In the modern world we are accustomed to conceptualising international relations in terms of national identity. We speak
of English culture, French culture and American culture as if these things were the basic building blocks of global civilisation. While there is no doubt that national culture is important, such a view fails to take account of the fact that there is great diversity within nations and powerful connections across national frontiers. Just as individuals cannot be understood in isolation from the society of which they are a part, so national cultures cannot be understood in isolation from the global community. Since the beginning of human history cross-cultural exchange has been important in bringing about social change. This can be seen vividly in the way languages and their associated literary and dramatic traditions have interacted with one another. This volume brings together a collection of essays that focus on the role cross-cultural exchange has played in performance in the theatre and in film. The aim is not to suggest any systematic theory of cross-cultural exchange but rather to present a variety of examples that illustrate the subtle and complex way in which different cultures interact. Graham Squires is a senior lecturer at the school of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Newcastle (Australia). Manami Simmons is a student studying for an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Newcastle (Australia).
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