In this Book

Indian Accents
summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-3
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  1. Title Page
  2. pp. 4-4
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  1. Copyright Page
  2. pp. 5-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-7
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Introduction: Rethinking Accents in America
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. 1. South Asians and the Hollywood Party: Peter Sellers and Brownface Performances
  2. pp. 19-39
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  1. 2. Apu’s Brown Voice: The Simpsons and Indian American Accents
  2. pp. 40-59
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  1. 3. Animating Gandhi: Historical Figures, Asian American Masculinity, and Model-Minority Accents in Clone High
  2. pp. 60-84
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  1. 4. Indian Gurus in the American Marketplace: Consumer Spirituality in The Love Guru and The Guru
  2. pp. 85-110
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  1. 5. The (Asian) American Dream: Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and the Pan-Ethnic Buddy Film
  2. pp. 111-126
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  1. 6. "Running from the Joint": Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and Comic Narrative after 9/11
  2. pp. 127-150
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 151-157
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 159-182
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 183-191
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