Digital Storytelling Series

February 25, 2016 - 5:00pm to February 26, 2016 - 12:00pm

Location and Address

All events will be held in 501 Cathedral of Learning 

Schedule of Events

“Composing /with/ Noise”
February 25, 2016 - 5:00pm

with Steven Hammer – St. Joseph’s University

Noise—as a concept, event, and practice—carries many definitions, but can broadly be understood as a phenomenon that interferes with an intended transmission of a signal. Yet noise is also highly instructive, sometimes as a warning, sometimes as a moment in which we learn how a particular communicative system works. In this talk, Hammer will describe a noise-centered approach to sonic composition, one that foregrounds materials and interfaces as coauthors, dispels technoCultural myths of noiselessness and perfection, and asks composers to carefully attune themselves audiences, conventions, and contexts.

Steven Hammer is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Media at St. Joseph’s University, where he teaches courses in digital media production, media ethics, and accessible design. His scholarly & creative work focuses on byproducts of technoculture, particularly noise and glitches, as well as composition methods that rely on the creative misuse of tools and technologies.
“Sound Never Tasted So Good: Enlivening Multimodal Composition Pedagogy”
February 25, 2016 - 5:45pm

with Steph Ceraso – University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Sonic composition is commonly approached as an audible form of alphabetic writing. Popular multimodal composing assignments like podcasts, audio essays, and voiceovers teach students to engage with sound as a kind of text—as content to be analyzed and interpreted. While making connections between sound and text can be productive, such approaches also diminish the full range of sound’s rhetorical and affective affordances. Students are not getting enough opportunities to experiment with sound’s distinct experiential possibilities. This presentation will explore how taking a more expansive, sensuous pedagogical approach can invigorate the role of sound in multimodal composition. Specifically, Ceraso will examine an experimental “multisensory dining event” in which she invited students to work with a chef to create original sonic compositions that complimented and enhanced the visual design, smell, texture, and taste of a prepared meal. As she will demonstrate, explicitly multisensory projects like this one enable students to become thoughtful, savvy consumers and producers of sound in digital composing environments and in their everyday lives. 

Steph Ceraso is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research and teaching interests are rhetoric and composition, pedagogy, sound studies, and digital media. In addition to coediting a special “Sonic Rhetorics” issue of Harlot, her work has appeared in College EnglishComposition Studies, Currents in Electronic LiteracyHASTACSounding Out! BlogFembot Collective, and Provoke! Digital Sound Studies. You can find more about her research, media projects, and teaching at
Hands-on Workshop:“Sonic Object Design: Sounding Function and Failure in Everyday Things”
February 26, 2016 - 10:00am

This hands-on workshop will explore the sonic rhetorics of everyday objects. In teams, participants will design prototypes (or sketches) for an everyday thing that uses sound strategically to influence the ways in which people interact with and feel about the object. Additionally, using a digital audio editor, each team will create two different kinds of sonic experiences for their object: one sonic experience that indicates the object is working successfully, and another that alerts users that the object is failing in some way. We will be sharing and discussing these projects, as well as talking about what this experiment can teach us about sonic rhetorics more broadly. To prepare for the workshop, participants should bring their laptops with the open source digital audio editor Audacity (or another preferred audio editor, if you have one) already downloaded and ready to use. No previous experience with sound editing or design is required. All are welcome!