The nineteenth century is commonly understood to have seen the emergence of strong female voices – from Jane Austen, the Brontës, and George Eliot, to Elizabeth Frye, Millicent Fawcett, and Annie Besant. At the same time, however, female voices remained highly charged and circumscribed – not simply in literary or political terms, but also at the basic levels of speech and sound. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to offer a perspective on the varieties and complexities of female expression available in the nineteenth century.
We invite postgraduate students to submit abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute papers discussing any aspect of female voices over the period 1780-1918. This includes both the voice in its literal sense (spoken or sung) and more metaphorically understood (as literary, political, public). Submissions may consider both representations of female voices in literature, art, or other media, and the voices themselves. Applications from panels are also welcome. In this instance members should each submit a 300-word individual research abstract, together with a joint 500-word abstract for the panel.
Topics might include, but are not limited to:
- Literary voices
- Preaching and ordination
- Political voices and public oration
- Singing, acting, and performance
- Domestic sociability and conversation
- Medical and scientific understandings of the voice
- Accents, elocution and identity
- Non-verbal vocality, e.g. laughter, screams, sighs
- Silent/silenced voices
- (Dis)embodied voices, body language and gesture
- Ambiguity and indirect speech
- Pitch, volume, timbre and intonation
Please send abstracts to: firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday 9th December 2013.