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Upenn Students Highlight the Best of Philly's CultureAug 3, 2012 | News
The University of Pennsylvania's Communications Department partnered with 900-AM WURD to develop an Urban Ethnography course which allowed students to produce thier own short audio documentaries in music, food, transportation and art!
These "acoustic" audio clips tell of Philadelphia's deep rich culture that you may not be able to learn about on your local news, or perhaps read about in your favorite magazine. John Jackson, University of Penn Professor of Communications, created the class,"Urban Ethnography: Documenting The City of Brotherly Love," which forces students to step out of the "penn bubble" and into a city drowning of hidden treasures. WURD's own Sara Lomax-Reese helped co-create and assistant teach the class, lending her knowledge and skills of radio and academia. Both Sara and John envisioned a course that would allow students to delve into radio and highlight urban culture in Philadelphia. With many weeks of discussion, the class was put together with a number topics in mind including, how qualitative social scientists study the urban community, the anthropology of critical thinking, microly focusing on the social issues of Philly, as well as other factors. The finish products translate into several interesting stories featuring the voices of native Philadelphians excited and willing to tell their perspective of a city they love so very much! One documentary is about the Love Letters murals from Artist Stephen Powers, who fell in love with the El train as a West Philly resident. He thought that the lackluster window views of the El Train ride could be enhanced by unique and beautiful murals inserted on the faces and sides of abandon buildings and bustling store fronts. From the audio documentary, Penn students discovered that many residents enjoy and appreciate the hidden messages in the art. In another clip, the Spoken Word culture of Philly is highlighted with popular names interviewed such as Greg Corbin, Founder of Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement. This partnership brought on a greater understanding of Philly's urban community to students who will hopefully work towards strengthing the city and the community at large! 900AM WURD even gained an intrigued student, Nicole Cone, who decided to intern at WURD after her experience with the course. Anyways, we've podcasted all of the documentaries for your pleasure, check them out in the link below!
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Posted By: Melissa HendersonReturn