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Author Durkin, Hannah, author

Title Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham : dances in literature and cinema / Hannah Durkin
Published Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2019]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xiii, 256 pages)
Contents The dancer in translation : Baker's coauthored narratives -- The dancer as translator : Dunham's ethnographic memoirs -- Performing within primitivism : Baker on the French silent screen -- Cinematic stardom : Baker and the 1930s French musical film -- Cinematic segregation : Dunham in World War II Hollywood -- Navigating primitivism's persistent gaze : Dunham in postwar European cinema
Summary "This project examines the writings and international film careers of Josephine Baker (1906-1975) and Katherine Dunham (1909-2006), the two most critically and commercially successful Black women dancers of the twentieth century. Drawing on previously unexamined films and texts, Hannah Durkin maps the intellectual underpinnings and visual impact of their art. By examining the narratives and dance of Baker and Hunham, Durkin is able to shed new light on the ways in which the dancers were received on both sides of the Atlantic and how they engaged personally with dominant critical interpretations of Black performance as crude and innate. The project uncovers their self-reflexive narrative strategies and provides evidence for their path-breaking interventions in cinema as stars and choreographers who believed that they could use film to contest racist frameworks and imagine new aesthetic possibilities for Black women. By analyzing the methods by which these two artists mediated popular constructions of Black women's identities, the investigation interrogates widely held conceptions of authorship and artistic hierarchies. It provides insights into intercultural identity formations by positioning Black women's bodily performances as sites on which historical struggles over cultural meanings have been played out and contested. Finally, by tracing connections between Baker and Dunham's performances and their lifelong fights against racial injustice, Durkin recovers Baker and Durham as key figures in the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements and exposes the transatlantic struggles regarding control over cultural embodiments of Black women in a pre-Civil Rights era"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on September 24, 2019)
Subject Baker, Josephine, 1906-1975 -- Criticism and interpretation
Dunham, Katherine -- Criticism and interpretation
Baker, Josephine, 1906-1975.
Dunham, Katherine.
African American women dancers -- Biography
African American women dancers -- Biography -- History and criticism
African Americans in motion pictures
Dance in literature
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc. -- Europe
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc. -- United States
African American women dancers.
African Americans in motion pictures.
Dance in literature.
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc.
United States.
Genre/Form Biography.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2019019361
ISBN 0252051467