Critical Crossings: Hybridity’s Fissures and Ruptures
The papers in this special section at once undertake and undermine the discourse of hybridity, at once to recognize the strength of its rhetorical force and critique the limits of its explanatory power. Rather than viewing hybridity as a kind of floating signifier in all its ambivalence as many postcolonial studies have been noted to have undertaken, the papers explore its conditions of possibility in the context of the materiality of the historical situation and specifically in the concreteness of the authors’ inscription in history and the worldly particularity of literature, literary form, and criticism. As a category, for a number of years now, hybridity has seemed indispensable for the renewed examination of the formation of the canon, the development of forms, modes of writing, or adaptation of texts in the exploration of its “subversive” possibilities. Apart from its literary inflection, hybridity studies have dealt with the transcultural amalgamation of diverse dimensions focusing variously from the racial to the religious, often interrogating cultural dynamics. But both as a literary trope and discursive category, among the issues that might bear emphasizing is that hybridity as a post-colonial condition has been so often decontextualized as if the experience were homogenous in its assumed universality, rather than heterogeneous in its particularity.