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Call for Papers for Locating the Voice in Film: Critical Approaches and Global Practices

Locating the Voice in Film: Critical Approaches and Global Practices

Editors: Tom Whittaker (University of Liverpool) and Sarah Wright (Royal Holloway)

Some thirty years after Mary Ann Doane’s seminal essay, ‘The Voice in Cinema’ (1980), the voice continues to exert a fascination in Film Studies. This has been particularly borne out in more recent years, with studies such as Into the Vortex: Female Voice and Paradox in Film (Britta Sjogren, 2006) andOverhearing Film Dialogue (Sarah Kozloff, 2000). As these authors show, the texture of the voice is an important, and often overlooked, component of film form. The voice provides a crucial vehicle for understanding the complex ways in which cinematic identification, performance and sound design are constructed in film.

Much critical writing on the voice, however, has tended to pursue the model of Hollywood cinema as its primary focus. In contrast, the location of the voice in non-Anglophone film industries, which has often employed different approaches to sound design, has received far less critical attention. For instance, the dubbing of foreign actors continues to be standard practice in a great number of countries both within and beyond Europe. Moreover, unlike Hollywood, the national cinemas of Italy, Spain and India traditionally relied on post-synchronised sound, which often complicated the commonly held relationship between sound and image.

Locating the Voice In Film intends to be the first book-length study to explore the voice beyond the context of Hollywood cinema. Comprising essays by scholars within Film Studies and Cultural Studies, the anthology specifically addresses issues surrounding the voice that are particular to non-Anglophone cinema. Each chapter will turn on aspects such as dubbing and dubbing actors, post-synchronised sound and the specificity of vocal performance across a number of diverse national contexts and cinematic practices. Several of the analyses will also critically engage with existing cultural criticism and philosophical writing on the voice, in turn drawing on the writing of Roland Barthes, Stephen Connor and Mladen Dolar. In doing so, Locating the Voice seeks to make a significant contribution not only to our understanding of practices of sound, dubbing and performance in film, but casts light on the ambiguous location of the voice within culture in general.

Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to and by 1 December 2013, with biographical information of the author. Articles of 6,000 words should be sent to the editors by January 15th 2015. Topics may include (but are not restricted to) the following within the context of non-Anglophone film:

– Film dubbing

– Practices, effects or reception of post-sychronised sound

– Textures and grains of the voice

– The relationship between body and voice in film

– Vocal performance

– Stardom and the voice