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Sounding the Unseen: Radio dramaturgy from Wireless to Podcast

Friday, November 3, 2023 | 3:00 PM

Umrath Hall, 140
Umrath Hall, St. Louis, MO 63130

What makes radio storytelling unique? How does the medium’s restriction to the auditory sense offer new opportunities for dramatic representation? In this presentation, Caroline Kita offers new perspectives on radio drama, a genre that emerged with the birth of the radio medium in the early 20th century. Her research focuses on the construction of radio story worlds through the core elements of voice, music, noise, and silence, and highlights how the soundscapes of radio dramas offer critical insights into practices of listening and attitudes toward mediated sound in particular cultural moments. Drawing on work from her book in progress, Border Territories: The Emancipatory Soundscapes of Postwar West German Radio Drama, Prof. Kita’s talk illuminates the significance of radio drama in the German context in the aftermath of World War II, and points to the ways that the dramaturgical language of radio dramas from this era continues to shape radio storytelling today in the form of the audio fiction podcast.

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Speaker Information

Caroline Kita is an Associate Profesor of German and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as the Director of Graduate Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her research examines German and Austrian culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on German-Jewish literature, music, theater and radio drama.

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