This essay explores the vocal rhetoric of Israeli performance artist Victoria Hanna in her 2005 performance Signals. In this performance, Hanna presents an interpretation of Jewish texts and rituals traditionally facilitated in public Jewish rituals by male figures. Prominent in her oratory are the symptoms of her stammering speech impediment: pauses, repetitions of syllables, segmentation of words, excessive reproduction of sounds, and prolonged phonemes. The essay considers Hanna’s stammering as a theatrical vocal repository, creating aural imagery that focuses the spectator on the dissociative relations between the religious texts she performs and her identity as a woman. Drawing from Steven Connor’s notion of “The Vocalic Body” (2000), the essay interprets Hanna’s stammering as representing an utterance that projects the cultural fantasies of female agency on her body and reconfigures her presence as an acoustic medium. It argues that by staging herself as a vehicle facilitating a male textual tradition, Hanna effectively controls her voice.


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pp. 43-61
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