Authors
Ann Cahill
Elon College
Abstract
Feminist theory has produced a robust literature on embodiment that explores phenomena such as maternity, mobility, ability, and aging. However, the field has produced surprisingly few analyses of the bodily phenomenon of voice; references to voice in the context of critical theory are almost entirely metaphorical in nature, a relegation that obscures the philosophical relevance of voice as embodied phenomenon. Using insights garnered from the fields of sound studies and musicology, I argue that contemporary feminist theory should address the social, political, and ethical meanings of the bodily, material phenomenon of vocality. Specifically, I argue that vocality is better understood as intervocality, that it is an existentially significant aspect of identity, and that it is implicated in systematic inequality and social relations in meaningful ways. I critique Adriana Cavarero’s approach to vocal justice, demonstrating that it does not sufficiently take up the challenges of intervocality. The article concludes with some preliminary remarks regarding a conceptualization of vocal justice.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy
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DOI 10.1353/phi.2020.0003
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