University of Cambridge > > Faculty of Music Colloquia > From the “Jet Set” to intrigue: bossa nova and the 1960s international spy thriller

From the “Jet Set” to intrigue: bossa nova and the 1960s international spy thriller

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This presentation traces how the bossa nova, a musical style from Brazil based on the urban samba, symbolized fantasies of romance, travel and international Cold War intrigue for audiences in the US and UK during the mid-1960s. Through a discussion of The Deadly Affair (1966), the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967), and references to that legacy in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), I argue that such filmic settings expressed the challenges raised by an increasing discourse of identity politics that defined the period. As a consequence, bossa nova’s appearance in these films solidified the music’s links to seduction and adult tastes even as Brazil and other countries in South America occupied a subaltern status in the global imagination.

Kariann Goldschmitt received her PhD in musicology in 2009 from UCLA and is Lecturer in the Faculty of Music. She previously held teaching and research appointments at Colby College (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Non-Western Music) and New College of Florida (Visiting Assistant Professor). She studies popular music’s relationship to the global media industries since World War II with a focus on Brazilian music and national representation. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled, Bossa Mundo: Brazilian Music in the Global Cultural Industries. Her research has appeared in Luso-Brazilian Review, Popular Music and Society, and The Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies, among others.

This talk is part of the Faculty of Music Colloquia series.

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