Brock’s podcasting community is getting a boost this fall with the launch of a new initiative to support current or aspiring podcast creators across campus.
The Faculty of Humanities’ inaugural Podcast Learning Network (PLN) event series will take place during the 2023-24 academic year and is open to undergraduate and graduate students, staff or faculty. Anyone who currently produces a podcast, wants to start a podcast or is curious about the potential opportunities created by being a podcast guest is invited to join the community.
“The goal is to build capacity for knowledge mobilization through podcasting, and to enhance audio storytelling at Brock. We are creating a learning community where ideas and experiences can be shared while gaining knowledge from visiting experts,” said PLN facilitator Alison Innes, Strategic Initiatives and Outreach Officer in the Faculty of Humanities.
The PLN will include six sessions over the academic year featuring workshops, panel discussions and guest speakers. Some events will be held in person at Brock’s Research Impact Hub in Rankin Family Pavilion and online options will also be available.
The first event on Friday, September 22 will provide an opportunity for participants to meet fellow Brock podcasters and learn about the technical resources available at the University, including a tour of the facilities and equipment available in the Brock University Library’s Makerspace.
Later sessions will explore key themes including asking and answering interview questions in the podcast environment, audio recording and editing, and building a podcast brand.
The idea for the project evolved from Foreword, a podcast produced and hosted by Innes that features conversations with Faculty of Humanities researchers about their work.
“I wanted to know why our researchers do what they do and humanize academia for listeners,” Innes said.
The PLN also ties in with research Innes is conducting while completing a PhD in interdisciplinary Humanities at Brock. Innes is taking an in-depth look at podcasts and examining the role of scholarly topics, including assessing potential opportunities for discussing research work in an audio storytelling format.
Producing independent podcasts since 2016, Innes has seen the industry change dramatically. Her first podcast came out of her experience as a master’s student and teaching assistant in the Department of Classics and Archaeology at Brock. MythTake, with 50,000 downloads to date, was a collaboration between Innes and peer Darrin Sunstrum to explore ideas they encountered in Greco-Roman mythology.
“Podcast studies is an emerging academic field with deep connections to radio and communications studies. It is an interesting time; a space that once was marginal has become more mainstream with the growth of the podcast industry,” Innes said.
While Innes noted the podcast industry has become heavily monetized, she said there is still space for independent creators to share their ideas with the world, adding that “these voices matter now more than ever.”
The Podcast Learning Network is funded by the Faculty of Humanities and events are organized in collaboration with the Department of Digital Humanities, Makerspace, and Office of Research Services.
More information is available on the PLN website. Registration for the September and October sessions is now open on ExperienceBU. Sessions are free to attend and no experience is required. Anyone with questions is invited to email Innes at email@example.com