New Hybridities: Societies and Cultures in Transition
Frank Heidemann / Alfonso de Toro (Eds.)

The thirteen essays were presented at the international conference New Hybridities, held in summer 2004 in a South German monastery, Kloster Seeon, organized by Frank Heidemann, director of the Graduiertenkolleg “Postcolonial Studies” at the University of Munich in collaboration with Alfonso de Toro, director of the Research Centre of ibero-American Studies at the University of  Leipzig and with the support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

The thirteen papers in this volume take up these questions, focusing on hybridities in new postcolonial contexts or in newly formed social arenas. They emphasize political dimensions of cultural processes in recognition of the fact that cultures never were or are monolithic but are always products of their own complex histories.

The volume reflects a broad panorama of postcolonial debate about hybridity and its implications in different fields such as media, internet, film, photography, literature, languages, body, sexuality, migration, politics of nation and identity. The papers display a awareness of theory and of the interaction between theoretical reflection about hybridity and interpretation of different objects; and they focus different territories: Asia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Africa, the USA and Latin America. Among the conceptual merits of the conference were its transdisciplinarity, its transcultural approach, and its inspiring consideration of German-Turkish and Hispanic writers, performers and scholars not often dealt with in connection with postcolonialism and post-modernism. In this sense, the volume is an important, intriguing supplement to the contemporary debate in those fields.

Frank Heidemann is Professor for Social Anthropology at the University of Munich and Director of the DFG-sponsored Ph.D. Programme “Postcolonial Studies”. He is specialised on Visual  Anthropology and most of his publications are on Religion and Politics in India and Sri Lanka.

Alfonso de Toro is Full Professor and Chair of Romance Literature and Cultural Studies in the field of France, Latin America, Spain and Portugal at the University of Leipzig and Director of the transdisciplinary Ibero-American Research Centre and author of numerous works to theory of literature, theatre and culture.


Nearly all of the papers in this volume are revised versions of manuscripts presented at the international conference New Hybridities, held July 22-24, 2004, at Kloster Seeon, Germany. We would like to thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for financially supporting the conference, including the publication proceedings, and moreover, for making the Graduiertenkolleg ‘Postcolonial Studies’ at the University of Munich possible to begin with by offering fourteen scholarships to doctoral and postdoctoral fellows from 10 countries in Asia, Africa, America and Europe. Our thanks also go to the students in this programme, who participated in the  planning and organizing of the conference, and who constituted a close knit academic family over the three years they spent in Munich.

We would also like to thank Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Helen Tiffin, Alfonso de Toro and Robert Young for coming to Munich and participating in workshops of the Graduiertenkolleg prior to the conference. Much of our work was influenced by their scholarship and inspiration. Our thanks for making the conference a success go as well to our colleagues in Munich Ulla Haselstein, Richard Janney, Bernd Ostendorf,  Evelyn Schulz and Bernhard Teuber and especially Graham Huggan, founding director of this Ph.D.-programme. 

We would like to express our thanks to Nicole Soost, the coordinator of the programme, who was in charge of the entire scheme, including the organisation of the conference and the first phase of the editorial work on this book. Last but not least, thanks go to Juliane Tauchnitz in Leipzig for the editorial assistance in the final phase of the publication.

Finally, we thank Garcia Uriburu for his kind permission to use his painting for the cover of this book.