Voice Studies

In March, 2024, I co-organised a meeting to unite researchers studying the voice from across disciplines, from motor control, to forensic linguistics, to the evolution of voice across species. You can learn more about this project from the conference website.

I wrote an article for Sounding Out! What is a voice? 

 MacIntyre, A. D. (2018). The signification of the signed voice. Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, 3(2), 167-183. Available here.

 The interdisciplinary field of voice studies is concerned with the inherently material nature of voices and vocal actions, such as the bodies that do the voicing, or the environment in which voices are active. This is important, because much of the Western European intellectual tradition, as early as Ancient Greece, has systematically devalued these parts of our lived experience. In practical terms, anti-voice bias--and disembodiment, more generally--has meant that words, meaning, and the communication of abstract ideas often take precedence over nonverbal, affective, and sensorimotor aspects of vocalisation. In this essay, however, I argue that we have to be careful not to implicitly (and sometimes very explicitly) exclude Deaf voices or ways of voicing from such discussions. This can happen, for instance, when hearing people limit the embodied source of the voice to the mouth or larynx alone. By instead exploring Deaf ways of voicing, which are visual-motor and distributed across the body, attention is drawn to the ways in which vocal speech is itself also distributed across the body, intermingled with gesture, facial expressions, and posture. Hence, rather than seeing Deaf voicing as a special case or exception, we can open the box on what having or raising one's voice can mean for all people, whether they use signed or spoken language to accomplish this.