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Indian AccentsBrown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film$
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Shilpa S. Davé

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037405

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037405.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

South Asians and the Hollywood Party

South Asians and the Hollywood Party

Peter Sellers and Brownface Performances

(p.19) 1 South Asians and the Hollywood Party
Indian Accents

Shilpa S. Davé

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses Peter Sellers' brownface performance as Hrundi Bakshi in the film The Party (1968) to show the historical change of portrayals of South Asians in American films from colonialist narratives to model minority American immigrants and citizens. It focuses on the history of brownface performance in American narratives that includes brown voice as one component of Indian racial impersonations. It argues that the characteristics of brown-voice and brownface performance are rooted in early film narratives that emphasize the history of British imperialism and colonialism in India that are later carried over and rewritten to encompass Indian immigrants in the United States.

Keywords:   Peter Sellers, brownface, The Party, South Asians, Indian racial impersonations, British imperialism, colonialism, India, Indian immigrants

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