This conversation panel brings together four anthropologists working around issues of voice and voicing, mediation and presence, and regimes of value and truth. Our ethnographic and historical foci include playback singing in Indian popular cinema, glossolalia in Christian South Korea, the labor of characterization in Japanese popular culture, and stenography in early 20th-century Japan. Each of these projects presents a kind of limit case, presenting cultural institutions and forms of cultural semiosis that challenge assumptions of the unified speaking subject, the expressive performer, bounded personhood, and the replicability of voice from one medium to another. In this conversation, we hope to grapple with the models of semiotic circulation at play; the social relations and labor that maintain them in each case; and the forms of personhood, subjectivity, agency, and presence enabled by these varied practices. Together, we hope to consider how semiotically-informed linguistic anthropology can be used more broadly to investigate the varied ways that voices are produced and endowed with power and force. Our conversation will focus on two topics: 1. Semiotic circulation and acts of voicing What models of semiotic circulation (e.g. divine sources; gifts; vessels/conduits; technical notions of fidelity, reproduction, and liveness) are posited in each of these cases, and how are forms of technological and semiotic mediation interacting to support them? How are acts of voicing delegated among different actors or distributed through other technological, sonic and spatio-temporal means? What kinds of values, effects, and risks are associated with the singular embodiment, disembodiment/alienability, or distribution of voice in each of these cases? 2. Ideological frames and structural contradictions Mediation sets up tensions and structural contradictions. Ideals of transparency, direct communication, fidelity, or purity are in tension with both the complex social relations involved, and the sensuous materiality of the signs themselves. What ideological frames (eg. “speech”; “singing”; “transcription”; “acting”) emerge in each case to manage these tensions between various representational/denotational projects and the sensuous/material affordances of signs? How do such ideological frames coexist with the fundamental ambiguity or underdeterminacy that mediation introduces around authorship, agency, and responsibility?