The Walden Soundscape is an award-winning digital project and companion website to my dissertation that aims to immerse viewers and listeners in Walden Pond’s soundscape. The website is a toolbox for educators and students to engage in a natural soundscape alongside works of literature that inspired early activism in the wilderness preservation movement such as Thoreau’s Walden and Emerson’s Nature.
The website is made up of three sections. The first section contains immersive stop-motion animated videos including guided walks through Walden Woods and meditative experiences reflecting on the pond in real time. A second section features an ArcGIS story map of the pond for individual exploration of the sonic environment surrounding the pond in the woods, the marsh grasses, and by the neighboring railroad tracks. The third section of the website features a podcast that uses sounds and critical listening methods to educate listeners about Sound Studies, Thoreau, climate change, and Transcendentalism.
Teaching is where I started drawing from digital media. You can read more about some of the tools and lessons I’ve tried in the past on my home page.
My digital pedagogy draws from a variety of approaches to make texts accessible and to build community inside and outside the classroom. Beyond scaffolding assignments and encouraging intellectual risk-taking, through class blog and group work assignments I ask students to bring research and current events into their close readings. As students build these bridges, they realize how relevant historical texts are today rather than assuming literature’s importance is self-evident. They also strengthen their writing and acquire the tools they need to write effectively. In ongoing digital humanities projects that utilize media such as BuzzFeed, DropBox, Twitter, and WordPress, students inspire and respond to each other (e.g. using a class hashtag, such as #AmLitEnv) and draw connections between literary studies and the sociopolitical issues that they are most invested in.
The Margaret Fuller Society: In 2017, I developed a new website for the Margaret Fuller Society and have been serving as the society’s web editor since. Click here to go to the society website.
2017 English Student Association Conference: “The Vibrating World: Soundscapes and Undersongs.” Click here to go to the conference website.