Today we begin with Audio.


Write some notes on your conception of literacy.  Think of how you learned to write.  How was writing defined?  When did you feel ‘literate’? What do you make of Cynthia Selfe’s suggestion that “the history of writing in composition instruction, as well as its contemporary legacy, functions to limit our professional understanding of composing as a multimodal rhetorical activity and deprive students of valuable semiotic resources for making meaning.” (1)?  What is your opinion of studying AUDIO in an advanced ENGLISH class?  Can you picture (as it were) a role for audio production in your chosen career?

Literacy Narratives

“A literacy narrative is simply a collection of items that describe how you learned to read, write, and compose. This collection might include a story about learning to read cereal boxes and a story about learning to write plays. Some people will want to record their memories about the bedtime stories their parents read to them, the comics they looked at in the newspaper, or their first library card. Others will want to tell a story about writing a memorable letter, leaning how to write on a computer or taking a photograph; reading the Bible, publishing a ‘zine’, or sending an e-mail message.”  (From the DALN website)

By the end of class Thursday (OCT 10), you need to link a literacy narrative to your blog.  Use SOUNDCLOUD to post your audio file (between 2-5 minutes long).  The file should include your narrative as well as music and at least one sound effect.  You can think about this short assignment as a rough draft for your second response (due OCT 31) that you will upload to the DALN.

Diegetic vs Non-Diegetic Sound

The following quotes may be helpful:

Diegetic—Pertaining to or part of a given diegesis and, more particularly, that diegesis represented by the (primary) narrative.

Diegesis— 1. The (fictional) world in which the situations and events narrated occur. 2. Telling, recounting, as opposed to showing, enacting.

—Gerald Prince, Dictionary of Narratology

And this succinct definition from Claudia Gorbman:

“Diegetic music: music that (apparently) issues from a source within the narrative” (Unheard Melodies, 22).

These quote are sourced from an excellent blog called Hearing the Movies.  Anyone interested in more information about audio and cinema should spend some time here.


Hopefully you have spent some time familiarizing yourself with audacity.  There are plenty of tutorials.  I want you to teach YOURSELF how to do this.  Here is one of many examples that might help.  Spend the rest of the class today composing.  You will need some audio of yourself (reading a narrative or telling a story), some music, and a sound effect to fulfill this assignment.  Remember our discussion of file management.  Create a single folder for this audio project.  Make folders within this folder for ‘archive’, ‘music’, ‘voice’ etc.  Save your audacity files within this folder as well.  Keep a copy on the desktop, but MAKE SURE TO COPY THIS FOLDER IN ITS ENTIRETY TO YOUR HARD DRIVE.

For Next Time

Bring some audio and be ready to get something recorded by the end of class.

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