Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
2019 Rowen D. Light-Wills
Through applications of literary and film theory, cultural analysis, and historical context this thesis project will deconstruct the text of the physical and metaphorical gendered voice. The podcast medium allows for exploration of the physical voice in a spontaneous format, which makes it the ideal platform for hosting conversations between college-aged students that examine cultural conceptions of the voice. Focusing primarily on the feminized voice as a site of cultural tension, participants can tell the story of their voices, talking about experiences that have shaped their auditory self-perception. The work of this project is to demonstrate that the medium of podcasting has the potential to disrupt popular culture narratives of vocal authority as well as to reveal our own internalized biases. My ultimate goals are to queer institutionalized, Western standards of vocal authority and to outline the feminized voice’s potential amplification in the context of the new digital media sphere.
 In my theoretical work, I have considered this to be a project about the “feminized voice” rather than solely women’s voices or the female voice, in order to create more room for a variety of gender-identities to be included in my understanding of this topic. I reference “feminized” as an adjective describing vocal qualities characteristic of or associated with women, and non cis-gender and male voices which can be understood as sharing what voice theorists describe as “feminine” vocal characteristics. Theoretical and research-based texts I reference typically conflate femaleness with identifying as a woman, and do not consider other possible gender-identities for owners of feminized voices.
Light-Wills, Rowen, "Hear For You: Engaging With Vocal Authority And Vulnerability Through Podcasting" (2020). Scripps Senior Theses. 1443.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.