MSA 11: The Voicing of Poetry

full name / name of organization: 
Alessandro Porco
contact email: 

In her study of voice, Adrianna Cavarero writes that "there is a realm of speech in which the sovereignty of language yields to that of the voice. I am talking, of course, about poetry." Taking Cavarero's philosophical cue as its jumping-off point, as well as Charles Bernstein's related call for "close listening," this panel welcomes papers that attend, in material ways, to the vocal performance of modern and postmodern poetries. That is, how do poets "voice" or perform their poetry? How does vocal performances inflect andor complicate textual readings of poems? Voice, then, for the purposes of this panel, is disarticulated from homogenizing metaphors of disembodied selfhood (i.e. finding your voice) and community (i.e. vox populi). Voice is not a metaphor or, at least, not only a metaphor; it's also a historically-grounded and culturally-specific sonic material (timbre, tone, rhythm, speed, etc.).

In particular, papers that give due consideration to technological and social contexts of vocal production will be privileged: how are such contexts manifest in the very production of voice and poetic texts? Moreover, how is voice represented? There are, of course, aesthetic, ethical, and political epiphenomena that result from such a materialist approach to voice, and ideally papers will touch on these issues.

Please send a CV and an abstract of no more than 250 words to Alessandro Porco ( by May 9th 2009.

Conference Location: Montreal, Canada
Conference Starts: November 05, 2009