Christina Katopodis / English
Project: The Walden Soundscape
NML Award: The New Media Lab Digital Dissertation Award (May 2018)
Christina Katopodis is a doctoral candidate in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY, a Futures Initiative Fellow, New Media Lab Researcher, HASTAC Scholar, and an adjunct at Hunter College. You can read her curriculum vitae here.
Katopodis’s white-paper dissertation explores the influences of music, nonhuman sounds, and sonic vibrations on 19th-Century American thought and literature, examining three major Transcendentalist figures, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as American Pragmatist William James. Her coinciding digital component to the dissertation, The Walden Soundscape, has received a Digital Dissertation Award from the New Media Lab as well as two consecutive Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants.
The Walden Soundscape project is my effort to share the sounds at Walden Pond in Concord, MA with any interested reader of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden in the form of a sonically and visually immersive experience.
The Walden Soundscape website is made up of three sections. The first section contains immersive stop-motion animated videos including guided walks through Walden Woods and meditative experiences reflecting on the pond in real time. A second section features an ArcGIS story map of the pond for individual exploration of the sonic environment surrounding the pond in the woods, the marsh grasses, and by the neighboring railroad tracks. The third section of the website features a podcast that uses sounds and critical listening methods to educate listeners about Sound Studies, Thoreau, climate change, and Transcendentalism.