“The ‘S’ Projects we didn’t make, and and the ones we did!” (Podcast s01e12)


Well, it took a little bit of time, but we made it! We have successfully, to our satisfaction, completed the first season of Masters of Text!

We end where we began, with the S Project and return to some audio we recorded just about exactly one year ago. In Episode 09, way back in December.

Ames and Trauman return to a final discussion of the project itself, us thinking toward what it is we might turn this into. In many ways, this is a large-form of what we might call a digital sound dialogue. We aren’t simply presenting our edited conversation but will present an edited segment and then discuss what we think now, focusing for the most part on our thoughts of the Masters of Text endeavor. What had we hoped for? What do we believe we accomplished? Is there such a thing as the scholarly podcast? Is this what we made? What is the future of—is there a future for—such a form? What are our plans for the future?

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

“Ames’s Amazing Austrian Audio Adventure!” (Podcast s01e11)

How’s that for some alliteration. In this episode, one recorded and produced in its entirety in Austria, Ames tells of her experience as an invited speaker and faculty member at the Graz International Summer School, a two-week intensive educational experience organized by the University of Graz that takes place at a Seggau Castle, about forty minutes South of Graz. Ames frames discussion of her visit through the three audio texts she produced following workshops with three different cohorts: 1) a group of nine students at the University of Graz in conjunction with writing center programming; 2) the complete student body of 74 students at the Graz International Summer School 2016; 3) a graduate student praxis seminar at the summer school comprised of all the Ph.D. students in attendance.

Ames recommends, if you’re so inclined, to re-listen (or perhaps first listen), to Episode 7.
There, we feature the process involved in producing the Columbia Weekend MicroCAST. And Ames presents a vox pop piece she produced following recording at the 10th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference in Tempe, AZ, October 2015. It was the making of “Vox Fabri; Vox Dea,” that directly led to Ames’s invitation to come to Austria. Episode 11 builds upon the knowledge created in Episode 7, extending the scholarly exploration of the affordances and limits of and for the vox pop form.

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

“Soundwriting in the FYW classroom” (Podcast s01e10)


Ames and Trauman are BACK! After a hiatus caused by the perfect storm of health issues, an unsustainable production schedule, and amazing professional opportunities, Ames and Trauman return to end Season 1 with the first of three episodes. Episode 10 brings the long-ago promised discussion of our collaboratively created and co-taught soundwriting classes.  After a pretty quick explanation of what we did, we focus our conversation on what we got out of the experience, and what we believe the students got out of the experience.
In the second part of the episode, Ames and Trauman each choose and offer for your listening pleasure one of our favorite student-created podcast segments. We had a devil of a time choosing, and could have filled hours of MoT with student work—much of which is AMAZING. But we’ve gone with these examples because they illustrate well some of the affordances of sound, and each makes clear the ways that soundwriting expands our understanding of how and when storytelling can inform and be, in and of itself, scholarly work.

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

“DIY Audio Cables, Scholars as Makers, Penultimate S. Discussion” (Podcast s01e09)

XLR Mic Cable

Like most episodes, this one consists of two segments. In the initial segment, Ames and Trauman talk about their adventures into the world of DIY audio cables. Though not without challenges, their efforts were ultimately successful. They reflect on the practical rewards and emotional satisfaction of measuring, stripping, soldering, and testing. And of course the conversation moves beyond the specifics of cable-making in general to larger questions about the value of DIY approaches to scholarship and creative work. And Ames makes Trauman blush. Like three times.

In the Creative-Critical-Scholarly-Spotlight (CCSS) section, Ames points to a few different texts. They include:

This episode’s second segment brings to your the penultimate discussion of J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst’s experimental storytelling project S. Even thought we LOVE this book, it’s certainly not without its flaws. This is easily our most detailed discussion, and we take the authors to task in a couple of ways they didn’t really deliver on the enormous early promise of this project.

And stay tuned for an additional blog post where Trauman offers more detailed information about the cable making materials and techniques he and Ames discuss in this episode.

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

“Storytelling through Marginalia, a Radical Dance Workshop, and Creative Processes as Research Methodologies.” (Podcast s01e08)


In this episode, we offer two segments and spotlight three excellent texts.

In our first segment, we continue our discussion of S., the experimental novel by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. As we reflect on reading chapters 7,8,9, and an “interlude,” we return to some of the main themes of the book: scholarship, love, identity, documentation, and collaboration. It’s such an amazing book. You should really get yourself a copy, start reading it, and keep listening to us talk about it.

In the second half of the episode, Ames and her frequent collaborator, Phil Bratta have a conversation about participating in a radical dance workshop with Guillermo Gomez Pena and Sara Shelton Mann this past summer.

And between these two segments, we want to point your attention to three excellent texts we’ve been reading and thinking about lately:

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

More Links:

Do have other relevant links or resources to contribute? Please tweet them at us: @trauman or @amesthehawk or with the hashtag #MastersOfText.

“Vox Fabri, Vox Dea, and Adventures in Microcasting” (Podcast s01e07)


In our first segment, “Vox Fabri, Vox Dea,” Ames remixes the responses of 45 participants of the Tenth Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference. Organized around patterns of answers to two questions–“What’s your favorite FemRhet moment?” and “What’s you’re way of making? This vox populi piece makes clear the magic and magnificence of this conference, one celebrating twenty years.

Our second segment recounts a local “microcasting” experiment produced at Columbia College Chicago’s Parents Weekend. Ames and Trauman organized a participatory “making” session in which students and parents recorded different portions of a common audio text, which were then immediately combined into a short podcast for the participants to listen to and to take with them. Although the session didn’t run perfectly, it was a fascinating (and largely successful) experiment engaging an audience as co-producers of a real-time microcasting.

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

“The New Work of Reading; More S. Project Chatter” (Podcast s01e06)


In episode 6 of Masters of Text, Ames presents the first part of a three-section piece called “The New Work of Reading,” an experimental audio-autoethnographic piece in which she examines her own process of learning to read multimodal scholarship. This episode also features the third segment of our S. Project, a dialogue that focuses on what we thought about Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of S.. by J.J. Abrahams and Doug Dorst. As an interlude, Trauman offers a spotlight on a couple of texts he recommends our listeners check out.

“Audio Editing Software and New Media Design Strategies” (Podcast s01e05)


Episode 5 begins with a segment in which Trauman reflects on how he employs an historical understanding of technologies as a central part of his textual design process. It’s pretty much the theoretical background for his design approach for conceptualizing the table of contents of the edited collection: The New Work of Composing. In the second half of the episode, Ames and Trauman discuss a couple of audio editors that are absolutely outstanding for producing audio texts, soundwriting,  or podcast episodes. The episodes wraps up by encouraging listeners to attend the Computers & Writing conference this summer in Rochester, NY. The proposal deadline is this Friday, October 23rd!

Other Resources Relevant to this Episode:

Computers and Composition Digital Press

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Podcast Episode 04: “The Making of Gurlesque; More of the S. Project”

img-credit: https://d2npbuaakacvlz.cloudfront.net/images/uploaded/large-present/2013/12/12/ahh-im-so-excited-s-by-jj-abrams-doug-dorst-1386865085.jpg

In this segment, Trauman interviews Ames about how and why it was she turned her written piece, “An Open Letter to Gurlesque” (which you can hear in Episode 3) into an audio text. Conversation ranges from discussion of the ways that two fonts on the page come alive through the voices of Ames and Arielle Greenberg, to Ames’s attempt at writing queer theory, to the ways that visual aspects of text such as footnotes become invisible in a recording. Ames ends by imagining at least one future iteration for the piece as an ASL video.

This episode is available for direct download here.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and subscribe here.

Panel Resources: “Activist Affordance of Digital Storytelling in the Academy”


Ames and I, along with our friend and colleague, Phil Bratta, recently presented some of our work at the 6th International Digital Storytelling Conference and Exhibition. Our panel was titled: “Activist Affordance of Digital Storytelling in the Academy.” Here is a description of the panel and a summary of what each of us talked about (from our submitted panel proposal):

This session explores various ways digital storytelling can be understood as a form of activism relevant to the academy. Through specific examples of ways digital storytelling has influenced their pedagogy and scholarship, the presenters–an Associate Professor, Lecturer, and Doctoral Graduate Student–explore a range of affordances inherent in the activist power of digital storytelling, and provide tangible take-aways for anyone who desires a better understanding of this critical/creative form. The audience will learn how digital storytelling enables activist connections between communities and the academy, through the production of digital storytelling as an accessible form of creative scholarship.

The presenters will offer: 1) a list of digital storytelling principles for activist intentions; 2) guidelines for providing generative feedback as advocacy; 3) an opportunity to experiment with mobile media to create mini-autoethnographic projects.

Trauman: My presentation recounts how I employed digital storytelling principles as the foundations of a first-year writing course. I also offer alternative ways of understanding “reading” assignments, responsible multimedia collaboration, and digital storytelling assignments in the tradition of Studs Terkel, “This I Believe,” and RadioLab.

Ames: My presentation argues for digital storytelling as a rich form for art activism pedagogy. I also explain that student work from my course inspired me to want to make my own film–one that has activist qualities as a digital piece reflecting a genderqueer/transgenre story, and as scholarship itself.

Phil: I examine the potentials of digital writing/images with mobile media as an opportunity for critical autoethnography for students. As students work with familiar modes of writing and technology “at-their-hand,” they have opportunities for self-reflection and self-discovery. Such reflections and discoveries, as I delineate, may also offer students opportunities to address and engage with social issues that matter to them. I conclude by having attendees briefly work with their own mobile media to create their own autoethnographic digital project.

Resources for Trauman’s Presentation

Assignment Examples

“Another’s Work” (Audio Interview Text)

“Remediating Your Work” (digital story: script, voice narration, and moving images)

Resources for Ames’s Presentation

(resources to be posted soon)

Resources for Phil’s Presentation

Bratta_Digital Storytelling Presentation

(resources to be posted soon)