Associate Professor, School of Art & Design
- M.A. (Community Counseling), Eastern Michigan University, 1999
- B.A. (Studio Art), Brown University, 1982
Stephanie Rowden is a sound artist whose work encompasses projects for radio, podcast, installation and participatory public art. Drawn to the magnetic qualities of sound and story, her experimental audio documentaries and essays explore human motivations and inter-relationships.
Recent projects include a series of audio tours — from a curatorial installation and audio essay about the impulse to collect (for the Berman Museum at Ursinus College) to a guided audio walk inspired by a story by Jorge Luis Borges (through the labyrinthine U-M Hatcher Graduate Library.)
Most recently, Rowden’s interest in student-centered civic engagement has sparked the Creative Campus Voting Project, a research initiative she leads with Stamps colleague Hannah Smotrich. Their ongoing project is focused on creative interventions — online, in public spaces, on campus and in the classroom — that support peer-to-peer interactions to enliven college-age voter participation.
Her audio collaborations with writers include a series of radio poems with Jennifer Metsker, an audio postcard with Keith Taylor, and a soundscore for a video dance performance with Anne Carson. Rowden’s audio pieces have been broadcast on WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio, Michigan Radio, PRI’s Studio 360, and BBC-Radio 4’s Shortcuts and featured through the Third Coast International Audio Festival.
She is co-founder of the Radio Campfire community listening event series in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit; and was co-curator of the Sounds of the State series of audio shorts on Michigan Radio.
At Stamps, Rowden has developed a number of sound art, audio documentary and podcast related classes for artists and designers who want to incorporate audio into their creative work. These include community engagement classes in which students collaborate with elders and high school students to generate and record life stories.
Rowden has received grants and fellowships from the U-M Institute for the Humanities, ArtServe Michigan / the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance / National Endowment for the Arts, ArtMatters, Inc., the University of Michigan Arts of Citizenship program and Artists Space in New York. She has been an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony and the Ragdale Foundation.