The Performative Power of Vocality: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Performative Power of Vocality

1st Edition

By Virginie Magnat


272 pages | 1 Color Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138659179
pub: 2019-11-07
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The Performative Power of Vocality offers a fresh perspective on voice as a subject of critical inquiry by employing an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach.

Conventional treatment of voice in theatre and performance studies too often regards it as a subcategory of actor training, associated with the established methods that have shaped voice pedagogy within Western theatre schools, conservatories, and universities. This monograph significantly deviates from these dominant models through its investigation of the non-discursive, material, and affective efficacy of vocality, with a focus on orally transmitted vocal traditions. Drawing from her performance training, research collaborations, and commitment to cultural diversity, Magnat proposes a dialogical approach to vocality. Inclusive of established, current, and emerging research perspectives, this approach sheds light on the role of vocality as a vital source of embodied knowledge, creativity, and well-being grounded in process, practice, and place, as well as a form of social and political agency.

An excellent resource for qualitative researchers, artist-scholars, and activists committed to decolonization, cultural revitalization, and social justice, The Performative Power of Vocality opens up new avenues of understanding across Indigenous and Western philosophy, performance studies, musicology, ethnomusicology, sound and voice studies, anthropology, sociology, phenomenology, cognitive science, physics, ecology, and biomedicine.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Performance, Embodiment, and Vocality

Chapter 2: Reclaiming Presence for the Lived Voice

Chapter 3: Exploring (K)new Paradigms

Chapter 4: Vocality as Source, Resource, and Potentiality


About the Author

Virginie Magnat is Associate Professor of Performance at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Voice Studies

Voice is everywhere. It is a medium of personal communication, central to technology, and a touchstone in discussions of identity, psychological development, and language acquisition. It offers aesthetic pleasure through the arts, act as a metaphor for authorial, feminist or subaltern voices, or be an umbrella term in politics, activism and religion as “the voice the people” is heard or silenced. Non-human or posthuman voices invite us to listen to animal voices, interactive voice recognition systems, and vocal synthesis effected in robotics labs. How do we account for these many versions, or ideas, about voice? How can something so transient and complex be discussed from a scholarly perspective? How might we move beyond current concepts of the voice in performance studies?

The Routledge Voice Studies series offers an exciting platform to interrogate these questions. Understanding voice as studies as a shifting landscape of questions and concerns, this series builds on current initiatives, seeking to expand and capitalise on the productive debates taking place in the areas of music, theatre, and performance studies, as well as cultural studies, ethnomusicology, sound studies, acoustics and acoustemology. Of equal interest are discussions happening in psychology, fine art, poetics and orality studies, linguistics, media and film studies, robotics and artificial intelligence, history and philosophy, translation and adaptation studies, among others.

To that end, we are delighted to include a variety of formats in the series. We are equally interested in monographs, themed edited collections, student-focused anthologies and sourcebooks, revised and expanded editions of classic texts, and inter-medial and multimedial outputs. These varied structures will attract both practitioners and scholars as contributors, and find a readership among established and emergent researchers, students and artists in the rich and provocative area of interdisciplinary voice studies. We hope you enjoy this fascinating journey with us.

Series editors: Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis and Dr Ben Macpherson

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Folk & Traditional
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General