Review Of "Creating Carmen Miranda: Race, Camp, And Transnational Stardom" by K. Bishop-Sanchez

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This book is Bishop-Sanchez’s second, after Performing Brazil: Essays on Culture, Identity, and the Performing Arts (2015), which she co-edited with Severino Albuquerque. In the present title, Bishop-Sanchez (Portuguese and gender and women's studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) focuses on Carmen Miranda's "creation, interpretation, and imitation" in Brazil during the 1930s and subsequently in Hollywood from the late 1930s to her sudden death from heart failure in 1955 at the age of 46. After a brief discussion of the performer's rise as a popular singer in Brazil, Bishop-Sanchez details ways in which Miranda’s celebrity intersected with "ethnicity, exoticism, comedy, racial difference, and excessive femininity." Devoting considerable attention to the construction of Miranda’s image as a star in both Brazil and the US and her impact on popular culture transnationally, the author asserts that Miranda’s unique position between cultures allowed her to blend disparate cultural elements to create her stereotypical image of Latinidad. Bishop-Sanchez examines Miranda's exoticism, performance of race, and use of camp and the numerous imitations in film, visual art, and even cartoons that supported her status as icon. Detailed notes and the extensive bibliography and filmography increase the usefulness of this volume to scholars of Latin American studies, popular culture, music, and film. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


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