CUST-MDST 3538H: Radio Studies

Fall 2020 (September 10-December 9, 2020): Online

Introduction to the history and theory of radio broadcasting from the early twentieth century to the age of the Internet. Radio encompasses not only what you can tune into on the AM or FM dial and streaming Internet stations, but digital radio, podcasting, and what we might broadly consider to be soundworks. Radio has moved from a scheduled service to one that has facilitated listeners to “timeshift,” that is to control when they consume specific audio-based information, entertainment, and music. Through radio, we see tangible ways through which diverse peoples empower their communities. Radio involves governance and monetization of broadcasting, but also boundary pushing in ways unparalleled in other media. Soundworks engage the imagination. They enable portability of information and creative expression. They are a medium of political participation and shaping identities. In this course, we will critically examine the mythos and control over the airwaves and how people have used radio to challenge social status quos. Students will have the opportunity to create a radio documentary as their final project, with basic technical training, engaging discussions, and multimedia content to guide them.

In this course, we will watch a variety of documentaries on radio, as well as listen to incredible soundworks from CBC Radio, The Heart, The New York Times, Love + Radio, Re:sound, YR Media, and more.

Featuring readings by:

  • Heather Anderson
  • John Nathan Anderson
  • Anjuli Joshi Brekke
  • Chris Brookes
  • Michael Brown
  • Vivian Chávez
  • Stacey Copeland
  • Lance Dann
  • Micaela di Leonardo
  • David O. Dowling
  • Andrew Dubber
  • Christina Dunbar-Hester
  • Emily W. Easton
  • Nadyat El-Gawley
  • Pacey Foster
  • Anthony Kwame Harrison
  • Michele Hilmes
  • Geoffrey Hlibchuk
  • Andrés Ibañez
  • Kate Lacey
  • Anne F. MacLennan
  • Virginia Madsen
  • Monique Manatch
  • Wayne Marshall
  • Shepard Masocha
  • Kyle J. Miller
  • Michael Nevradakis
  • Ariella Orcbach
  • Wade Rowland
  • Andrew J. Salvati
  • Elizabeth Soep
  • Martin Spinelli