Accepted Paper:

Singing anthropology: The voices of the pages at work with the processual epistemology of laboratory theatre  

Author:

Caroline Gatt (University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

In this presentation I explore the voice of the pages through a meeting of the way of knowing of anthropology and that of laboratory theatre in song. I ask what an academic exploration might be like, when exploring other qualities of voice, beyond those of reason and logic.

Paper long abstract:

While the theory of embodiment seems to sweep through academic departments, the voices from the books on my shelf jostle to be heard. Embodiment theories tend to discount the texture of words, the deeply moving experience of thought, and thus further entrench the mind/body duality that they purport to transcend. And yet we still need to heed the critiques of scriptocentrism that identify text (Conquergood, De Certau), rationality and reason (Pertierra), and analytic thought (Ingold) as complicit in the entrenchment of the binary oppositions of mind and body. But what about text enables the hegemony of logocentrism? Philosopher Adriana Cavarero argues that the logos lost its voice to the systematic aspects of language. The historian Mary Carruthers traces a shift in the pedagogies of reading from medieval forms of meditation and lectio to the detached analytics of the contemporary academe. Reading and writing become appropriated by logocentrism through a historical and political process.

In this presentation I explore the voice of the pages through a meeting of the way of knowing of anthropology and that of laboratory theatre in song. This exploration is a tentative one. Ways of being/knowing generate particular bodies in life that affect "what is known and what is knowable" (Downey 2007). Reading develops foveal vision, whereas performance and martial arts develop peripheral vision. In both the actual physiological visual apparatus is changed. Consequently, I offer a speculative presentation, what an academic exploration might be like, when exploring other qualities of voice, beyond those of reason and logic.

Panel P042
Knowing by singing: song, acoustic ecologies and the overflow of meaning