Conference on „Audio Drama. Histories, Aesthetics, Practices“ in Copenhagen, 19-20th, August, 2014

On August, 19th and 20th, 2014, a conference on „Audio Drama. Histories, Aesthetics, Practices“ took place at the University of Copenhagen, Southern Campus (KUA)

You can find the programme in detail with all the abstracts here:
Audio Drama – Histories, aesthetics, practices

You can find an reviewed overview over the keynote speakers and panelists here:

Keynote by Vito Pinto, Freie Universität, Berlin:
Listen and Participate. The Work of the ›Hörspielmacher‹ Paul Plamper

Panel 1 on Aesthetics (Chair: Stig Jarl, University of Copenhagen)

Pernille Kragh Jespersen, MA, Husets Teater (Cph): Between spaces -­ radio dramaturgy

Sandra Boss, PhD fellow, Aarhus University and Astrid Hansen Holm, MA, Dramaturge (Cph): Echo as staging -­ sound media as space – and time defining factor in site –  specific audio drama

Panel 2 on Practices (Chair: Sofie Lebech, University of Copenhagen)

Richard Shannon, Goldsmiths College, London: The Incomplete Recorded Works of a Dead Body by Ed

John Barber: Washington State University, Vancouver: Future audio drama: Imagine the possibilities

Andy Cartwright, University of Sunderland: Rediscovering the Imagination: a practical exploration into the teaching of Audio Drama

Panel 3 on Practices (Chair: Hans-Ulrich Wagner, University of Hamburg)

Tim Hinman, producer, Third Ear, Copenhagen: Sound that makes drama is so much more than just the words -­ so what are radio dramas missing out on?

Trine Damgaard, MA, producer, Keep Talking, Copenhagen: The vibrant radio drama – on improvisation in radio drama acting

Daithi McMahon, University of Limerick: Docudrama: Bringing Radio Documentary to Life Through Drama

Paper: Trends in German Audio Drama by Hans-Ulrich Wagner, University of Hamburg

Panel 4 on Histories
(Chair: Ib Poulsen, Roskilde University)

Leslie McMurtry, Swansea University: “They All Just Want to Tell a Good Story”: Big Finish Audio Drama Goes Legit

Heidi Svømmekjær, University of Copenhagen: The ‚How‘ of Radio Drama Series. The Case of „The Hansen Familiy“

Ricarda Franzen, University of Amsterdam: The compositional machinery of documentary audio theatre in the Netherlands 1950 -­ 1980

Panel 5 on Histories
(Chair: Ib Poulsen, Roskilde University)

Hugh Chignell, Bournemouth University: British radio and the absurd

Parallel sessions:

Workshop Richard Shannon, Goldsmiths College, London: Impossible Radio

Keynote by Holger Schulze, University of Copenhagen: „Das Pophörspiel („Popular Music Radio Play“). On the mediated sound of popular music in a radiophonic art form.“


Information by the organisers, Heidi Svømmekjær and Bente Larsen

Audio Drama
Histories, Aesthetics, Practices

Audio drama is moving forward. There is a renewed interest in creating and analysing drama for the ears It has become both easy and cheap to produce, download and transport sound. While radio drama is still stirring the airwaves of public service broadcasters, audio drama is appearing in many other contexts. Dedicated websites offer access to new and old audio drama productions, which can be listened to anywhere and anytime. Audio drama is also taking on new shapes, for instance as audio walks and site-specifics with sound as a primary element.

With this two-day seminar on audio drama we wish to examine, analyse and discuss the history, future, format and mediation of audio drama. In what way do the new technological possibilities of audio drama “on-the-go” affect the art form? Does this renewed interest in audio drama represent a revival of the art form and if so, where is it headed? Why does audio drama continue to awaken the interest of listeners in a media culture otherwise dubbed “the regime of visibility” by Camiel van Winkel?

The seminar is arranged in collaboration with The Danish National School of Performing Arts’ Continuing Education, the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies (including Theatre- and Performance Studies) at the University of Copenhagen and the Department of Aesthetics and Communication at the University of Aarhus and finally, the Radio Drama Network, (RDN, a Danish association of radio drama researchers, artists and professionals).

The three seminar sessions are followed by a workshop by Richard Shannon, UK, open to researchers as well as practitioners (dramatists, actors, directors, sound technicians etc.). The full seminar will take place in Copenhagen and will lead up to the first Danish audio drama festival, also in Copenhagen, 21-24 August 2014. Furthermore, a special issue of the Danish theatre studies journal Peripeti, dedicated to audio drama and edited by the RDN, will be released in autumn. For more information: http://www.peripeti.dk.

Three sessions:

1) Histories of Radio drama

This session offers the possibility of discussing the archival, methodological, and analytical challenges, or even perils, involved with an historical approach to radio drama. What are the benefits of such an approach in an age, which seems ever more future-oriented? We welcome single in-depth case studies as well as comparative studies of radio and audio drama(s), methodological and theoretical discussions and contextual (historical and institutional) analyses.

2) The Aesthetics of Audio Drama

From Arnheim to Crisell and beyond, the particular aesthetics of radio drama have been the subject of thorough investigation. The literature often reveals an innate urge to re-conceptualise radio drama to mark a distance from other, more visual but otherwise similar forms of cultural expressions such as stage drama and television drama. What are the characteristics of radio drama and how do they compare to other forms of audio drama, such as live radio drama, audio walks etc.? What are the recent developments in audio drama and where might it be headed? We welcome presentations covering the general issues of conceptualisation, analysis, comparison, and reception in relation to audio drama.

3) Practices of Audio Drama

Cross-overs between theories and practices are common in the field of radio. Several universities offer programmes in radio production. In some contexts these programmes are conceived as practice-based approaches to scholarly discussions on radio aesthetics, genres and formats, in others the programmes are thought of as an academic entry to a career in radio production or radio/audio art. This session could adress the pros and cons of practice-based radio drama courses in academic contexts. Other questions could be raised by producers of radio and audio. How do new technologies and new platforms for audio drama change the artistic approach to genres and formats? Why and how do other radio genres integrate elements of drama? In what sense is audio drama inspired by or offers inspiration to dramatic formats within other media? We welcome presentations from researchers, lecturers and producers of audio.

A workshop:Impossible Radio

The seminar will conclude with a workshop on radio drama production, led by Richard Shannon. Richard Shannon is currently lecturing at Goldsmiths College in Radio Drama and Documentary and Musical Theatre production. He also teaches playwriting at Warwick University. Read more here: http://www.ma-radio.gold.ac.uk/shannon.htm. In this practice-based workshop, participating researchers and artists are invited to produce a very short drama, thus getting a chance to experience the phases of radio drama production from conceptualisation to recording and editing.


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