Sounds and Digital Humanities is a week-long course (3-7 June 2019) offered during Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI). This course explores opportunities/approaches for sound in Digital Humanities scholarship and pedagogy. Desired outcomes include experimentation and making prototypes for sound-based projects. "Show and tell" opportunities are available within the class and during the DHSI community lunch on Friday. I offer a second DHSI course, Digital Storytelling, 10-14 June 2019. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.
Sounds and Digital Humanities is a week-long course offered during the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Campus maps here (download or view online).
Course emphasis is practice-based research and/or creative expression. Topics include sound utilization, forms, and associated intellectual rights in Digital Humanities (DH) contexts. No previous experience with sound is required. Workshops will help participants learn basic sound recording and editing. Participants can apply these opportunities and resources to ongoing DH sound projects, or experiment freely.
Course activities include lecture, discussion, and practice-based learning. Rather than analysis and critique, this course leans toward praxis. This is not to suggest that sound and DH is clear of theoretical nuance and/or tension, but rather to focus on practice-based conceptualizing and creating in support of scholarship and pedagogy. Participants are encouraged to experiment.
DHSI participants are international Digital Humanities scholars—faculty and graduate students—aligned with research centers, libraries, and academic departments around the world who participate in intensive, collaborative, multi-disciplinary classes and seminars ranging in subject matter from text encoding basics to strategies for large project management. Digital Storytelling can facilitate these efforts.Close
Available in open and portable electronic format. Read it online, print at your convenience, or use the print-on-demand service at the University of Victoria Bookstore and pick up when you arrive on campus.
Resources > Audio Drama
Unlike radio drama, with its focus on scripted dialogue, audio drama focuses on sounds other than the human voice as its narrative basis. A brief history, examples, and listening opportunities.
Resources > Auditory Culture
Notes from my reading of Auditory Culture, edited by Michael Bull and Les Back, Berg, 2003.
Resources > Oral/Aural History
I suggest two approaches for studying history through sound(s): oral history and aural history. Oral history focuses on recorded interviews with participants of past events and ways of life. Aural history speaks to gathering and preserving historical information about ambient sounds, either through writing, or recording. More information and resources available on this webpage I maintain.
Resources > Podcasts
A podcast is an audio file made available online for listening or download. Podcasts can be enhanced with music, video, and text. Podcasts are quite popular, and easy to produce. Here is more information and resources.
Resources > Radio Art
A collision/collusion between the ancient traditions of orality and radio as an instant information access mass communication system. A new art form, using sound to create art. By broadcasting that art, radio art provides a bridge between art and popular culture.
Resources > Sound
I maintain a separate webpage with access to MANY sound tools, resources, and more. Lots of participants ask for help with audio editing and manipulation, both the practice and platforms. Perhaps Digital Editing Basics is a good place to start. Have some to add? Please let me know.
Resources > Sound Art
An art form providing new opportunities for sounds to create and sustain new narrative strategies.
Resources > Sound Installations
A sound installation is an intermedia and time-based art form. Intermedia = art practices that occur between different art genres. For example—drawing + poetry = visual poetry and painting + theater = performance art. This is an expansion on the concept of art installation in that sound introduces the concept of time necessary for listening to the work(s) featured in the installation. I maintain this webpage to provide more information and resources.
Resources > Sound Poetry
An artistic form bridging literary and musical composition where phonetic (sounds / acoustic properties) aspects of human speech are foregrounded rather than semantic (meaning) and /or syntactic (process of constructing sentences) values.
Resources > Soundscapes, Walks, Maps
Soundscapes, soundwalks, sound maps: three ways of experiencing sonic environments.
Transects sample particular or characteristic sounds along a path through a space or place. When combined, they provide a mix or collage of the soundscape.
Dr. John's Resources
I created and maintain these eazy-peazy guides to jumpstart your thinking, and provide useful information. Feel free to browse.
Sound is to people what the sun is to light. —Ornette Coleman
Digital Humanities (DH) seeks to engage academic scholarship with creative practice to promote critical thinking, communication, digital literacy, and civic engagement.
While DH has embraced visualization—images, animation, video, and text as image—as a basis for scholarship presentation and pedagogy, sound is, arguably, overlooked.
As part of its power, sound provides a way of knowing and being in the world. Listening to sound can invoke associations unlike any other medium. Considering sound provides new opportunities / approaches for DH research, scholarship, teaching, and learning.
DH scholars, however, may lack appreciation and/or ability for using sound(s) to enhance or ground their research / pedagogy. In response, this course introduces, explores, and investigates how sounds can be utilized in DH research and information presentation.
We will consider sound objects / applications like soundscapes, soundwalks, sound maps, transects; remixes; aural and oral histories / biographies / documentaries/storytelling; curated exhibitions / installations / performances / broadcasts; or as stand alone artifacts (embedded sound, podcasts, web-based radio, archives, curated collections).Close
My name is John Barber. I convene with the faculty of Creative Media & Digital Culture at Washington State University Vancouver, USA. Learn more about my teaching, research, scholarship, and creative practice.
I have facilitated the Sounds and Digital Humanities course at DHSI since 2014. I have facilitated, since 2016, another DHSI course, Digital Storytelling. Learn more.
My DHSI began in 2012 and 2013 when I helped facilitate a course on Mobile App Design and Development. Course goals were to
1). Conceptualize the space and special features of mobile devices.
2). Develop the architecture, design, and multimedia content production for a mobile project.
3). Understand the coding and programming requirements for mobile devices.
Comments from 2018 class
John is an amazing instructor, who made this course so much fun for someone who had zero experience with digital humanities beforehand.
I appreciated John's openness to individual work while providing very useful terminology and concepts for the beginner. Can't believe I made something in less than 4 days with no prior knowledge or experience. John is awesome and a great teacher.
I really enjoyed the flexible approach. Lots of hands-on examples.
RESPONSE: I appreciate these comments, especially those about empowerment. Sound provides many interesting opportunities for digital humanities, perhaps too many to cover in a week, and certainly in depth. But, I am thankful that participants find the flexible, experimental, iterative approach rewarding.
These example projects are provided by the course participants who created them. They demonstrate the range of conceptual and experimental sound-based projects undertaken during this course.
DHSI 2018, 4-8 June
Example projects by the eight individuals from Canada and the United States in this year's course.
Day Trip To Victoria
by Alejandro Echeverria
Sounding Out the Spaces of Berlin's Working-Class Life
Florence Feiereisen and Erin Sassin
We are building a website to experience a massive and infamous Berlin tenement building in sight and sound, ca. 1932. Listen to Ackerstrasse, the soundscape outside the building front entrance.
DHSI 2017, 12-16 June
Example projects by the twelve individuals from Canada and the United States in this year's course.
Request to NASA to Include a Poet in Their Next Space Shuttle
In 2011, Camps published this poem in The Bitter Oleander (translated into English by Anthony Seidman and Traci Roberts). Camps sent the poem to NASA, as a joke, to see what would happen. NASA took his poem seriously, and sent him an application package to join NASA as an astronaut. Later, Camps met an actual astronaut, and asked him to carry a copy of the poem into space. The astronaut did so, and tweeted about the poem from the International Space Station. Learn more and read Camps' poem in this blog posting. Enjoy this digital publication of Camps' poem. For this course, Camps augmented his poem with sound, and recorded a classmate reading his poem.
Breathe and Gardening
Two poems, written and augmented with sound recordings by Chatlosh.
Read Kelsey's blog post, An Anthropologist's Visit to DHSI to Learn about Sound, about her experiences with this course.
Tacoma Music History
A project to identify and document all the places and names associated with Tacoma's music history. An interesting use of Story Maps. Tacoma Music History website.
A sample from a larger project, called "Noisemakers," to create a musical-rhythmic sound map for her campus (website here). Each building on the map will be assigned a different sound, each composed by Ferrando. By "playing" the buildings in combination with each other, different compositions can be realized. The sounds here were created using samples from recorded conversations, a bicycle, a bird, footsteps, and tapping a parking meter with a plastic water bottle.
DHSI 2016, 13-17 June
Example projects by the eleven participants from Canada and the United States in this year's course.
Kristin Carlson Becker
An audio interpretation of the creative process of putting her 16-month-old daughter to bed.
The sounds of swallows—not birds but moving food or drink from mouth to stomach—and more.
Linda V. Troost
An audio poem read and produced by Troost.
Poem: "Water and Weeds" by Yvonne Blomer, written for Canada Day 2015, used by permission
Music: "Trillium" by Podington Bear, freemusicarchive.org, CC3
Birds: Pacific wren and song sparrow recorded near the University of Victoria campus, CC0
Water: recorded near the U of Victoria campus, CC0
Fireworks: from soundbible.com, public domain
Copyright of recording: CC3
A sound collage/narrative combining the above individual projects, and more. Produced and edited by Laurelle Miciak.
DHSI 2015, 8-12 June
Sixteen individuals from Canada and the United States participated in this year's course. They produced this collaborative aural artifact from samples of their individual projects or sound files created during the course. You may hear disjointed noise, or a resonate narrative of human endeavor that, like DH, is deep and rich, broad and diverse. They recommend headphones for the best listening experience.
DHSI 2014, 2-6 June
Thirteen individuals from Canada and the United States participated in this year's course. They produced this collaborative aural artifact from samples of their individual projects or sound files created during the course. They recommend headphones for the best listening experience.