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About The Class

About Meadville

About Emily Yochim

Meadiaville is a project imagined and executed by Dr. Emily Yochim and students that partake in her Communication Arts 376 course annually. The project began with a class of 18 Communication Arts students in 2016, and has since expanded into additional seasons. The initial media Consumption 376 began meeting in January of 2016 and students were introduced to the project that Professor Yochim had envisioned. From there, the project took off.

Professor Yochim's initial Meadiaville project centered around youth media makers in the Meadville area and sought to understand the circumstances that these youth were situated in while producing their media. As a class, students created a space where Meadville media makers could go to collaborate, learn, and explore other media makers in the area as well as to create an outlet that would help these young creative minds be heard by their community. Over the course of 14 weeks Dr. Yochim and her students conducted interviews, created a website, produced four podcasts, published several ethnographic research analyses rooted in communication arts theory, and developed personal relationships with Meadville community members. What started out as a class turned into something very meaningful and gratifying. As a class, it is Professor Yochim's hope this work continues to be looked at and utilized in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

The Meadiaville Listening Project is a collaborative effort between Allegheny College and the Meadville community. The course is lead by Professor Emily Yochim, a Communication Arts professor, and the mastermind behind this project. Professor Yochim teaches Communication Arts 376, a course designed to teach students about ethnographic research methodology. Students in the course work with participants from the Meadville and Allegheny Community to create the seasons of Meadiaville. Each section of the course produces a new season.

Meadville, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is a town rich with stories of success woven into its extensive history. Just a hundred years ago, Meadville was booming with the manufacturing industry acting as the backbone of the town. The emergence of the zipper gave the town the extra push to bring in more companies, ultimately supplying jobs to a majority of the Meadville community. For several decades, Meadville thrived as a town, even escaping the the downfall of the Great Depression. It was not until the more recent economic recessions, both in the 1980’s and again in 2008, that Meadville felt an economic blow. The spread of globalization led to the relocation of many of the once successful companies, leaving many residents with little options as far places to work. In a town that is still struggling to get back on its feet, youth media makers may not always feel as though Meadville is the right place to create media. Many of the people we talked to only know Meadville as a town that is struggling, rather than a town full of possibilities. However, Meadville still has a spark of perseverance, and that is something that this town will never lose. It is this same perseverance and fierce determination that compels our youth media makers to do what they truly love to do.

Emily Chivers Yochim, Associate Professor in Communication Arts, has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies and Graduate Certification in Screen Arts and Cultures from the University of Michigan.  She is an Allegheny alum who earned her B.A in Communication Arts in 2000.

Emily’s primary areas of interest include everyday media life, media ethnography, digital media, youth subcultures, labor, and affect. Her research explores how media are woven into everyday lives and communities, shaping mundane sensibilities of what is possible to be and become. Her most recent book, Mothering Through Precarity: Women’s Work and Digital Media, with Professor Julie Wilson, examines how working- and middle-class mothers negotiate the difficulties of twenty-first-century mothering through their everyday engagement with digital media. She is also the author of Skate Life: Re-imagining White Masculinity, winner of the Bonnie Ritter Book Award in Feminist/Women Studies in Communication, National Communication Association and the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Outstanding Book Award.  Emily has also published work in several journals, including Cultural Studies; Media, Culture, and Society; and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies.

Emily teaches a variety of courses on media, including Introduction to Critical Media Studies, Media & Cultural Theory, Digital and Screen Cultures, and Media Consumption. She also teaches courses in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

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Made possible by the Meadville Community, Oral History in the Liberal Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Allegheny College Communication Arts Department.