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Listening for Learning

Performing a Pedagogy of Sound and Listening

Chris McRae

Whoosh, crunch, buzz, inhale, exhale . . . Listening for Learning: Performing a Pedagogy of Sound and Listening presents sound, listening, and pedagogical interactions as performances that create relationships, ways of being and knowing, and that provide an opportunity for transformations of existing and taken-for-granted practices in the classroom. By using performative listening and performative writing this book presents fragments of sound and listening as sites of learning and knowledge production. The written fragments throughout this book are offered as performances that listen for and hear sound as a central feature to educational practices in terms of bodies, classrooms, and pedagogy. The goal in sharing this performance of listening is to create opportunities for recognition, to invite further listening in educational contexts, and to employ listening as an opportunity for transforming and re-imagining educational spaces and interactions.

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Listen. This project emerges from a specific space, a room, a performance lab. It is a site of experimentation, learning, and vibration. Housed in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida, the performance lab, CIS 3020, is where I first met performance studies as a field of inquiry. And it is where undergraduate and graduate classes with Stacy Holman Jones first encouraged my interests in music performance, performative writing, and listening. It is a room that I returned to in my first academic position, and it is the room where I teach all my classes.

Towards the end of the completion of this book, the COVID-19 global pandemic has led to a shift in my instructional mode and I am currently not holding classes in the performance lab. However, the lab still features prominently in this book, and in my thinking about and experience of listening as a pedagogical and performative act. For these reasons, it does not feel all that strange for me to begin with an acknowledgment of the role the performance lab plays in the creation of this book.

Because it is a classroom, the performance lab is also a space where I am privileged to encounter and learn from dozens of students every semester. Each of these students and encounters impact and shape my listening and thinking throughout this project. I am especially privileged to know and work ←ix | x→for extended periods of time with some of these...

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