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The Voice as Something More

Essays toward Materiality

Edited by: Martha Feldman and Judith T. Zeitlin
Afterword: Mladen Dolar
In the contemporary world, voices are caught up in fundamentally different realms of discourse, practice, and culture: between sounding and nonsounding, material and nonmaterial, literal and metaphorical. In The Voice as Something More, Martha Feldman and Judith T. Zeitlin tackle these paradoxes with a bold and rigorous collection of essays that look at voice as both object of desire and material object.

Using Mladen Dolar’s influential A Voice and Nothing More as a reference point, The Voice as Something More reorients Dolar’s psychoanalytic analysis around the material dimensions of voices—their physicality and timbre, the fleshiness of their mechanisms, the veils that hide them, and the devices that enhance and distort them. Throughout, the essays put the body back in voice. Ending with a new essay by Dolar that offers reflections on these vocal aesthetics and paradoxes, this authoritative, multidisciplinary collection, ranging from Europe and the Americas to East Asia, from classics and music to film and literature, will serve as an essential entry point for scholars and students who are thinking toward materiality.

Author Information

Martha Feldman is the Mabel Greene Myers Professor of Music and Romance Languages and Literatures and Judith T. Zeitlin is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, both at the University of Chicago. They are also members of the Faculty Committee in Theater and Performance Studies.


“Where to start, with voice? The answer is with The Voice as Something More, essays that sweep through familiar academic and philosophical debates on voice, only to move on, with rare collective intensity, to voice as not heretofore imagined. The intellectual range in these essays is extraordinary, and what they represent is not a consensus. Rather, this invaluable book is something with far more life, reflections that convey how perplexing voice, as a concept, remains to analysis, while acknowledging how voice as a material phenomenon is terrifying, or beguiling, unlovely, or exquisite—and how disquieting that inconsistency can be.”
— Carolyn Abbate, Harvard University

“This is one of those rare volumes that amply delivers on the promise of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary inquiry. It revolves around Mladen Dolar’s groundbreaking book but orients that orbital axis toward problems of materiality and cultural and historical difference. A richly informative and theoretically brilliant collection, The Voice as Something More inaugurates a new, more vibrant and dialogic era in voice studies.”
— Kerim Yasar, University of Southern California

“The Voice as Something More serves as an enlivening key change in scholarship on the voice, reassessing and reinvigorating approaches, themes, and case studies that have been central to that scholarship, while modulating it to new and dynamic registers. With its impressive interdisciplinary scope, it will be an essential guide for readers new to the topic and a valuable resource for scholars who mistakenly thought there was nothing more to say about the voice.”
— Jacob Smith, Northwestern University

Audience: Professional and scholarly;