The Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies (GLASS)

This fall, Derek Vaillant and Caryl Flinn of FTVM welcomed over forty GLASS members to the U-M campus. Twenty-one presenters from the U.S. and Canada discussed their sound studies scholarship. Faculty and graduate student papers represented numerous academic fields including anthropology; art history; comparative literature; communication & media; film, TV & media; history, and music. View the program here.

Across the Waves: How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio (University of Illinois Press, 2017) has been nominated for the International Communication Association (ICA) book prize. For a comprehensive overview, see H-France

‘Wrong is Normal in Flint:’ Reporting Sound Data from the Flint Water Crisis. Professor Vaillant delivered the Howard R. Marsh Distinguished Research Fellow lecture last spring. Michigan Radio’s Not Safe to Drink was hailed as a catalyst of state and national awareness of the catastrophic Flint water emergency. However, the public radio documentary raises vexing questions about how state and national media frame elements of class, gender, and race in their day-to-day coverage. The lecture explored how and why news reporting of the poisoning of a major city water supply failed for so long to generate public outcry beyond Flint and the region and ongoing issues in the ability of mainstream media to perform their democratic functions effectively.

The Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) is an initiative linked to the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress (LOC). The Preservation Director works to further the RPTF’s mission coordinating the academic community in identifying endangered sound collections and working with librarians, archivists, and others to find homes for materials that may otherwise be lost forever. The RPTF holds its next national conference in Washington, D.C. in the fall. These events bring together scholars, sound preservationists, and representatives from major institutions from the LOC to the Smithsonian to the National Museum of American History to strategize about preserving U.S. aural culture.

The Global Media Studies Initiative (GMSI) continues to be a hub for COMM and MEDIA department faculty and scholars from around the world sharing ideas and mentoring graduate students and junior scholars.