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Connecting Spain and the Americas in the cold war: the transnational careers of Jorge Negrete and Carmen Sevilla

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At the end of World War II, the Francoist government found itself forced to reconsider its cultural politics towards Latin America. It promoted a new version of Hispanidad (Hispanicity), already a contentious colonialist concept that dated back to Spain's loss of its empire in the previous century. It now focused on some topics of shared popular culture based on the use of the Spanish language and its multiple musical expressions. This article analyzes the transnational cinema produced in this period through a focus on the international careers of two Spanish-speaking stars; the Mexican Jorge Negrete and the Spaniard Carmen Sevilla. This emphasis on musical elements avoided many of the clichs of earlier, conservative cultural representations and facilitated a new range of transnational Hispanic meanings to musical cinema.

Keywords: Carmen Sevilla; Hispanicity; Jorge Negrete; Spanish cinema; Spanish music; popular culture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Instituto Cervantes, Madrid.

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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