Events Listing


Properties of Voice

When:  Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 10:00am

Where:  Rutgers Academic Building West Room 6051

Category:  Center for Cultural Analysis

PropertiesofVoiceBannerSquareWhat 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  


  • Alejandra Bronfman
  • Laura Kunreuther
  • Paul D. Miller
  • Kristin Moriah
  • Pooja Rangan
  • Cloe Gentile Reyes
  • Mark Rifkin
  • Rouzbeh Shadpey
  • Amanda Weidman

Registration Link