By Peter Burke
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The period in which we live is marked by increasingly frequent and intense cultural encounters of all kinds. However we react to it, the global trend towards mixing or hybridization is impossible to miss, from curry and chips – recently voted the favourite dish in Britain – to Thai saunas, Zen Judaism, Nigerian Kung Fu, 'Bollywood' films or salsa or reggae music. Some people celebrate these phenomena, whilst others fear or condemn them. No wonder, then, that theorists such as Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, and Ien Ang, have engaged with hybridity in their work and sought to untangle these complex events and reactions; or that a variety of disciplines now devote increasing attention to the works of these theorists and to the processes of cultural encounter, contact, interaction, exchange and hybridization. In this concise book, leading historian Peter Burke considers these fascinating and contested phenomena, ranging over theories, practices, processes and events in a manner that is as wide-ranging and vibrant as the topic at hand.