Introduction: The Displaced Mirror

  • Min Tian
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


More than a decade earlier, in my study of twentieth-century Chinese-Western intercultural theatre, I offered my critique—in the form of “the poetics of difference and displacement”—of the theories and practices of twentieth-century intercultural theatre. This introduction is a further elaboration, in the history of Western thought and, in particular, the history of modern Western theatre, of my theory as it is applied to my current study of the use of Asian theatre by the founding fathers of modern Western theatre. The intercultural act or process of hyphenating a text necessitates displacement; the matrix and dynamics of displacement render impossible any syncretic, sublational, transformational, or transcendental approach to such acts or processes. This is exactly the underlying condition for twentieth- and twenty-first-century Western (or non-Western)-dominated intercultural theatre and the twenty-first-century emplacements of the “new” aesthetics of intercultural performance and of the variants of “new” interculturalisms in theatre.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min Tian
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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