Over the past few years, there has been an increasing concern about the prevalence of uptalk, vocal fry, and other markers of so-called Valley Girl-speak among young women across America. Some pundits question the individuality, confidence, believability, professionalism, and hirability of women who adopt these vocal patterns. Others object to them on aesthetic grounds, complaining that girly voices are just plain irritating. For many, if women are to have a metaphorical voice, they must carefully manage the prosody of their literal one.
The disciplining of young women’s voices has reached a fever pitch in the public sphere. At the same time, voice studies has emerged as an academic interdiscipline addressing both the performative work and acoustic properties of oral expression, with an ear towards the relationship between theories, philosophies, and practices of the voice. With these two developments in mind, we are proposing an interdisciplinary panel on girls’ (and girlish) voices to the inaugural International Girls Studies Association Conference at the University of East Anglia, Norwich on April 7-9, 2016. We are seeking one or two additional papers that focus on some aspect of the conceptual pairing of girls and voices. Despite our own expertise in girlhood studies within 20th and 21st century American contexts, we are open to papers dealing with any historical period, geographic area, and academic field, and the object of analysis can take any form—media, art, poetry, music, performances of everyday life, etc. That said, we are particularly interested in scholarship that situates the girly voice in relation to capitalism, labor, or affect. Please send 250 word abstracts and a one-page cv to Heather Warren-Crow (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kimberly Lamm email@example.com by August 25th 2015.