anthropology: Did you know? Four of the six below have very good production quality, and all have interesting information to communicate. I like the idea of this series, which the students focused on little-known facts about well-known anthropologists, and the intro/outro music was created by Linda's husband, who also does the intro voiceover. They have a good mixture of subfields and nearly equal gender ratio. It was a smartly done project.
- Anthropology: Did you know? Margaret Mead / Claude Levi-Strauss / Lewis Binford / Franz Boas / Clyde Snow / Jane Goodall (Run-time- 1:30 to 1:55 each)
- The Reluctant and Trivial Anthropologist (Run-time - 2:40)
- The Scott Site Archaeology Project Broadcast (Run-time - 4:18)
So far, none of the students has posted a transcript of their audio programs. I have encouraged them to do so, however, so that people can skim the information without listening and so that they are more easily accessible for the hearing-impaired. If they decide to create transcripts, you'll find them on their respective blogs.
Thanks for listening! Next week is spring break, then we're back for a two-week video challenge.