15 Kimball Hill Road
Putney, VT 05346
Listening Beneath the Noise
Description: The human brain is wired to respond to voices and stories of others. Evolutionary biologists attribute the success of our species in part to ritualized storytelling, which reinforced unity and safety among early humans. Although contemporary humans are inundated with chatter in social and broadcast media, spoken conversation has diminished. I will use examples from a career in broadcasting to talk about how active listening can change personal and communal dynamics and be used as a tool to move beyond conflict. Throughout, I will encourage students to talk about their own experience living in a culture that places a higher value on being heard than hearing, and that provides us with technologies which give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.
Bio: Virginia Prescott is host of Word of Mouth, NHPR’s daily conversation about emerging trends, new ideas and under-reported stories from viral and pop culture. Her deep roots in public radio began at WWOZ in New Orleans. She later launched the Edward R. Morrow Award-Winning interactive media team at WNYC in New York City, and became editor, producer and director for NPR’s On Point and Here & Now while at WBUR in Boston. Throughout her radio career, she’s helped build independent radio stations throughout the developing world and trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. Her commitment to the power of sound and story-telling led her to create audio installations in Houston, Watertown, Massachusetts, and at MIT. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University and was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley.
This talk is co-sponsored by Next Stage Arts.