In the course of researching and writing my recently published book on women, gender, and golden age radio in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, I became fascinated with the human voice, a rich yet underexplored avenue of historical inquiry. Both “terrifyingly intimate” (in Anne Karpf's words) and a product of its historical and cultural context, the voice is sonic bodily performance and a crucial way in which gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality are constructed and perceived.1 The voice is an amazing historical repository, but how do we hear—and listen to—voices from the past? As a genre of speech performance, aural (or acousmatic) comedy can offer historians tremendous insights into the past and can pose tremendous challenges of translation and analysis. Given Michel Chion's definition of acousmatic as “sound that is heard without its cause or source being seen,” acousmatic comedy relies exclusively on sound (voice and perhaps supporting sound...
Comedy and Aural Modernity in Argentina: Tomás Simari's “Un Viaje En ómnibus”
Christine Ehrick is Associate Professor of History at the University of Louisville. Her second book, Radio and the Gendered Soundscape: Women and Broadcasting in Argentina and Uruguay, 1930–1950, was published in July 2015 by Cambridge University Press. This study of women and gender in the overlapping radio markets of Buenos Aires and Montevideo explores the gendered dimensions of sound and what it meant to hear women's voices on the radio during the medium's golden age. She has contributed to a special issue of the journal Feminist Media Histories on “women and soundwork,” as well as an edited volume titled Locating the Voice in Film: Critical Approaches and Global Practices (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). She continues to research the issues of vocal gender and female radio voices.
Christine Ehrick; Comedy and Aural Modernity in Argentina: Tomás Simari's “Un Viaje En ómnibus”. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2016; 96 (2): 217–223. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3484078
Download citation file: