Voices that Matter: Kurdish Women at the Limits of Representation in Contemporary Turkey
Book-Podcasts by SoSCo-member Marlene Schäfers
What does it mean to have a voice? And how does a voice need to sound like if it is going to matter? In the podcast episodes, Marlene Schäfers discusses her research with Kurdish women singers and poets to explore what makes the voice an object of desire and appeal in the contemporary world.
Tune in to the podcast by the New Books Network and the Cambridge Anthropology Podcast to hear more about Voices that Matter!
SoSCo member Marlene Schäfers recently published a beautiful book on “Voices that Matter”, a fine-grained ethnography exploring the sociopolitical power of Kurdish women’s voices in contemporary Turkey. Demonstrating that “raising one’s voice” is no straightforward path to emancipation but fraught with anxieties, dilemmas, and contradictions, this book examines not only what voices say but also how they do so, focusing on Kurdish contexts where oral genres have a long, rich legacy. Examining the social labor that voices carry out as they sound, speak, and resonate, Schäfers shows that where new vocal practices arise, they produce new selves and practices of social relations.
In the podcasts with the New Book Network and Cambridge University, Marlene discusses her research with these Kurdish women singers and poets to explore what makes the voice an object of desire and appeal in the contemporary world, particularly for historically marginalized subjects. Field recordings of Kurdish classical and recent repertoires reveal how contemporary politics of voice shape what voices mean, how they sound, and how they impact listeners.
You can listen to the podcasts here:
You can also find more information, including additional field recordings, on Marlene’s own website.