Indian Accents

Indian Accents : Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film

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Description

Amid immigrant narratives of assimilation, Indian Accents focuses on the representations and stereotypes of South Asian characters in American film and television. Exploring key examples in popular culture ranging from Peter Sellers' portrayal of Hrundi Bakshi in the 1968 film The Party to contemporary representations such as Apu from The Simpsons and characters in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Shilpa S. Dave develops the ideas of "accent," "brownface," and "brown voice" as new ways to explore the racialization of South Asians beyond just visual appearance. Dave relates these examples to earlier scholarship on blackface, race, and performance to show how "accents" are a means of representing racial difference, national origin, and belonging, as well as distinctions of class and privilege. While focusing on racial impersonations in mainstream film and television, Indian Accents also amplifies the work of South Asian American actors who push back against brown voice performances, showing how strategic use of accent can expand and challenge such narrow stereotypes.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0252037405
  • 9780252037405

Review quote

"Shilpa Dave was able to capture the multidimensional elements of representations of people of color that go beyond visual markers of identification but also include sonic components to ethnic characters in media. Her innovative application of the double meaning of the word 'accent' opens a new level of analysis of ethnic representation in film and media studies and ethnic studies." --Journal of Asian American Studies "This book offers a much needed corrective to the portrayal of South Asian masculinity in American popular culture and is, therefore, a valuable addition to the field."--American Studies "A truly innovative use of 'accents' as a methodological entry into understanding where South Asians are positioned within America and American popular culture. Persuasively argued and full of many sharp insightful moments, Indian Accents will be invaluable to scholars of American studies, Asian American studies, ethnic studies, and media studies." --Gita Rajan, coeditor of New Cosmopolitanisms: South Asians in the U.S "Dave brilliantly studies the racialized, classed, and nationalistic codes of Orientalist and model minority representations with an underwriting analysis of heteronormative masculinity... Dave does crucial critical work in diasporic visual culture."--Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americasshow more

About Shilpa S. Dave

Shilpa S. Dave is is Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and an assistant professor of media studies and American studies at University of Virginia.show more

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