Register to attend the in-person conference here by Monday, April 25th:

Errant Voices: Performances Beyond Measure

April 29 – April 30, 2022

Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Penthouse 901, 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Co-Organizers: Martha Feldman, Bonnie Gordon, and Kara Keeling

“Errant Voices” explores voices that share in an attempt to escape their confines perforce or by choice, taking as its three case studies trans*, raced, and castrato voices. The conference will work to make sense of these voices, by turns insurgent and resilient, as ones that defy categorization, appearing at their most revealing in performances that are capacious and open, resisting description, norms, and even ontological certainty.
To do so, the conference will look to uncover the intersectional workings of voices, bodies, intentions, and interactions. We will consider trans* voices because they challenge older notions of human difference, gender expression, and biology. We will think about racially marked black and Latinx voices insofar as they often depend on fugitive means and eccentric performance to posit better futures, resist present conditions, or work to expose unequal relations and false harmonic orders. And we will explore the castrato voices of early modern Europe as contrasts to trans* and raced voices, working to discover how conditions of abjection prompted these performing subjects to revise their social and political circumstances for the better, often negotiating or even overcoming structural limitations and physical hardships. All three cases concern spaces of difference marked by different vocal ecologies and performing conditions. And all three, the conference posits, can benefit from asking about various theoretical and practical junctures and crossings among them.
Painting by Robert Reiss, ca. 1960s
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