week 6:

week 6 proved to be a pivotal week for our group, both in consolidating our idea and working out a plan of attack toward developing the presentation.

Angel sat in with us and posed an important question, that helps anyone developing a case study, ‘why does this matter?’

Ultimately in the moment, I am not sure our group came to a solid answer. Why does it matter that Johnny Cash made this prison album? Why does it matter that he came to represent a voice for the prisoners? What is our goal with working through these questions? I think that of course we all emotionally feel like there is reason for our research. It is why we get excited the deeper into our investigation and seeing what occured over the period, but I don’t believe we have yet nailed down why we are emotionally responding to the subject. At least, not in a clear, concise way.

However, this is right on the cusp. In my opinion.

After, our meeting we stayed beyond our hour and did a heavy brainstorm to create our research question and thesis (which are all in development):

so far coming up with:

Question: How does the preservation of sound in Johnny Cash’s prison albums demonstrate sounds capacity to permeate controlled environments?

Thesis: Looking at the sounds of the recorded prison albums, it’s film footage as well as reception theory we argue that Cash’s Live at Folsom Prison and Live at San Quinten albums act as a document of the how sounds ability to is permeated controlled environments and particularly the prisoners relationship to the space.

and then coming up with a rough structure for how the presentation with proceed:

Introduction: Start by playing folsom prison blues

Controlled environments

legislation /contact (why was he there)

Textual analysis of song: not new

  1. novelty of the composition

Reception theory

Audience and sounds of prisoners

  1. Sound of prison
  2. Sound of prisoners
  3. Why they react the way they do

Pre-conclusion : prisoners relationship with space ties in analysis


  1. Gift shop

Needless to say: It was a very productive week


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