Abstract and Keywords
The introductory chapter asserts that voice studies does not make a claim to a given definition of voice, but instead suggests the limits of any one claim. Voice studies offers tools to better detect the values underpinning any definition of voice. It deconstructs not only the performance of the voice, but also the performance of claims to voice. Thus, voice studies asks questions that necessarily connect practices of and inquiries into voice. In our definition, what distinguishes voice studies as a whole from each of the many individual and overlapping strains of scholarship and inquiry that center voice is that it seeks to understand or interact with voice knowledge beyond the potential narrow confine of a defined area of inquiry. By synthesizing the myriad ways voice is conceptualized and researched into the broadest terms, the chapter arrives at six broad modes, or domains, of voice inquiry and explains these in detail. The domains are: (1) prompts; (2) product and performance; (3) material dimension and mechanism; (4) auditory/sensory perception; (5) documentation, narrativization, and collection; and (6) context. These modes are not mutually exclusive; they often overlap, and this is only one of many ways this material could be conceptualized. Ultimately, the chapter seeks to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between voice researchers, and hence facilitate voice studies research. The chapter also offers a brief overview of the voice studies from 1990 to the present, and gives brief chapter summaries.
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