Week 12: The Sounds of History

Tuesday, April 10

Sounds of the Past

In this week, students will consider:

  • ways in which sound can be used as historical evidence
  • effective methods of using audio to interpret history for audiences

Pre-class activities include:

  • Reading/listening to materials below
  • Write a brief blog post that reflects on some of the projects and readings, specifically engaging with these questions:
    • How does sound as historical evidence add to our understanding of the past?
    • For the podcasts, how did the podcast episodes use (or not use) the following types of sound? (note: link to the podcast episodes in your blog so I can check them out, too!)
      • Narration
      • Music
      • Archival, historical sound (a primary source from the past)
      • Readings of historical documents
    • How effective were these components? How did they contribute to the value of the storytelling?
    • Can you imagine ways in which you might incorporate audio into your digital exhibit?
  1. Mark Tebeau, “Listening to the City: Oral History and Place in the Digital Era,The Oral History Review, Volume 40, Issue 1, 1 January 2013, Pages 25–35
  2. Martin Walraven, “History and Its Acoustic Context: Silence, Resonance, Echo and Where to Find Them in the Archive”, Journal of Sonic Studies 4, 1 (2013)
  3. Visit sites:
“Museum of Endangered Sounds”
The Roaring Twenties
4. Listen to two podcast Episodes:
In Class Material

Comedy Central. Key & Peele – Text Message Confusion, 2014.



Other Resources

Sharing, Storing, Discovering Multi-Media

Audio Collections

Broadcasting Collections



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