The Voice-Over (8.1)

Cinephile 8.1, The Voice-Over

Deadline for Draft Submissions: March 15, 2012

During the past three decades, studying the voice has intrigued many film theorists and thinkers. Arguing that the cinematic image is an audiovisual space largely structured according to human body and voice, some scholars (Mary Ann Doane, Sarah Kozloff, and Michel Chion, among others) have been drawn to the various manifestations and mysterious connotations of the non-visualized voice.

If off-screen voices foster a need to categorize and perhaps control their elusive nature, then the voice-over raises some challenging questions about its uncanny attributes and powers. Defined by a paradoxical present-absence, the voice-over adds layers to the narrative discourse of film that require further and closer analyses.

For our Spring 2012 issue, Cinephile welcomes essays aiming to critically organize and academically explain the variety of off-screen voices, study the evolution of voice-over in the history of global cinema, analyze the narrative and non-narrative applications and functions of it in different audiovisual experiences, and delve deeper into the socio-political and psychoanalytical aspects of this technique with regards to race, class, and gender implications.

Some starting points could be:

  • The roots of voice-over in literature, drama, and silent cinema
  • The role of voice-over in the concept of cinema as a linguistic/literary art form
  • Voice-over and narrative theories
  • Narrators and narration
  • Voice-over, point of view, and point of audition
  • Male, female, and child voice-over
  • Human voice for non-human characters
  • Voice-over and genre
  • The peculiar use of voice-over by international auteurs
  • International cinema, language barriers, and the intermediation of subtitles
  • The trans-sensorial experience of cinema
  • Thinking, remembering, and the addressee

We encourage submissions from graduate and doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty.

Papers should be between 2000-3500 words, follow MLA guidelines, and include a detailed works cited page, as well as a short biography of the author.  Submissions and inquiries should be directed to:

Cinephile is the University of British Columbia’s film journal, published with the continued support of the Centre for Cinema Studies. We are proud to feature a new article by Ivone Margulies in our upcoming Winter 2011/2012 issue. Previous issues have featured original essays by such noted scholars as Paul Wells, Matt Hills, K.J. Donnelly, Murray Pomerance, Slavoj Žižek, and Barry Keith Grant.  Since 2009, the journal has adopted a blind peer-review process and has moved to biannual publication.  It is available both online and in print via subscription.