on voice and interruptions

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On Voice and Interruptions Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow. with Tawona Sitholé,

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Page 1: On Voice and Interruptions

On Voice and Interruptions

Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow.

with Tawona Sitholé,

Page 2: On Voice and Interruptions

Languages as Social Category and Social Construct

RM Borders Project: A methodological take on the questions of the symposium.

Languages & languaging largely overlooked in academic accounts outwith the traditional ‘language disciplines’

Overlooked in methodologies, where languages hold ideological force.

Race, gender, class

Page 3: On Voice and Interruptions

Proxy for diversity

You are stingy with your languages

Diplomats vs asylum

Voice and speaking out – middle class advocacy.

Leaflets and MC beliefs

Press- Indy ref

Douglas Aged 10

Page 4: On Voice and Interruptions

Skin First: Black Skin, White Masks (Fanon)

Can the perspective of the host, as The Other, be represented sociolinguistically?

“The disaster of the man of color lies in the fact that he was enslaved.The disaster and the inhumanity of the white man lie in the fact that somewhere he has killed man.” (152)

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Linguistic entanglements and Voice

‘Northern project, with northern epistemologies’

A northern sociolinguisticsborn of the monolingualismsof Europe and its invention.

(Gramling, forthcoming)

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“Both (Black and White) must turn their backs on the inhuman voices which were those of their respective ancestors in order that authentic communication be possible. Before it can adopt a positive voice, freedom requires an effort at disalienation.” (180)

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Masking Languages

From the North: Analysedthrough the lens of postcolonialism and market relations, critically or otherwise.

To take a view from the South:Tourist body needs to be understood within the necropolitics (Mbembe) of the age, but also beyond them

Page 8: On Voice and Interruptions

Necropolitics: Mbembe (2003,13)

“My concern is those figures of sovereignty whose central project is not the struggle for autonomy but the generalized instrumentalization of human existence and the material destruction of human bodies and populations.”

Page 9: On Voice and Interruptions

Mbembe 1993/ Nutall 2003

Oppressor and oppressed do not inhabit incommensurate spheres: rather they share the same episteme.

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In the language of birds words just sound.

“Alive and bodily, unique and unrepeatable, overcoming with her simple sonorous truth the treacherous din of the realm, a woman sings.”

(Cavarero chp. 1)

Page 12: On Voice and Interruptions

Caverero: Towards a Philosophy of Voice

Northern Language Epistemologies

(‘political acoustics that control the realm’ cav.)

Page 13: On Voice and Interruptions

Cape Coast

Emblematic Codes

Symbols of sacrilege and the sacred

Page 14: On Voice and Interruptions

Cape Coast: Dark tourism/local tourism

Is language in tourism settings, through itssituatedness in colonialism and power inequalities, especiallyviolent and gendered?

Bare feet, green batik, white skin, black hand.

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Commodifying the sacred: Language fragments under pain and presure

“The Tourist Board has let it go to ruin”Sacred placeWe should be able to come back through.“Gate of No Return”/ of Return.Shop in middle of the tour.Refusal to inform selves about values of a place.People come wanting something.Ethics missing. Memorial wreaths.Co-ordinated visit/ flow was interrupted. Room with scratch marks on cells.Inverted relations

Page 16: On Voice and Interruptions
Page 17: On Voice and Interruptions


Everyday phrasings

Intimacy of time for conversation

Sonics not phonics

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Sonic not phonic realm of poetry

Repertoires built of rehearsals of scripts of behaviour and language.

‘Powers stored in their obscure formulations can be released in performance’ (Barber)

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A Guide to the Traveller

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Cultural Forms

“Literature is where I went to feel more alive, and to try to penetrate the deadness all around; to know black women more than I could hope to in apartheid life” (Nutall(2003, 152)

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The survivor’s privilege

• Entanglements on the common, middle or battle ground.

• Breeze, squeeze or freeze.• Depending on conditions.• Sublime/curse• Sunshine/thirst• Prepared/scared• Alone/among• Resonance and acoustic of

language making both alone and among….depending on conditions

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Told in a voice that “involves the throat, saliva, infancy, a patina of experienced life, the mind’s intentions, the pleasure of giving a personal form to sound waves.” (Cavarero 2005: 2)

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Street Performance

Stage Performance

Spoken Words

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‘At an angle to conventions of whiteness’ (Nutall)

The discomfort is important.

Page 25: On Voice and Interruptions

Performing and Consuming the Body

• The body is white

• The body is skinned

• The body is clothed

• The body performs

• The body is read

• The body is on consumed.

• The white body listens but cannot hear.

(Nutall, Ruth First)

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Layers of skin, history, cloth

• Entanglement: Ruth First and Gillian Slovo

• ‘believing in a political credo in which race would be erased’ Nutall

• (re-clothed)

• Within the courtesy of host-guest relations a space opens for an emblematic languaging of the body

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Polyphonic methods.

We move “across disciplines, searching for disturbances, fluctuations, oscillations in conventional accounts.” (Nutall (2003, 13)

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The heart leaves distinct footprints

The survivor’s privilege – when language and cultural survival depend on tourism .

A singing voice. ‘Poetry is a kind of singing”

“A realm of speech in which the sovereignty of language yields to that of the voice.” (Cavarero chp1)

Page 29: On Voice and Interruptions

Tuning in

“The musicality of speech, or as Calvino would say, the pleasure of giving one’s own form to the sound waves, once again to be tuned into the plurality of voices, each one different from the other, that make up the symphony. (HA video)

Page 30: On Voice and Interruptions

Gifts are in the Feet