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Josephine Baker and Katherine DunhamDances in Literature and Cinema$
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Hannah Durkin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042621

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042621.001.0001

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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: 23 July 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham
Author(s):

Hannah Durkin

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042621.003.0001

This book explores Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham’s contributions to the page and screen to shed new light on their intellectual interventions as Black women artists in midcentury transatlantic culture. Cinematic and literary spaces were for Baker and Dunham sites of mediation and marginalization in which they frequently shared authorship with white men. Yet they are also rare visual and textual records of Black women dancers’ midcentury artistry and authorship. On the page, they voiced the challenges of navigating interwar global spaces as young Black women, and their narratives shed vital light on the origins and purpose of their art. On the screen, they claimed the right to stardom while at the same time retaining some artistic autonomy and even shaping their films’ aesthetics.

Keywords:   Josephine Baker, Katherine Dunham, autobiography, dance, cinema, African American literature, Black cinema, race, performance, Black Atlantic

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