Introductory Post: Kira Schukar

Hi everyone! My name is Kira (she/her). I’m a third-year undergrad at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where I study English Literature and Geography. Right now, I am in the early exploratory stage of my senior honors project in English.

My research focuses on the intersection between audio storytelling, literature, and identity. Through a mixture of scholarly research and journalism, I am exploring how sound complicates our notions of gender, race, and geography. This summer, I spent a lot of time thinking about ways that audio journalism can create both connections and divisions between individuals or communities. Around that time, I was starting to write and produce my first pieces of audio journalism, and it was important to me to honor both the stories that I told and the people that I interviewed. Personally, I have found that documenting and sharing stories is a way to work through my own questions through another person’s ears. I started to ask questions about how sound reflects our cultural and political landscapes. For instance, do I hear the same sounds as my neighbor when I walk down my street? How do the sounds I make or seek out relate to my identities?

Since the fall, I have started to apply these questions to long-form podcasts (think, Serial, This American Life, Dolly Parton’s America, S-Town.) Most of all, I am interested in the voices behind these podcasts—What story do they tell? What can I learn from them? What haven’t they been able to say?

In my spare time, I love to hike, knit, and cook! I’m currently finishing a cardigan that I started over a month ago.

If you have similar interests, please reach out! I’m looking forward to learning more about the public and digital humanities from all of the wonderful scholars in this community!