HomeParole(s)

HomeParole(s)

Parole(s)

Parole(s)

Clio, 60 (2024 – volume 2)

*  *  *

Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Abstract

This issue of Clio wishes to historicize the gender of speech in interaction with varying social spaces, from the most intimate to the most political. Our ambition is less to question the gender of language as a whole (feminist and queer research has analyzed language as both an object of power relations and the means of producing, transmitting and naturalizing symbolic domination, as well as a space and a tool for action). Instead, we would like to address the gender of speech and of the people involved in communication, without focusing on the specific dimension of the voice.

Announcement

Argument

This issue of Clio wishes to historicize the gender of speech in interaction with varying social spaces, from the most intimate to the most political. Our ambition is less to question the gender of language as a whole (feminist and queer research has analyzed language as both an object of power relations and the means of producing, transmitting and naturalizing symbolic domination, as well as a space and a tool for action). Instead, we would like to address the gender of speech and of the people involved in communication, without focusing on the specific dimension of the voice. We are interested in contributions that dialogue with linguistic research on gender, with the renewal of the historiography of speech, with scholarship on the ethnography of conversation. Proposals that take into account the widespread multilingualism of present and past societies are also welcome.

Religious contexts through the ages provide multiple examples of the spoken word that merit exploration. Historians of religion and spirituality have shown how speech and gender interact: whose voice do mystics hear? What language(s) do they speak? Other terrains of investigation include the glossolalia (ability to invent and speak a language in a trance state) of the American Shakers or the xenoglossia (ability to speak an existing language without having learned it) displayed by saints in the Middle Ages and the spiritualists of the nineteenth century. Were these words a gift from God, a message from a beloved departed being, or the trace of an evil action? How does gender play into these understandings?

In other contexts, the word has been invoked as a guarantee of truth. In law, beyond the performative function of certain speech acts, it validates written acts within ritualized processes. Legal anthropology has studied, for example, the oral oath to tell the truth, the reading aloud of the death warrant at the place of execution, or even the vernacular speech of litigants, which serves as proof within written legal procedures. How does attention to gender nuance our understanding of these acts? A ritual dimension characterizes more generally the "public" word, whether pronounced in the family, the street or within an institution, individually or collectively. The public word is part of the ordinary and professional "theatricality" of communication expressed, for example, in the performing arts, at the pulpit or in public forums. The public word often appears to be the prerogative of male authority, of Truth and Reason. Witness the father’s reprimand of the offending child in early modern times, the Jesuit missionary addressing his sermon to the Guarani Indians in Paraguay, or the university professor delivering a lecture to his all male students, until the late 19th century.

The public word, however, can also be collective and emanate from the people (composed of both men and women). They can be invited to speak (in order to acclaim the king or to applaud the president) and their speech can be feared and controlled by the authorities. Studies of street demonstrations since the 19th century (slogans, parades, songs) or of rumours in ancient societies have underlined the rationality of insubordinate collective speech and its importance as a vector of information. Attention to women, whose social interactions were often considered to be meaningless gossip, shows that they often played a structuring role in these collective contexts and demonstrated a range of actions that their minority status, in the eyes of authorities, allowed them to deploy.

The issue’s focus on speech in a shared context invites contributors to question the singularity of language in at least three respects. First, concentrating on the spoken word encourages approaches that understand language beyond the written norms that nonetheless structure oral performance in contexts of literacy. Secondly, it draws attention to the situation of enunciation questioning the gender of the people involved in the exchange, as well as the effect of speech on gender relations. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, taking speech as an object in its own right raises the issue of what lies “in-between” languages, i.e. the plurality of languages and the range of social and regional accents that characterize most societies. The making of national languages since the 18th century in Europe may appear to have introduced uniformity; the angle taken here highlights the plurality of languages within a linguistic regime, structured by hierarchies and differences, be they the result, or not, of linguistic policies.  

Listening to words and listening to speakers is therefore an attempt not only to hear several languages but also to grasp what emerges, furtively, between them, whether in the past or today. Revealing the making of speech encourages an attention to what is discontinuous, contradictory, ephemeral, unstable, all the more so in that words mostly reach us from the past through the mediation of written or visual documents.

Calendar and submission guidelines

Proposals may cover all historical periods and fields in Europe and outside Europe. The editors are particularly interested in studies that consider

  • situations of enunciation (formal/informal; intimate/public/institutional; individual face-to-face or conversations within groups, official addresses by ...);
  • the physical conditions of enunciation (spatial arrangement, bodily postures, speaking time, etc. );
  • the gender of the speakers and the gender of the words uttered (are they qualified or disqualified by the contemporaries of the events as being masculine or feminine?);
  • the mediations and interactions between orality and writing;
  • the limits of mostly written archives, etc.

The deadline for proposals in English, French, Spanish or Italian is March 1st, 2023.

Please send to:

  • ulrike.krampl@univ-tours.fr
  • capucine.boidin@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr
  • chloe.tardivel@efrome.it

The proposals should be 4000 signs (ca. 500 words) and include the sources, the topic, and the argument as well as indicate the historiographical conversation in which the article is engaged; they should be accompanied by a bibliography of a maximum of 5 titles and a short c.v.

  • Acceptance of proposals:  April 2023
  • First draft of the article: September 15, 2003.
  • Definitive acceptance of articles following peer review: February, 2024.
  • Publication is scheduled for autumn 2024.  

Presentation of the editors

  • Capucine Boidin: anthropologist, specialist in Tupi-Guarani language societies (16th-21th c.)
  • Ulrike Krampl: early modern historian, plurilinguism and European societies in the 17th-18th centuries.
  • Chloé Tardivel: medievalist, vernaculars speaking and language practices in Late Medieval Italy

Redaction committee

Directrices de publication

Rebecca ROGERS et Sylvie STEINBERG

Membres

  • Leora AUSLANDER
  • Pascale BARTHÉLÉMY
  • Capucine BOIDIN
  • Michel BOZON
  • Agnès FINE
  • Anne HUGON
  • Christiane KLAPISCH-ZUBER
  • Didier LETT
  • Clyde PLUMAUZILLE
  • Bibia PAVARD
  • Juliette RENNES
  • Siân REYNOLDS
  • Florence ROCHEFORT
  • Rebecca ROGERS
  • Violaine SEBILLOTTE CUCHET
  • Sylvie STEINBERG
  • Françoise THÉBAUD
  • Fabrice VIRGILI
  • Michelle ZANCARINI-FOURNEL

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Keywords

  • histoire, genre, langage, oralité, interaction, anthropologie linguistique

Contact(s)

  • Capucine Boidin
    courriel : capucine [dot] boidin [at] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr
  • Ulrike Krampl
    courriel : ulrike [dot] krampl [at] univ-tours [dot] fr
  • Chloé Tardivel
    courriel : chloe_tardivel [at] hotmail [dot] fr

Information source

  • Ulrike Krampl
    courriel : ulrike [dot] krampl [at] univ-tours [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Parole(s) », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1acs

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search