Every year, Themester interns produce a podcast series which explores the semester's topic. This fall, podcast interns spoke with a variety of faculty members to talk about the 2022 theme, "Identity and Identification." This year’s podcast interns include Brooklynn Shively, Curren Gauss, Kate O’Brien, and Amanda Tinkle.
Themester's 2022 podcast series has released a total of seven episodes, ranging from topics about Black identity in the United States to queerness and sexuality in rural America.
Brooklynn Shively, producer of Themester 2022’s podcast, said that she's learned a lot since being the “Resilience” podcast host last year. As a sophomore, Shively worked on the previous podcast because of her interest in issues with sustainability and resilience. Since working with the podcast series, the experience has helped lead her to her major in Media Management, Law and Policy.
"I loved working with professors of all different disciplines," Shively said. "They all have fascinating perspectives and an incredible breadth of knowledge on topics I only knew the surface of."
Shively said that this summer's podcast work has changed since becoming producer. What was once conducting background research and creating interview questions had turned to organizational work and social media.
"Last season when I was a host, I learned more about asking the right questions when interviewing and conducting background research on academics," Shively said. "This year as the producer I learned more about organizing schedules, supervising, and putting together episodes, and social media marketing."
Curren Gauss, one of the hosts for Themester 2022’s podcast, said learning about podcast development was very new for her. A senior and English major, Gauss discussed the work that goes beyond the interviews.
"A big thing I was taught is that I had no clue how audio editing works," Gauss said. "Coming into this internship, I knew I was there to help with hosting mostly, just because I have experience in the journalistic side of podcasting and have done a lot of work interviewing people. I really was taught that podcasting has so much backend work attached to it that no one ever sees."
Gauss’s favorite interviewees included Dr. De Witt Douglas Kilgore (Department of English) and Dr. Colin Johnson (Department of Gender Studies). As a former student of Dr. Kilgore, Gauss says it was exciting to see familiar faces again.
"I do have a lot of love for the interviewees I knew pre-podcast," Gauss said, "especially Dr. Myers and Dr. Kilgore — I think a favorite moment was simply seeing them over Zoom and getting to say hello as a former student. Seeing how excited they both were to be asked to speak on their work was also such a treat, because I think it really reminded them the impact their courses have on students."
As Shively continues her undergraduate degree, she says she is excited to continue with the knowledge she's gained from producing the series this summer.
"I think that the Themester Podcast series is very unique, especially here at IU," Shively said. "There are no other student-run podcasts that focus on conversations with professors. This podcast is also the first time I ever learned how to edit and produce a podcast, so it will always have a special place in my heart."
The Themester episodes are:
- What It Means to be Human, a conversation with Dr. Stephen Selka
- Queerness in Rural America, a two-part conversation with Dr. Colin R. Johnson
- Media and Identity, a conversation with Dr. Andrew Weaver
- Identity of a Black Woman, a conversation with Dr. Amrita Chakrabarti Myers
- Disability in the United States, a conversation with Dr. Benjamin H. Irvin
To stream the Themester 2022 Podcast series, visit Themester's Podcast website.