Introduction: New Directions?
This chapter introduces the ways in which interculturalism, one of theatre and performance studies’ consistently notorious critical keywords, has experienced a powerful theoretical resurgence in the last decade. It traces how the new interculturalism—as re-imagined by Tan, Lei, Ric Knowles, Royona Mitra, Leo Cabranes-Grant, Hae-kyung Um, and Diana Looser among others—is driven from below by minority and subaltern voices, whether gathered in diverse contemporary urban locations or excavated from the recesses of colonial archives. This chapter argues that new interculturalism’s critical approaches also repeatedly reverse, redirect, and/or complicate familiar networks or routes of intercultural exchange, exploding East/West and Global North/Global South binaries of prestige and innovation in the process. This chapter ultimately maps how new interculturalism opens up possibilities for both revisionist and future-oriented modes of critical engagement by resignifying interculturalism’s practical operations as a collaborative model, and particularly what “culture” means as a constitutive element of the overall term.
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