What WRAC Is Making: Sounds from WRAC

The Callback album cover

The communications team in the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures recently sent a survey to see what folks in WRAC are doing outside of work/school. In the process, we discovered some amazing things–our people are busy! So, we have created a short series of articles to highlight their work. Our first highlight focuses on the musical creativity of our WRAC faculty.

WRAC’s own Ben Lauren, Bump Halbritter, and Bill Hart-Davidson (Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education in  the College of Arts & Letters) along with Dave Sheridan (faculty in the Residential College of the Arts and Humanities) are The Callback. 

Portait of Kate Birdsall masked
Portrait of Kate Birdsall

Their recently released a five-song EP…It’s the Callback, includes “Just Breathe (Dear Anxiety),” “The Callback,” “For the 1979,” “Mixed Up,” and “To Be Free.” Their music is “indie rock with pop hooks.” The entire album is available on all your favorite streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and YouTube. Check it out on Spotify!

Another WRAC faculty member, Kate Birdsall, author of the Cleveland-set Liz Boyle mystery series, which includes The Fall and The Heights isn’t just a writer of words—she’s also a musician. She is working on an EP that she describes as “post rock, somewhat-ambient-industrial-stoner-doom metal, that seems to want to be about grief and digital-meets-analog posthuman nostalgia.” One might wonder how these two projects relate to Birdsall’s love of teaching in one of WRAC’s majors, Professional and Public Writing (P2W). For her, the connection between writing and music composition is relatively simple: “so many writing concepts go into music production, namely revision.

Electric Guitar

Since we’re fundamentally a writing department, we should add that Lauren recently published a special issue of Kairos: A Journal on Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy on sound and social change. For that piece, he worked with WRAC alumni Shewonda Leger, Eric  Rodriguez, Rosa Tobin, and Ja’La Wourman, as well as Shannon Kelly, a WRAC PhD candidate. You can read it here.