Our lives are shaped by how we experience, understand, and give meaning to the physical, especially when we are active – when our bodies are in motion. From sport to exercise, recreation to active transportation and beyond, we feel and know the effects, all of which are implicated in the broad structures, institutions, and social norms of the society in which we live. With academic backgrounds, we are committed to the belief that everything in the somatic universe are significant topics that not only make for interesting podcasts, but can also have a wide-reaching positive contribution.
Our goal is for Somatic to be a hub where a diversity of people (be it academics, activists, or any person that wants to speak to their everyday embodiment) can tell stories of their experiences and stories in being physical active in all its myriad forms. Though our aim is to highlight everyday somatic experiences and the contexts, politics, and meaning of ordinary embodiment and activity, we do not want Somatic to be an “academic” podcast. We want it to be a digital platform for all kinds of stories related to the physically active or embodied experience, be they academic, informative, artistic, abstract, even incomplete and fleeting thoughts and ideas. The goal is to present the story itself, in whatever form it is being creatively manifested.
We are currently producing three primary “types” of episodes on Somatic:
- “Somatic” – these episodes are/will be informative in nature, using interviews, soundscape, music, and/or storytelling to discuss a topic/issue pertinent to the everyday somatic/embodied experience. Most of our episodes will take this form. Most often, each episode will include an interview with a noted scholar/researcher/academic who can provide a critical view on the topic, or a narration by a collaborator who discusses the critical dimensions of the topic.
- “Somatic Art” – these episodes are/will be much more “experimental” in form and production. Using the podcast as their digital platform, each episode will be the creative, imaginative expression of the collaborator and their vision. These episodes may be abstract, exploratory, even incomplete in their realization. Each, however, will explore, through the artistic form, the significance of an embodied experience. Our goal with our “Somatic Art” episodes is to rethink the boundaries of critical thought and the ways in which we come to interrogate the significance of our embodied experiences.
- “Somatic in Brief” – these short episodes will be utilized to discuss a recent event in the world of sport/physical culture/physical activity. A typical example of an episode will be our reflections on a recent academic conference. However, we will also produce “in Brief” episodes to discuss an important, recent event and how it has impacted our “somatic” world.
If you are a narrator, musician, producer, writer, or just someone who wants to contribute to this project anyway they can, get in touch. If your idea does not “fit” within our current “types” of episodes, that’s great! We are always looking to expand the kinds of episodes we produce on Somatic. We began Somatic as a platform for exciting collaborations, and would love your help in achieving this.
If you have any other questions or comments connect with us here
People of Somatic:
Co-Founder – Sam Clevenger: Sam earned his PhD in Physical Cultural Studies and currently teaches at the University of Maryland. His current research explores the cultural transmission of ideas of the body, health, and nature in histories of built environments, with specific attention to the history of the international garden city movement. In addition to his academic work, Sam also plays guitar and composes music on a regular basis. His music forms the initial basis of the original sound design for this project, and is just one of the roles Sam plays in the production of the podcast (Sam also edits, produces, and provides original writing content).
Co-Founder – Oliver Rick: Working from his base at Springfield College, Oliver continues to build his duel academic research interests: The globalization of sport and urban physical cultures. His research, teaching, and work beyond the university looks to blend these areas of interest and as such shape his contributions to this project. Oliver contributes to the project as a narrator, editor, and producer, while also providing some original writing for episodes.