A day symposium exploring the politics and spaces of voice and unruly emotions
Thursday 23rd June 2016
Faculty of Music, St Aldates, Oxford
CALL FOR PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS AND PERFORMANCES Deadline 8th April 2016
This day symposium will bring together academics, artists, composers and other researchers who are interested in the capacities and aesthetics of the voice
in performance and its spatial politics. In particular we are keen to encourage dialogue and debate between the fields of fine art practice,
cultural geography and music. With this in mind we seek a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to voice, space and unruly or
excessive or unreasonable emotion. How might affects be engineered and negotiated through the bodies of artistic and musical performances? How are
Œpassions¹ or insanities produced ¬ both in genres such as opera and ballet, but also in spectacles of live art? How might such performances generate space
and atmospheres? How might bodies performing/experiencing emotion move/be moved through spaces? What kind of political material is the voice as a
connecting medium between performer and audience? What is the impact of the mediated or technologized voice on artistic or musical performance of
The symposium title uses cultural theorist Jennifer Doyle¹s phrase 'unruly emotions' (2013) to reference a recent discussion of contemporary art¹s use of
emotion and affect as artistic materials, often manifested by those working in the traditions of live art and performance. Such work involves specific bodies
that inhabit particular places, an understanding which chimes with both musicology¹s study of performances, and also cultural geography¹s recent
attention to affect and spatial politics.
Whether monumental chorus scenes in French grand opera, extra musical devices in acousmatic composition, or creation of scandal by breaking with tradition,
studies stemming from the "new musicology", for example on body, sexuality and passions (eg Mary Ann Smart's 'Siren Songs', 2000) or work by Susan McClary,
can help us explore the unruly emotions of performer, audience and composer. The symposium also seeks to builds on the 'affective turn' in cultural
geography and the writings of those such as Patricia Clough, Lauren Berlant, Kathleen Stewart and Ben Anderson who have proposed specific capacities of
affect, atmosphere and attunement (eg Ben Anderson 'Affective Atmospheres' 2009).
The day will begin with a keynote by Dr Naomi Matsumoto (Goldsmiths, University of London) whose work on the portrayal of insanity on the operatic stage provided a starting point for this symposium.
We invite potential participants to offer short presentations/provocation (10 minutes) or longer papers (20 minutes) or artworks (audio, video and performance) for panels and discussion that will follow the keynote.
Please send abstract/description of 300 words, indicating presentation or paper or performance, plus a short bio by 8th April 2016. Applicants will be notified by 15th April. We particularly encourage graduate students and early
This symposium is sponsored by TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
With thanks to the Faculty of Music, the Ruskin School of Art and the School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford.