More than 200 years after the first speaking machine, we are accustomed to voices that speak from any- and everywhere. We interact daily with voices that emit from house alarm systems, cars, telephones, and digital assistants, such as Alexa and Google Home. However, vocal events still have the capacity to raise age-old questions about the human, the animal, the machine, and the spiritual-or in non-metaphysical terms-questions about identity and authenticity. In The Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies, contributors look to the metaphorical voice as well as the clinical understanding of the vocal apparatus to answer the seemingly innocuous question: What is voice?
From a range of disciplines including the humanities, biology, culture, and technology studies, contributors draw on the unique methodologies and values each has at hand to address the uses, meanings, practices, theories, methods, and sounds of the voice. Together, they assess the ways that discipline-specific, ontological, and epistemological assumptions of voice need to shift in order to take the findings of other fields into account. This Handbook thus enables a lively discussion as multifaceted and complex as the voice itself has proven to be.