Presenting Anthropology - Weeks 7&8 (Readings)

Audio Challenge

Margaret Mead takes to the radio
Anthropologists have not specifically embraced audio media through the years. We have a picture of ethnographers tape-recording (and now digitally recording) their interlocuters, but past presentations of these data were often made in print rather than attempting to incorporate the glorious variation in intonation, cadence, and meaning of language around the world. Jane Goodall stands as an exception; her pant-hooting at nearly every public appearance always gets a surprising reaction from her audience. A small number of anthropological podcasts exists, as well as parody songs (generally in the educational realm), but little is being done on a discipline-wide basis to integrate audio media into anthropological research, presentation, and outreach. In these weeks, we will explore the ways that audio is used in anthropology and create audio-based projects for various audiences, in an attempt to garner interest from earbud wearers attached to their ever-present iPods and phones.
  • Assignment 1: Find a good example of audio media covering an anthropological topic. YouTube and the iTunes store are good places to start.
  • Assignment 2: Alone or in a group, create something based wholly or in large part on audio - ideas include a podcast, a call-in interview with a UWF professor (e.g., NPR's Science Friday), a parody song, an audio lesson or course design (e.g., MOOC), or a downloadable walking tour of UWF campus/archaeological sites ("haunted tour"?). Be prepared to present it, justify your design decisions and audience, and take critiques and criticisms.
  • Anderson, J. 2010. The past in your pocket: mobile media and interactive interpretation. English Heritage Research News 13:17-19.
  • Bessire, L. and D. Fisher. 2012. Introduction. In: Radio Fields: Anthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century, Bessire & Fisher, eds., Ch. 1, pp. 1-47. NYU Press.
  • Brittain, M. & T. Clack. 2007. In the camera's lens: an interview with Brian Fagan and Francis Pryor. In: Archaeology and the Media, T. Clack and M. Brittain, eds., Ch. 5, pp. 125-134 (esp. p. 129 on radio). Left Coast Press.
  • Catlin, L. 1999. Anthropology radio. Anthropology News 40(6).
  • RadioFrance. Tips for radio interviews.
  • Various. How to make a successful podcast. (Check out several links to see what they all have in common.)
  • Various. On good/bad radio interviews: Chris Lowis blog, NPR, DigitalSpy.
(As always, follow our livetweets using #shareanthro on Mondays from 1-4pm central time.)


Mike said…
Great assignment! I really enjoy your blog (especially posts on this course). WUWF 88.1 and Dr. Judy Bense had a daily radio program called Unearthing Pensacola (1998-2012) that highlighted archaeological sites from the Pensacola area. There is a new program now airing called Unearthing Florida based on the same format (and which Dr. Bense still narrates) that features sites on a state-wide level (as well as information on archaeology in general). Each episode gives bite-sized information on archaeological topics to the public and is very popular here in Pensacola.
Thanks for posting the link for everyone, Mike. One of the students posted it on the class wiki (which isn't public, so I pick and choose which things to highlight in the blog), but it deserves further circulation because it's a fantastic idea, well-executed! We'll be talking in class today about why exactly Bense's radio program has succeeded in the way that it has.

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