Ann Heppermann

A Brooklyn-based, independent, radio/multimedia documentary producer, transmission sound artist, and educator, her stories air nationally and internationally on National Public Radio, the BBC, and on numerous shows, including: This American Life, Radio Lab, Marketplace, Morning Edition, Studio 360, and many others. Recipient of Peabody, Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Third Coast International Audio Festival awards. Transmission artist with free103point9; work exhibited at UnionDocs, Chicago Center for the Arts, and other venues. She has taught classes and workshops at Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Smith College, Columbia University, and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; for years, she was the director of radio at Brooklyn College. Co-creator of Mapping Main Street, a collaborative media project documenting the nation’s more than 10,000 Main Streets, which was created through AIR’s MQ2 initiative along with NPR, the CPB, and the Berkman Center at Harvard University. Her work has been funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Association of Independents, Arizona Humanities Council, and Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. Currently, she is a Rosalynn Carter for Mental Health Journalism Fellow and will be making a multimedia documentary about preteen anorexia in partnership with Ms. Magazine and NPR. SLC, 2010–

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Writing

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Writing and Production Audio Fiction Podcasts

Open , Seminar—Fall

The goal of this class is to start a revolution. Over the past few years, we have entered into a time of what is being called “The Second Golden Age of Audio.” But there is a problem. This Golden Age is almost primarily nonfiction. This class will change that. Students will learn to write and produce groundbreaking contemporary audio dramas for radio and podcast. We will listen to emerging works from podcasts such as Welcome to Night Vale, The Truth, Wiretap, and Lore, as well as by authors who have played in this field: Miranda July, Rick Moody, Gregory Whitehead, Joe Frank, and others. We will also create our own critical discourse for contemporary audio drama—analyzing writings and essays from the fields of screenwriting, sound art, contemporary music, and literature—to help understand and analyze the works that we are creating. The creators of Limetown, The Truth, and other audio fiction makers will visit the class to talk about their stories and production processes. The class will also contribute to the Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award (aka, The Sarahs)—the first international audio fiction award in the United States. Students will make works for The Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Contest and help curate works for the award-show podcast. In the fall, we will collaborate with master’s degree students from the drama department at the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp to create original works that will be featured at a European festival. At the end of the semester, students will take over WGXC radio station in the Hudson Valley and broadcast their final conference projects.

Faculty

Narrative Journalism in the Age of S-Town and other Serialized Podcasts

Open , Seminar—Spring

Ann Heppermann, the professor, is a Peabody award-winning radio reporter and United States Artists Fellow who has been working in the field for 15 years. Her work has aired on shows around the world, including: This American Life, Radiolab, Studio360, Marketplace, 99% Invisible, and Snap Judgment. She is a senior producer at Pineapple Street Media and also produced the Heaven’s Gate podcast.

We are living in “The Golden Age of Narrative Audio.” Shows like This American Life, Radiolab, More Perfect, and numerous other story-driven shows not only dominate podcasts and airwaves but also have created the paradigm for emerging shows like 99% Invisible, Love + Radio, and many others. We’ve also entered the age of the serialized podcast with limited-run series like Missing Richard Simmons, Heaven’s Gate, S-Town, and others put out by podcast companies like Gimlet, Panoply, First Look Media, Pineapple Street Media, and WNYC Studios. This class will teach students the practicalities of how narrative radio journalism in the age of serialized podcasting works, while we explore what this narrative movement means for the future of audio journalism. Students will learn practicalities—e.g.,. pitching both multipart and narrative pitches by using actual “call for stories" from studios and shows like This American Life, Radiolab, Nancy, and from podcasting companies like Pineapple Street Media and Gimlet; the fundamentals of how to record and mix stories using the latest digital editing technology; what narrative editors expect in a series; the skills necessary for a podcast internship. We will also reflect on the theoretical and ethical considerations for this “Golden Age of Narrative Audio.” We will ask questions like: How does imposing narrative structures affect nonfiction storytelling? How do narrative shows deal with ethical missteps? What does it mean to have “a voice”? Does it matter who gets to tell the story? (Answer on the last question, “Yes.” We’ll discuss why.) Producers, editors, and freelancers for This American Life, Radiolab, and Pineapple Street Media will visit the class to provide insight into their shows and answer student questions. The class will also take a field trip to Gimlet or Pineapple Street Media to see podcasting in action.

Faculty

Previous Courses

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Writing and Producing Audio Fiction

Open , Seminar—Year

The goal of this class is to start a revolution. Over the past few years, we have entered into a time of what is being called “The Second Golden Age of Radio.” But there is a problem. This Golden Age is primarily nonfiction. This class will change that. Students will learn to write and produce groundbreaking contemporary audio dramas for radio and podcast. We will listen to emerging works from podcasts such as Welcome to Night Vale, The Truth, Wiretap, and Lore, as well as by authors who have played in this field: Miranda July, Rick Moody, Gregory Whitehead, Joe Frank, and others. We will also create our own critical discourse for contemporary audio drama—analyzing writings and essays from the fields of screenwriting, sound art, contemporary music, and literature—to help understand and analyze the works that we are creating. The creators of Limetown and The Truth and other audio fiction makers will visit the class to talk about their stories and production processes. The class will also contribute to the newly created Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award (aka, The Sarahs)—the first international audio fiction award in the United States. Students will make works for The Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Contest and help curate works for the award-show podcast. At the end of the year, students will take over WGXC radio station in the Hudson Valley and broadcast their final conference projects.

Faculty
Related Disciplines