Properties of Voice: The Center for Cultural Analysis Annual Symposium, March 20, 2023, Academic Building West, Room 4052
  • Properties of Voice
  • Event Date: Mar 20, 2024

Conference Details

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What does it mean to have a voice? As a metonym for participation in liberal democracy, the voice signifies our political franchise, our social agency, and our individual reason. As an object of history, the voice may speak within or against the archive, perhaps interrupting its silence by proffering subordinated and subaltern historical narratives, or confirming it by speaking in the voice of authority. As an instrument of performance, the voice generates embodied presence, affective attachment, and social solidarity. And as a media object, the voice circulates through licit and illicit economies alike, the subject of both intellectual property regimes and piratical practice. In all such instances the voice and its many properties – physiological, juridical, aesthetic, affective, and otherwise – are conscripted into social, political, and economic processes that exceed and enclose not just those who “have” a voice, but crucially as well, those who do not. What does this having, this possession, entail? What kind of thing is a voice such that it is possessed or dispossessed of its bearer? 
In this symposium, we investigate the modalities of possession and property that open up lines of critical inquiry for the study of the voice today. We also trace how the properties of the voice might question or exceed those very styles of possession for which they have been mobilized. Attuned to the nexus of the voice as property and the voice’s properties, we ask: What forms of property does the voice constitute, and for whom? What is the relationship between voice and personhood––legal, agential, and otherwise? To whom can the voice belong? For what processes and ideologies do the properties of the voice stand as cipher? How are the voice and its properties both enclosed and disclosed across space and time? How might fugitive voices resonate beyond regimes of capture and accumulation? In asking these questions we seek to parse the manifold properties of the voice and to open up new avenues for interdisciplinary inquiry into the social, political, and economic processes through which they speak.

Keynote speaker: Brian Kane
Yale University, Department of Music

  Kane Headshot 2023


Brian Kane is Associate Professor in the Department of Music and affiliated faculty with the Program in Film and Media Studies at Yale University. Kane’s research explores the intertwining of music with sound studies, philosophy, and media studies. He is the author of Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice and Hearing Double: Jazz, Ontology, Auditory Culture. He directs Yale’s Sound Studies Working Group, co-directs (with Daphne A. Brooks) the Black Sound and the Archive Working Group, and is a founding editor of

Part of the 2023-2024 Annual Seminar: Voice: Sound, Technology, and Performance

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Conference Schedule

All Sessions: Rutgers Academic Building West Wing, 15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

10:00 -  10:30 | 6th floor of Rutgers Academic Building
Coffee and Welcome

10:30 -  12:00 | Room: AB 6051
Panel 1, “Political Economies”
Room: AB 6051
Laura Kunreuther (Bard) and Amanda Weidman (Bryn Mawr), "Voices for Hire"
Alejandra Bronfman (SUNY Albany), "Travels with Pedro Albizu Campos’ Voice: Cold War Illegality and the Archive of Future Banishment"

12:00 -  1:00 | 6th floor of Rutgers Academic Building

1:00 -  2:30 | Room: AB 6051
Panel 2 “Mediations”
Rouzbeh Shadpey (Artist and independent scholar), "by these straits to die"
Paul D. Miller (Artist and independent scholar), "Quantopia, Quantified"
Pooja Rangan (Amherst), "Sideways Listening: Audio Description and the Crip Intimacies of Documentary Access"

2:30 -  3:00 | 6th floor of Rutgers Academic Building
Coffee Break

3:00 - 4:30 | Room: AB 6051
Panel 3 “Embodiments”
Mark Rifkin (UNC Greensboro), "Embodying Belonging: Infrastructures of Trans Indigenous Selfhood in Jaye Simpson’s Poetry"
Kristin Moriah (Queen's University), "When Helga Goes to the Circus: Black Voice and its Absence in Quicksand"
Cloe Gentile Reyes (NYU), "Ronca: Sounding the Sucia Body"

4:30 -  5:00 | 6th floor of Rutgers Academic Building
Coffee Break

5:00 -  6:30 | Room: AB 2160
Keynote Address by Brian Kane

6:30 -  7:00 |  6th floor of Rutgers Academic Building
Reception (Food & Drink)