Podfest 2019 Recap!

Podfest is an annual event where MASCLab is able to showcase the amazing podcasting and media-making that we do all year. This year, it was hosted on May 3rd in the Teachers College Smith Learning Theater, and was attended by students, faculty, staff and administration. However, if you couldn’t make it, this post is for you! Here’s a full recap of our celebration of all things multimodality. Subscribe to our podcast to listen to all of the episodes featured in this post! 

Craftivism Tent

The Craftivism Tent was an interactive exhibit related to our podcast episode about craftivism – the creation of crafts as a form of activism. The episode centers one of the most well-known examples of craftivism: the pussy hat. During the festival, participants engaged in craftivism by illustrating social issues that are meaningful to them on individual quilt squares. The resulting squares illustrated trans rights, black lives matter, stereotyping, homelessness, educational equity, and so much more. These squares will later be sewn together to create a MASCLab quilt!

Student Work Showcase

Students around Teachers College have been working on podcasts and other forms of multimodal learning in classes affiliated with MASCLab!


Where I’m From Wall: Students in Emily Bailin-Wells’s Culture, Media & Education class created podcasts about their “Where I’m From” poems based on the famous George Ella Lyon work of the same name, and created media artifacts to compliment them. Surrounding the samples of their work, we asked everyone to write what “from” means to them.
March for Our Lives: Here, we asked, “11 months after the March for Our Lives do you believe we have seen positive changes in gun laws?” Spoiler alert: the “No” side was pretty full by the end.
Issues In Digital Literacy: Here, students in Detra Price-Dennis’s Digital Literacies class created podcast episodes about chosen issues in digital literacy. The resulting podcasts included topics such as social media and education, critical consumerism, digital literacy assessment, and others! Podfest attendees could play with these posters to learn more about each topic and access QR codes to listen to the podcasts.

Dispatches from a Dissertation

This section featured the first “crossover” episode with StoryCenter, featuring MASCLab member Kyle Oliver’s ethnographic research on digital storytelling in faith and faith-adjacent settings. Kyle is pioneering multimodal research methods, including podcasting, in his dissertation process!

Math Histories Podcast

A team of Teachers College students and researchers visited the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, MD to document the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) and created the Math Histories podcast episode. The historical photos and tessellations featured in this section of Podfest were an invitation to interact and play with the contributions of these Black mathematicians.

Preventing Gun Violence Podcast

A visual representation accompanied a wide-ranging conversation on the phenomenon of firearm use and gun reform legislation, recommendations on policy and areas in need of further research with Sonali Rajan, Louis Klarevas, and Lalitha Vasudevan. Lots of interesting political conversation arose in this section as people reflected on their ideas about gun violence prevention.

Fake News Game

A team of MASCLab members have been working on developing an educational game about fake news this year, targeted towards middle school students and adopting a playful approach towards media literacy. During Podfest, we got to playtest it! We love a little friendly competition 😉

MASCLab Partnerships

The MASCLab Partnerships section showcased the various relationships that the MASCLab has built within Teachers College, our local community, and in our broader scholarly community. The images below include visual representations of the various partnerships that MASCLab has formed!

Love Wall: Inspired by students at Teachers College who responded to an anti-semitic hate crime on campus with a wall filled with messages of love, this Love Wall invited attendees to share mesages of love for the affected professor, someone in their lives, or for the general TC community.
Conferences: The MASCLab has presented at and attended a number of conferences this year, among which are UPenn’s Screening Scholarship Media Festival, TC’s Academic Festival, and American Educational Research Association Conference. Here, we featured images from our time at these conferences and gave attendees a chance to share their thoughts on multimodality!
EVC Partnership/It’s Not About Grit: In this part of the exhibit, we featured a MASCLab podcast episode where we cover Steve Goodman’s October 2018 Teachers College talk about his book, It’s Not About Grit: Trauma, Inequity, and the Power of Transformative Teaching; what grit is; and grit’s relation to urban youth and education.
“See, Hear, Be”: This podcast is one that explores the experiences of Black women in the workplace, produced by Stef McCalmon of the Columbia Business School.
Special Episode: TC President Thomas Bailey: This section featured a MASCLab podcast episode where we sat down with TC’s Tom Bailey just ahead of his inauguration as the school’s 11th President. We spoke with President Bailey about—among other things—his vision for the college, the state of higher education, and his love of Chopin.
Take Action Tuesdays: This podcast episode is a talk with Matthew Camp, Director of Government Relations and a PhD student at TC about the college’s #TakeActionTuesday initiative and related civic engagement activities going on across campus.
MASCLab Connections Wall: This wall was a space for attendees to share how they became a part of MASCLab. The MASCLab has become a strong network of scholars, media-makers, and creatives over the past five years – it was awesome to be able to get an idea of the different ways that people came to become a part of our community 🙂

All in all, it was a great time. It was my first Podfest, so it was awesome to be a part of putting on the event and seeing it all come together! Having a space to showcase and discuss my work, and learn more about that of my peers, was a unique and exciting opportunity. Stay tuned for more MASCLab events, and hopefully we’ll see you at Podfest next year!

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