Indian Accents

August 29, 2013
An scene from the film "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay"

An scene from the film "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay"

University of Illinois Press

Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Shilpa Dave loved going to the movies. Her father was a self-proclaimed film “buff,” and Dave loved every minute of it. Her parents immigrated to the US from India before she was born, and as she grew older, she started to wonder why there were no people who looked like her in the movies she went to see with her father. This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with American Studies Professor and author Shilpa Dave about her new book “Indian Accents” recently published by the University of Illinois Press. In it, she examines Indian culture and its portrayal in American popular film. We’ll talk about why there were very few prominent Indian or South East Asian characters until the late 1990’s and the affect Bollywood’s growing success is having on casting in Hollywood films. 

During this episode of Focus, we’ll hear about an MTV cartoon that caused a hunger strike in New Dehli and forced the network to release a formal apology because of its animated depiction of Gandhi and will talk about “Raj,” the popular character from “The Big Bang Theory” and Apu, the Indian convenience store owner from “The Simpsons.”

Pop Up Archive Item: “Indian Accents” : https://www.popuparchive.com/collections/1461/items/8831
Transcript for file: focus_082913a.mp3

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The Simpsons and Raj the astrophysicist on the Big Bang Theory on Jeff Balser
InFocus talk with University of Virginia assistant professor of American media study

00:00:30

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00:01:05

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00:01:40

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