Voice Praxis: Social Positionality in UK Spoken Word Practice

Boston, Jane (2022) Voice Praxis: Social Positionality in UK Spoken Word Practice. Voice and Speech Review. ISSN 2326-8271


The work of the practitioner voice educator has changed dramatically over the past decade. Inclusive and accessible education and training requirements have made new paradigms essential. It is no longer assumed in UK higher education and conservatory actor training contexts that the student experience will be subordinated to the pedagogical leadership of the tutor. To the contrary. Pedagogical design has increasingly engaged with the idea of re-situating the student/tutor learning dynamic to give value to multiple positions of knowledge in the training studio and to reflect diverse student experiences around race, class, gender, sexuality, and neurodiversity. The work to expose and reflect upon the impact of the re-positioned personal and professional knowledge of both trainer and student in the voice studio, is the focus of this article. The author argues that student interests are best served by practices informed by transparent and intersectional principles of engagement. The author discusses several ways in which to regard the social construction of vocal materiality as a baseline for work in the experiential studio. The account offers a critique of existing voice pedagogy and practice and suggests a theoretical framework by which to develop innovative and socially responsive voice praxis.


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