Public Humanities Collaborative Project- Broadcasting World Literature

Broadcasting World Literature is an opportunity to look at, think about, discuss, and listen to new perspectives on the world that you may not have known about. In keeping with Binghamton WHRW’s commitment to freeform radio, the radio show is student-produced. This radio show, hosted by Binghamton University Comparative Literature graduate student Daimys García, is a way to share stories and ask questions of/about power, purpose, beauty, and resistance. In every episode we discuss a new facet of what World Literature is, how it is organized, who it serves, and why it is important in the first place. Sometimes we just read and enjoy powerful poetry, other times we discuss the politics of writing–the possibilities are endless! Whatever we chat about, our goal is to make connections between people, places, ideas, and listeners! Tune in to WHRW every Tuesday, 4:00-4:30 PM (EST) . Find archived episodes and their descriptions on Binghamton University’s Open Repository here.

This project is funded through the IASH Public Humanities Initiative. The public humanities bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to the general public and cultivate a dialogue between the academic humanities and non-specialists. Public humanists engage in public intellectual work and make art, history, philosophy, and culture meaningful and accessible, as well as address issues of public importance. The PIs on this project are Comparative Literature faculty Giovanna Montenegro, PhD, Jeroen Gerrits, PhD, and Tarek Shamma, PhD.

This is a collaboration between our campus radio station here at Binghamton, WHRW, faculty, and our graduate and undergraduate students in Binghamton University’s Comparative Literature department who are involved in the production of a radio show on “world literature, stories, and public life.”  The show provides students training in radio as well as other projects supporting the public humanities at BU to increase the voice of humanists in the media.

Our inspiration for this comes from a number of resources. A few years back, Prof. Montenegro was the organizer for a panel at the Modern Language Association conference called: Strategies for Advocacy, Lobbying, and Activism in the Humanities https://humanitiesadvocacy.mla.hcommons.org/This panel brought together a number of individuals from a director a public humanities institute at the University of Iowa to graduate students from the University of California, Davis who presented on making a radio show in Spanish called Corre ve y dile ( Run See and Tell) broadcast on KDVS (UC Davis). Prof. Montenegro received positive feedback about the panel even years post-conference with editors asking about the possible production of a collection about the subject (a possible future project).

Likewise other sources of inspiration are: “Careers in the Public Humanities” a podcast exploring the broad range of positions and prospects open to humanities PhDs beyond the tenure track. Produced by graduate students in the University of Rhode Island English Department with funding support from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Next Generation PhD initiative, each episode featured an interview with a PhD alum who used their disciplinary knowledge in unique ways. The series aimed to inspire current and prospective PhD students to embrace cross-disciplinary learning and to consider engaging in research that serves diverse literary and cultural publics. 

Programming for the 2018-2019 academic year include additional workshops. In the Fall, we hosted Juan Miranda, PhD from UC Davis’ Spanish Department.

In the Spring of 2019 we will host Mack Hagood, PhD who will give a workshop “Taking Literature beyond Words through Audio Production” and a talk titled “Sonic Self-Control: From Greek Myth to Beats Headphones.” See Binghamton University’s Comparative Literature web page for up-to date event details.