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Sarah Bernhardt, par Nadar, 1864, The Getty Center

John P. Birkelund Lecture

Sarah Bernhardt’s Knee: The Feminine Ideal in Belle Époque Rio de Janeiro

Online Event

In 1905, the celebrated French actress Sarah Bernhardt embarked on her last tour of South America. According to most accounts, she injured her knee during a final performance of the play La Tosca in Rio de Janeiro, which led to more serious complications. At the time, Brazilian gender norms were changing for middle- and upper-class women. Using her fraught visit as a vehicle to analyze the Brazilian elite’s ideas concerning gender, James N. Green considers Bernhardt’s reception on and off stage as way of understanding the emergence of the “New Woman” feminist ideal. This concept profoundly influenced twentieth-century feminism and can further enhance present-day gender norms discourses.

Please note this discussion will take place entirely online. All registered guests will receive participation instructions one day prior to the event. Guests who register on the day of the event are kindly asked to allow for the necessary processing time.

01 Dec 20
Cultural Studies
19:30 - 21:00
Online via Zoom (7:30 p.m. CET / 1:30 ET)

This event took place online on December 1, 2020.

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