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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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Indian Gurus in the American Marketplace

Indian Gurus in the American Marketplace

Consumer Spirituality in The Love Guru and The Guru

(p.85) 4 Indian Gurus in the American Marketplace
Indian Accents

Shilpa S. Davé

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores how, in the comedic parodies The Guru (2002) and The Love Guru (2008), new-age spirituality is used as an Indian accent to reflect on the strange, foreign practices of Indians and at the same time to show the American desire for difference. It discusses how the role of the Indian guru is predicated on stereotypical cultural performances for American consumption. The performance of brownface by Mike Myers as Guru Pitka in The Love Guru repeats stereotypes Peter Sellers created fifty years earlier. British Indian actor Jimi Mistry in The Guru, on the other hand, offers a response and a critique to racialized performances of brown voice and brownface when he plays an Indian actor attempting to do brownface performances to cater to the expectations of his American admirers.

Keywords:   new-age spirituality, Indian guru, Indian accent, brownface, brown voice, racialized performance

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