Ecologies and Ethics of the Soundscape (MS2113.01)

Maia Nichols
What is a soundscape, and how does it matter to our daily lives, our environments, and the media we consume? The term soundscape refers to the range of sounds in a certain place and time, from a hospital’s array of beeping medical machines to the familiar noises of the places you call home. In this course, students will explore the concepts and creation of soundscapes in visual culture and media. We will cover histories and theories from scholars of environmental studies, and sensory studies, among other fields. We will analyze how sonic qualities are socially produced such as the ‘sonic color line’, and the cultural politics of music in Interwar Paris, and develop foundational visual analysis skills in visual and print media for further coursework in media studies. The course will include screenings of fiction and non-fiction media that we will analyze and discuss together. Students will have the option to produce a creative project such as a video essay or an analytical soundwalk (guide listeners through a certain place you’ve recorded), or students can produce a critical essay on the relationship between media, ecology and race.



Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Compare the creation and function of sound across different genres of media, and in relation to space, environments, institutions, and more.
- Develop a critical approach to understanding the importance of sound and visuality to histories of race and culture as well as the understanding of race as a social construct.
-Develop foundational skills in analyzing visual and print media and using images in essays.
-Develop skills in creating video-essays.
- Compare the creation and function of sound across different genres of media, as well as environments, institutions, and more.
- Further understand how critical theory, cultural studies and environmental studies relate to media studies.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Course Description Update , Faculty Update , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Learning Outcomes Update , Media Studies , Updates