University of Technology, Sydney
Creative Practice and Cultural Economy Research Group 
14-15 February 2013

Voice/Presence/Absence is an interdisciplinary conference organised under the auspices of the Creative Practice and Cultural Economy Research Strength of the University of Technology, Sydney,with the goal of exploring new approaches to the study of voice in the context of arts and humanities, performing practices and new media.

The focus of the conference is:

  • Voice in/and artistic practices;
  • Voice and theory (philosophy, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, semiotics, gender studies, literary studies, reception theory etc.);
  • Voice and technology (amplification, manipulation, recording and archival, technologies of the body, etc.);
  • The relationship between theory and practice (in the performing arts, creative writing, media art, etc.);
  • The relationship between voice and ideas of subjectivity.

From the experiments of the historical avant-gardes, through the experimental art of the mid 20th Century to the digital revolution, and throughout the developments of postcolonial studies and the so-called post-structuralist turn, theory and creative practices have engaged with voice, its use and its manipulations, in ways that configure a variety of complexly interwoven paths: Dada, Artaud, Bene, Lacan, Dolar, Derrida, Blanchot, Bakhtin, Cavarero, Portelli are only a few now canonical examples of thinkers and artists who contribute to the understanding of the human voice beyond the boundaries of their specific disciplines. Voice/Presence/Absence is devoted to both the mapping of theseintertextual networks and the articulation of original interdisciplinary frameworks to think voice in/and the arts today.

The organizing panel will consider proposals for theoretical papers and/or casestudies (max 20 minutes) addressing one of the following 3 areas:

1. ‘Voice, Performing Arts, Technologies’
Contributions in the fields of theatre studies, performing arts, spoken words, media art,addressing one or more of the following themes: Voice, orality and text; Voice and amplification, recording, manipulation; Voice and subjectivity; Voice in/and music; Voice and (new) media; and Voice reception/politics of listening.

 2.  ‘Voice, Writing, Literatures’
Contributions in the fields of creative writing, literary studies, comparative literatures, addressing one or more of the following themes: Voice and narratology; Style and the ‘writer’s voice’; Dialogism and heteroglossia; Migration and transnational literatures; Writing, voice, gender; and Voice and genre.

3. ‘Memory and the Voice’
Contributions in the fields of history, oral history, micro-history, memory, place studies, addressing one or more of the following themes: Oral history and voice; Marginalities and voice; Politics of voice; Gender; Voices and cultures; Voice, geographies and place.

Voice/Presence/Absence welcomes also proposals for performances (max 20 minutes) in the following areas: Music; Theatre; Poetry; Multimedia art; and Art performance. The proposals should have a particular focus on the use of voice, alone or in relation to other modes of delivery. The performers should also be willing to engage with the presenters of academic papers, in specific moments of the conference devoted to dialogue and potential crosspollination.

Submission guidelines: Proposals (for academic papers and performances) should be accompanied by the following: 250-word abstract; Full name of author/s; Institutional affiliation (if any); Individual e-mail address; Brief bio (max. 5 lines). Proposals should be submitted Catherine Baird by 30 September 2012. After the conference, the organising committee will select a series of papers and invite the authors to submit a full article for publication in a special issue of an academic journal, TBC. Registrations: $AUD200 / $AUD100 student.  Conference organiser: Malcolm Angelucci.

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