Epigraph source: Thomas, 1996, p. 9.
1. Many readers will recognize that this book’s title is inspired by Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), in which he charts postmodernism’s fragmentation of cultural forms and the transformation of space and the material environment in the age of late capitalism.
2. I borrow this notion from Stuart Hall’s widely cited essay “The Problem of Ideology: Marxism without Guarantees,” originally published in 1983 and reprinted in 1986 in the Journal of Communication Inquiry and in 1996 in Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies (Morley and Chen, 1996). In Hall’s Gramscian rereading of Marx, the circuit of capital explains the issue of reproduction, “the ways in which the conditions for keeping the circuit moving are sustained” (1996, p. 35). Because this sustenance cannot be preordained, Hall advocates a “Marxism without guarantees” (p. 45). I adapt Hall’s idea into “hybridity without guarantees” to argue that the outcome of cultural hybridity cannot be predetermined a priori as dominant, hegemonic, or resistive.
Epigraph source: Tomlinson, 1999, p. 141.
1. In Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race (1995), Robert Young writes that “hybrid” is a nineteenth-century word that “in Latin… meant the offspring of a tame sow and wild boar” (p. 6). The Webster defined hybrid in 1828 as “a mongrel or mule; an animal or plant, produced from the mixture of two species” (cited in Young, ibid.). While “hybrid” was used as early as 1813 by one writer who discussed human fertility, the use of “hybrid” to refer to human intermixing was first recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1861 (Young, 1995).
2. “Hybridity” is in my opinion a better English translation of the French métissage than the usage in English of the Spanish word mestizaje. On this point I am in agreement with French Guyanese literary critic Roger Toumson, who in Mythologie du métissage (1998) writes: “C’est a la faveur de ce debat qu’a surgi au sein de l’intelligensia européenne, en France et en Angleterre, plus particuliérement, la problematique de l’ ‘hybridisation’—c’est le terme dont a usé Salman Rushdie—c’est-a-dire du ‘métissage’” [It is in the wake of this debate (about the end of history) that has emerged, among European intellectuals, most particularly in France and in England, the problematic of hybridity—it is the term used by Salman Rushdie—that is to say métissage] (p. 62). Indeed, as a