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Sounding Composition, Composing Sound: Multimodal Listening, Bodily Pedagogies, and Everyday Experience

Ceraso, Stephanie (2013) Sounding Composition, Composing Sound: Multimodal Listening, Bodily Pedagogies, and Everyday Experience. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation re-imagines the teaching of listening in rhetoric and composition to account for sonic experiences in the twenty-first century. Technologies such as audio editing and music software allow users to control sound in ways that were not possible for the average listener before personal computers and digital audio devices became widely available. While digital technologies have presented new opportunities for re-thinking how to teach listening in relation to composing, they have also resulted in a selective and limited understanding of how sound works and affects in the world at large. The aim of my dissertation is to offer a listening pedagogy that helps students capitalize on the compositional affordances of sound in digital contexts and retrains them to become more thoughtful, sensitive listener-composers of sound in any setting.

Drawing from the listening and composing practices of deaf musician Evelyn Glennie, acoustic designers, and automotive acoustic engineers, I propose an expansive, explicitly embodied approach to the teaching of listening in rhetoric and composition. The listening pedagogy I introduce is based on my concept of multimodal listening, a practice that involves attending to the sensory, material, and contextual aspects that comprise and shape a sonic event. Unlike ear-centric listening practices in which listeners’ main goal is to hear and interpret audible sound (often language), multimodal listening practices move beyond the exclusively audible by emphasizing the ecological relationship between sound, bodies, and environments. I argue that cultivating multimodal listening practices will enable students to become more savvy consumers and producers of sound in the composition classroom and in their everyday lives.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ceraso, Stephanieslc94@pitt.eduSLC94
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBialostosky, Don Hdhb2@pitt.eduDHB2
Committee MemberCarr, Stephenscarr@pitt.eduSCARR
Committee MemberVee, Annetteadv17@pitt.eduADV17
Committee MemberEnoch,
Date: 28 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 June 2013
Approval Date: 28 September 2013
Submission Date: 4 June 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 195
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sound, listening, composition, rhetoric, multimodality, multimodal listening, sonic, soundscapes, Evelyn Glennie, body, bodies, experience, cars
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2013 21:43
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2018 05:15


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