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...

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