Deadline: 23 September 2016
Conference: 6-9 July 2017
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
In the past decades, the encompassing interaction between literature and media in live performance has paved the way for epistemologies centered on vocality, performativity, and embodiment. More recently, Jelena Novak’s notion of ‘Postopera’ (2015) raises questions about the role of the body in contemporary technoculture and the traditions technologies transmit and adapt: “the relationship between the body and the voice [in their digital remediation] is the locus for a redefinition both of opera itself and our understanding of it.” This panel will further explore redefinitions of the voice-body interrelation as staged in literature, music, and performances, both historical and contemporary.
As with postopera, we will follow trajectories in musicology, gender studies, and media studies, in order to further understand the interface between (singing) bodies and voices. In addition to the postoperatic perspective, which returns to the body as one of the most compelling components – even one of the main texts – of today’s digital landscapes of voice, we will also consider how critical observations issued from posthumanism have repeatedly questioned the ties that bond the voice to the body.
This panel seeks to convene media and literary critics, musicologists, and composers, as well as other cultural theorists committed to further understanding voices and their materialities of embodiment. We welcome papers examining vocality’s technological mediation of bodies from a broad range of critical perspectives and in different media: from voice to embodiment studies, and from literature (both print and electronic) to (digital) opera and performance art. As our goal is to broaden the scope and the relevance of vocal embodiment for interdisciplinary study, we also welcome presentations that do not directly pertain to literary texts, but will nevertheless contribute to our understanding of these different areas of study.