the words Scene on Radio

Scene on Radio

A podcast that asks, How’s it going out there? And leaves the studio to find out, capturing the sounds of life happening and telling stories that explore human experience and American society.  From the Centre for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Scene on Radio is an excellent pedagogical resource.  Episodes explore timely issues in complex ways, and they exemplify how compelling audio is, as a medium for opening up questions through narration, sound design and storytelling.

Especially teachable episodes

  Seeing White is a fourteen-part documentary series that lends itself directly to the classroom.  Each episode has a full transcript, and there’s a study guide and bibliography to help expand the educational value of the series.  John Biemen, host and producer, frames the series with frank skepticism towards his own white perspective and experience; each episode concludes with sharp and incisive commentary by Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, staging for the listener how one might engage with this series with skepticism, as well as with lively and impassioned critique.   (There’s a marvelous manifesto by Kumanyika on Transom that highlights the tensions between critical attention to race and normalizing habits of listening; this would be a great piece to bring into a lesson on “listening” to race).  While the entire series is wonderfully listenable, the first two episodes are each teachable as stand-alone pieces.  Turning the Lens, Part 1 explores the complex entanglement of slavery with scientific racism.  How Race was Made, Part 2 turns to the tensions between pseudo-scientific dogma about race and the scientific debunking of “race” as a biological category.