Each episode of VandyVox features student work originating from a curricular or co-curricular project and includes audio documentaries, radio dramas, spoken word essays and ongoing podcasts.
The idea for VandyVox sprang from a course design institute hosted by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching last May, according to Derek Bruff, director of the Center for Teaching.
“Several faculty participants in the institute were interested in assigning audio projects in their courses or creating class podcasts,” Bruff explained. “Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if there were a ‘podcast of podcasts’ produced by Vanderbilt, featuring the best of these student projects?”
Bruff worked with Vanderbilt Student Media Director Chris Carroll and Assistant Directors Paige Clancy and Jim Hayes to develop the podcast, and reached out to faculty and students to curate the content. The Student Media team, including assistant director Jeff Breux, assisted with production and distribution.
Season 1 of VandyVox launched in late January and includes eight weekly episodes featuring student audio created for honors theses and internships, courses and research projects. Fields represented in the first season include math and English, law, and health policy. Genres include audio documentaries, speculative fiction and critical essays, as well as a conversation where three people sit around a microphone and talk about video games.
Season 1’s fifth episode will premiere on Thursday, Feb. 28. Episode 5 features a short audio story by Vanderbilt undergraduate Sarah Eidson about Maurine Watkins, the American journalist who wrote the play Chicago in 1926. Eidson produced the audio story for an assignment in the provocatively titled course “Women Who Kill,” taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program by English lecturer Robbie Spivey.
The course provided a critical look at classical and contemporary representations of women who kill. Watkins, the subject of Eidson’s audio story, wasn’t a woman who killed, but she covered the murder trials of two women as part of her work at the Chicago Tribune, then wrote her play Chicago about women accused of murder based on that experience. In Eidson’s piece “Writer’s Block Tango,” she blends fact and speculation to explore Watkins’ motivations.
To listen to episodes, visit the VandyVox website, or download from iTunes by searching “VandyVox.”
Season 2 of the podcast will launch later in 2019. To suggest student audio that might be featured for Season 2, contact the Center for Teaching.