Nicole Furlonge

Director and Professor, Klingenstein Center Teachers College Columbia University


Cultivating A Listening Mind

This is an invitation to listen, to think through sound. Specifically, in this session, we will explore how one learns to listen and, in turn, listens to learn. This conversation builds at the intersection of literature, Sound and Cultural Studies, and the Science of Learning/Science of Reading and poses two essential questions: (1) If, as Nathaniel Mackey asserts, “The page and the ear coexist. Not only do they coexist, they can contribute to one another,” then how does one read as a listener?; and, (2) How does listening function as a set of intentional and ethical strategies that not only enliven how we read, write, and critique texts, but also inform how we might be more effective audiences for each other and towards social justice? During this presentation, I will share the curriculum and assessments I designed in “A Listening Mind,” an English course that aimed to develop students’ habits as listeners — to themselves, to others, in order to learn.


Nicole Furlonge, Director of the Klingenstein Center, earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Columbia University, Dr. Furlonge served as Director of Teaching and Learning at the Holderness School, where she developed LEARNS, a framework for formative professional learning. She is the author of Race Sounds: The Art of Listening in African American Literature (UIowa, 2018), which demonstrates listening as an interpretive and civic act that leads to deeper engagement with race. Currently, Dr. Furlonge’s research examines listening, cognitive neuroscience, and learning. She is interested in investigating ways to cultivate the habits of a listening mind.