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Voices in and out of Place: Misplaced, Displaced, Replaced and Interlaced Voices

Posted: March 1st, 2022 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

6-7 September 2022

EXTENDED Submissions Deadline: 13 May 2022

The International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University (ICMuS) is hosting the second biennial on-line Vicarious Vocalities, Simulated Songs conference in collaboration with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, now celebrating its tenth year. The theme of this year’s conference is “Voices in and out of Place: Misplaced, Displaced, Replaced and Interlaced Voices”, and is intended to cover both new and longstanding questions around the location or place of the voice with regard to the body AND equally perennial debates around the voice in relation to geographical and temporal place and space.

We are seeking contributions from scholars and creative practitioners engaging with the following questions:

Where/when is the voice? Where/when does it come from and where and when does it go? Where and when does it “belong”? And what happens to it once it leaves the vocal apparatus and travels free?

Through a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-practice approach, this edition of Vicarious Vocalities, Simulated Songs will consider how the voice travels within and without the boundaries of human bodies, societies, geographies, temporalities, and technologies. What are some of the ways we can attempt to map such migrations? What routes can be traced when we consider voices in and out of place?

We talk of finding one’s voice, losing one’s voice; of voices usurped, silenced, or extinct. As listeners, we inhabit songs and other vocalities and form relationships with voices, ‘moving in’ with them, living with them, ageing with them, perhaps leaving them. Such concerns have been amplified, as it were, by the growth of mechanical and digital reproduction and its attendant ability to carry voices out of place and out of time. Nevertheless, the fascination with vocal relocations has a long, multi-cultural history.

Keynote Speaker:

Naomi André
Professor,  Department of Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan


Katherine Meizel
Professor, College of Musical Arts
Bowling Green State University 

We welcome contributions of all types, including:

  • 20-minute papers
  • panels
  • works in progress
  • artistic works or performances
  • digital posters; etc.

Possible areas of inquiry/creative practice might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Immigrations and displacements: the voices of home, the voice of the other, nostalgic re-imaginings
  • Vocal appropriations: sampling, plunderphonics, musique concrète, lipsynching
  • Voicing nature: field recordings, anthropomorphic representations, extinctions
  • ‘Thrown’ voices: ventriloquism in practice and culture, the power of the “unseen, offscreen” voice (the acousmatic voice)
  • Matching the “ideal voice” to the “ideal body”: vocal mismatches and television reveals; overdubbing, ghost singing, playback singing across cultures; pop culture recording practices
  • Machine voices: artificial intelligence, “robot” voices, autotune and digital manipulations
  • Vocal fractures: aphasia, dementia, voice rehabilitation, interventions, simulations
  • Voices in deterrence and torture: The “Guantanamo Playlist”, crowd control, public policing
  • Distant encounters and raising the dead: telephony, recording, vocal dis/re-embodiment, spirit mediums
  • God-speak: scripture, glossolalia, the shift of sacred singing styles voicing the secular
  • Vocal overcrowding: social media, “silent” or “vocal” majorities, podcasting
  • Case studies: particular performers, performances, or techniques

Submissions Format:

  • Please send a 300-word abstract describing your paper or creative project along with a 100-word biographical statement to Drs Merrie Snell and Richard Elliott at [email protected] by 13 May 2022.
  • We will aim to respond to submissions by the beginning of June 2022.
  • We encourage submissions from underrepresented individuals, communities, and identities.

Conference Format: Following previous editions of Vicarious Vocalities, Simulated Songs, the conference will take place online. It will run for two days—6 and 7 September 2022—in plenary mode, with a keynote and an evening event showcasing creative work (audio-visual works, performances, remixes, etc.). A website is also planned to showcase digital posters and creative work.

Vicarious Vocalities, Simulated Songs is organised in collaboration with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies. The Centre promotes cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural research and discussion through symposia, publications (including the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies), performances, and other activities including the Vicarious Vocalities on-line biennial conference, the first of which was hosted by University of Portsmouth in September 2020. The Centre was founded by Ben Macpherson (University of Portsmouth, UK) and Konstantinos Thomaidis (University of Exeter, UK) in 2012.

For further information on the Centre and its activities, see: https://interdisciplinaryvoicestudies.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/

You can view the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies here: https://www.intellectbooks.com/journal-of-interdisciplinary-voice-studies

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