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Podcasting & Process: a series of philosophical meet-ups

The Learning Gene is hosting a series of philosophical meet-ups, beginning on December 1, 2017, to explore the stakes of podcasting:  the import of voices, especially in relation to the craft of editing and framing, and the significance of perspectives shared through audio-creation.

Each event is organized around a theme (Process, on Dec 1; Politics on Jan 12, Sound on Feb 9, and Design on March 2) and will take place in Loft 112, in Calgary’s East Village neighbourhood, at 7pm. Loft 112 is wheel-chair accessible, through the front lobby, with gender-neutral washrooms.   Loft 112 is at #112, 535 8 Ave SE.

This series is sponsored by Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Arts and Department of Humanities, organized by Ada Jaarsma in collaboration with Logan Peters and Pod Summit.


Poster for Podcasting & Process series

Starting in the Middle (part 2)

Although the podcast The Learning Gene hasn’t yet launched, the broader project has been underway for a full year.  This past year, two groups of students have worked on the project in the context of a Feminist Philosophy class (in fall 2016) and a Philosophy of Science class (in winter 2017).  You can peruse the full slate of assignments, readings and lesson plans of Feminist Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, if you’d like to learn more about the background of the project.  And you can listen to the students’ audio projects here.

I decided to share my own first-ever audio essay as a pre-episode to The Learning Gene—in advance of the podcast’s launch.  It’s posted here on this site in the spirit of “starting in the middle.”  It’s actually a key backdrop to the podcast because it contains the project’s tagline:  listening to things we don’t know how to listen for.  This is something that Erin Manning expressed during our skype-conversation about teaching, and it captures the essentially open-ended ethos of this project.  The audio-essay itself, however, remains somewhat of a draft (which is why it won’t be part of the official Season 1 of the podcast).

There are pedagogical reasons for sharing work that is provisional or not-entirely-polished, I think.  Bhanu Kapil, the amazingly astute poet and post-colonial thinker, explains for example that there’s no rushing the process of creative work.  A narrative becomes itself in time, she writes.  And she really means it:  writing requires duration.  It can be so painful, this experience of the duration in which writing takes place, that she created a chant to accompany her own writing process:  “I learned how to re-write my work with as much passion and joy and curiosity as I had given to the writing of it.  I even invented a chant:  Re-writing is writing.  Writing is re-writing.” Read more

Starting in the Middle (part 1)

I am in the process of launching a podcast, The Learning Gene, as part of a bigger project that brings audio together with philosophy, science studies and pedagogy.

I’m sharing a pre-episode to the podcast in the spirit of starting in the middle.    The podcast will launch with actual episodes shortly.  As Isabelle Stengers writes, “What is unknowable is unknown” (2011, 261).  Put otherwise, we don’t know what we don’t know.  We start in the middle as a way to encounter the unknown.  (Of course, “the unknown” could be a matter of concepts and relationships…. but it could also be a matter of craft, design and genre.  I’ve left in some truly terrible audio quality in this pre-episode, for example– in part because I’m still not sure why the tape is so garbled in this rendered mp3!  There’s a moment in my interview with Erin Manning in which I say, “Hi, Erin, it’s Ada!”  but in the rendered version, you can barely hear a thing.  I’m still mystified at what went wrong in the sound design process here). Read more