Northwestern University

May
26
Thu 3:30 PM

Sound of South Asia: "'Skyfall in a Sari': Gender, Voice, and the Body in Indian Popular Culture"

When: Thursday, May 26, 2016
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM  

Where: McCormick Foundation Center, 3119, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures   847.491.5288

Group: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Category: Multicultural & Diversity

Description:

Sounds of South Asia is a yearlong series of visiting speakers whose work exists at the intersection of Sound Studies and South Asian Studies. The series brings together scholars and students interested in expanding the global scope of Sound Studies and to listening to South Asian cultures with fresh ears.
Presented by the School of Communication, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Asian Studies Graduate Cluster, Asian Studies Program, Screen Cultures Program, Department of Radio-TV-Film. and the Department of Communication Studies.

Pavitra Sundar is an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Kettering University. This talk focuses on one of India's foremost pop stars, Usha Uthup. Acclaimed since the late 1960s for her command of Western musical genres, including jazz , rock, and pop, Uthup was nonetheless marginalized in mainstream Hindi cinema. I propose in this talk that the singer's extra-cinematic stardom-her fame as a husky-voiced, sari-clad nightclub singer-complicates ideologies about voice and body integral to Hindi cinema for de­cades. Always dressed in a traditional silk sari and adorned with jewelry, flowers. and a big bindi, Uthup confounds expectations of what an Indian woman should sound and look like. Whether on stage or for the screen, her " bodily" performances challenge us to understand the specificity of cinema as an audiovisual form and to rework the widely held conception of voice as a disembodied entity.

 

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