Architectures of Sound

Course Description

ENGL 1102, Sections A2, B8, C
Georgia Tech, Spring 2018

Lauren Neefe, Ph.D. /
Office: Skiles 301
Office hours: M 1-3 and by appointtment
Preferred pronouns: she, her, hers

This course requires students to build on the WOVEN strategies of composition and process they began to develop in ENGL 1101. The content of the course asserts the importance of sound to our experience of the spaces we live in. It further posits that sound powerfully communicates who belongs in a place or space and who does not, even when that space is designated as public or shared. We will begin with a unit on Romanticism and poetry, in which we examine the sonic qualities of a small selection of Romantic and contemporary poems, asking the question: If we think of a poem as a place, specifically a building, how does sound reverberate through that space? What are the political stakes of sound and voice in defining the spaces of the poem? The remainder of the class will be devoted to applying some of the poetic concepts of reverberation to studying and researching the plans for Georgia Tech’s first Living Building, the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, to be built on the corner of Ferst Drive and State Street, between the nanotechnology building and a projected Ecocommons. Through a number of individual and group activities, from participatory design and scenario building to documentary field recording and podcasting, we will identify specific issues of sound and equity in existing sites around campus in order to assess whether and how the building’s “architecture of sound” addresses the Equity Petal of the Living Building challenge. In a final reflective portfolio, you will assemble individual artifacts and process documents into an argument that you have achieved selected course objectives.

This course is part of Georgia Tech’s Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) initiative, uniting classroom learning with community action. SLS works with all six colleges to offer courses and programs connecting sustainability and community engagement with real-world partners and projects, allowing students to use their disciplinary expertise related to science and technology to help “create sustainable communities” where humans and nature flourish, now and in the future, in Georgia, the U.S., and around the globe. More information about SLS can be found at Visit the website to sign up for the SLS Email List, view the full list of affiliated courses, and find links to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Support from SLS has enabled guest lectures and recording workshops with professional radio producers in this course. Attendance at the guest lectures and workshops is required. Participating in selected SLS events is encouraged and, if explored in writing, will result in extra credit.

All readings and podcasts will be either posted on the Schedule page of this website or available on Canvas > Files in the folder designated for that week.

You should bring a laptop (yours or borrowed from the library) as well as paper and pencil/pen to every class.

You should have access to the Microsoft Office software suite and the Adobe Design suite, either on your computer or via one of the university’s media labs.

You will also need a Twitter account to satisfy part of your participation grade. You may use either an existing account or set up a special account for your participation in this course.