Disembodiment and The Heart: Podcasting as a Safe Space for the Discussion of Intimate Embodied Experience

Karathanasopoulou, Evangelia and Williams, Helen (2021) Disembodiment and The Heart: Podcasting as a Safe Space for the Discussion of Intimate Embodied Experience. In: Oral History and The Media, 9 July 2021, University of Bournemouth, USA. (Unpublished)

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The #metoo movement established the disclosure of sexual violence via social media as mainstream and offered participants a platform to share experiences, receive support and feel part of a community. In response to this, we explore the use of audio methods such as podcasting as a conduit to describe traumatic, embodied experiences and the ways in which non-visual media can provide a safe, positive environment to reveal intimate and deeply personal information. We are particularly interested in the tension between the disembodiment of audio media and the embodied nature of these experiences.

While much previous work has focused on radio as a confessional medium, in this paper we examine the capacity of podcasts to facilitate confession and testimony in light of the increasing supply of listening on demand programmes. By comparing podcasting to radio phone-in programmes, we contemplate the producer/listener dynamic, the facilitation of empathetic relationships and the place of participatory media in programmes dedicated to themes of consent and sexual violence.

Using The Heart podcast as a case study, this paper analyses aspects of the production, content and affect of the mini-series No, and includes reflections on audio recording and headphone listening practices in the context of trauma, consent and disclosure. In the programme the producer/presenter uses her own personal testimony combined with the perspectives of male friends, family members and partners in order to make sense of her own experiences within a gendered landscape.

This paper takes an interdisciplinary approach which combines radio studies, gender studies and criminology to offer a unique insight into radio and podcasting practice through the lens of contemporary discussions of non-consensual sexual experiences, gendered power dynamics and accountability.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Helen Williams
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 13:02
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:02
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/13685
ORCID for Helen Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4980-0853

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