close up photo of gold colored and black condenser microphone

Work In Progress

I’ve thought before about making a podcast series about podcasting and the sound and shape of audio in the digital world. Over the past year or so, others have already been there and made a rather excellent job; such as the series For Your Ears Only, or the New Aural Cultures series that I contribute to. So, like lots of things ideas get put on pause whilst life zooms along. But recent discussions on the viability of podcasting as a PhD format have reignited things for me.

There’s a lot of work going on in this area already. In our New Aural Cultures series, Jerry Padfield has been exploring ideas in his PhdCast and in Canada the Amplify Network is building a network of academic podcasts.

For some time I’ve been publishing work with an endgame in mind; collating the papers as a ‘PhD by prior published’ work. At my home University this is usually a body work supported by a 10,000 narrative that offers framework, context, and supporting evidence for the claim. However, what would happen if some, or part, of that narrative was in the form of podcasts? Would that allow me to talk about the work? Show how my work fitted into the wider work that we can now call ‘Podcast Studies’? Even if, this then required a shorter version of the written narrative? For me, that offers scope to flex my production skills and to further think about podcasting can connect and engage with research.

I don’t yet know if this is a viable format, or what it could sound like but I think there’s a clear opportunity to explore (as others are) the relationship between podcasting as a medium and podcasting as a form of academic publication; one which allows for accessibility but also a from of discursive dialogue with ideas. It could be the series speaks to fellow academics who are working in the same areas (I already have a list!), although I am somewhat hesitant to go around asking people to tell me about what they think of my research; but this is mostly my own personal imposter syndrome at work. That said, I’m slightly intrigued about the idea of talking to people who might challenge some of my thoughts, even if I do retain the power to edit. A more likely format is one that explore the ideas and shows an arc of ideas that have since been shared, or at least were contemporary or shaping in some way.

There are lots of models that could be pursued here, and it seems like some frameworks for this form of academic podcasting are emerging. One of the minds behind the Amplify Network, Hannah McGregor, has already put her Secret Feminist Agenda podcast through peer review. Elsewhere, podcasts are engaging with academics to find ways of producing academically informed podcasts for Universities or more general audiences. What is also happening, as will be my attempt is to explore how podcasts might be an appropriate format to frame academic knowledge; albeit when some of that work has already been peer-reviewed and published.

So, watch this space and do add thoughts or good examples of the format in the comments below.

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