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April 5, 2017 10:14 AM   Subscribe

What comes after postmodernism?

I know modernism and postmodernism, but what came / comes / will come next? Or parallel to?
posted by the man of twists and turns to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
As far as I can tell, assuming you mean, in humanities departments, critical theory and postcolonialism.
posted by thelonius at 10:18 AM on April 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Never happened.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 11:21 AM on April 5, 2017 [6 favorites]

Definitely post-postmodernism.
posted by kariebookish at 11:59 AM on April 5, 2017

I think the successor to post-post-modern is social enterprise, whereby artists use social capital to cross paths with art markets previously closed to voluntary or legal affirmative action. Social enterprise is a two way street, where you can see how established artists use forms of social capital such as politics (Vivienne Westwood) to skirt convention while mining ways to keep costs of production down or ramp up production.

Banksy is a strong example of an artist/collective who perform with mind to anonymity but whose primary consensus seems to be quietly and without [individual] credit raising the aspirations of Somerset towns that I theorise as "untouriste" or "àtour" where an artist is happy in their environment but is unable to prosper without social mobility and so creates forms of capit involve through discreet, "distasteful", or accessory projects, usually under a pseudonym. Where many writers ceased using pseudonyms online a decade ago, artists continue monikers as a way to establish stylistic credibility and easy name recognition for commissions and crowd funded projects. An early attempt at this was rTMark, which put cash toward disruptive performances such as taking over a cable news studio. The future is social spaces legitimated by the opportunity of anonymity with the motive being social mobility, not necessarily fame, money, toleration or even acceptance of toleration, e.g. winning an unsolicited prize.
Distasteful entrepreneurship is a funny concept that because Bourdieu dismissed it, many who study the art market never look at. But couching 'distasteful' into social enterprise has buoyed many small producers in this way, small press sex comics being a great example going back to the 1920s when many seemingly respectable artists paid bills by doing less than respectable work without credit or under a [collective] pseudonym.
posted by parmanparman at 12:51 PM on April 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Short answer: a bunch of stuff. People have a view of postmodernism as a consuming ideology ripping through the academy leaving naught in its wake, but it's not really like that.

Postmodernism is an interpretative lens you can apply to texts - in creation and analysis. It didn't supercede other ones, or render them invalid. People are still making great modernist texts for example. Post colonialism predates postmodernism (eg Fanon) and is still a relevant and evolving approach.

In this vein, postmodernism isn't dead, and hasn't been replaced. There are other critical approaches, certainly, some of them new - the examples given will depend on where you are coming from in the humanities. It may be intersectionality, or deleuze, or anything else. People are still writing interesting new criticism or Frankfurt School stuff.

Postmodernism is no more or less dead than any of those other approaches. Indeed its flexibility allows it to accommodate new aspects more readily, I'd argue. Reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated.
posted by smoke at 2:23 PM on April 5, 2017 [9 favorites]

posted by SyraCarol at 2:33 PM on April 5, 2017

Post-truth, it seems.
posted by glibhamdreck at 5:37 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

The other thing to consider is that postmodernism isn't really a singular set of critical, anthropological or artistic techniques: for Jameson it starts in one place, for Jencks somewhere else. For Lyotard it's something else. As noted above, Bruno Latour disagrees entirely. It's even a bit of a holdover from the progress narratives of modernism that after modernism itself there must necessarily be a post-modern because that's nice and neat and forward-looking.

It is in the nature of intellectual movements (such as they are) to re-evaluate and critique. So, where (for example) Baudrillard and Virilio were examining the projects of Barthes, Benjamin, and Foucault; or Derrida was looking to Sartre or Heidegger, we now have Badiou reworking Baudrillard, and Nancy turning Derrida around. Žižek, on the other hand, has been active throughout this period of transition, masking his intellect behind a comedy beard.

One concept I've heard flung about a bit in the last few years is 'contemporaneity', which seems to emanate from here, but it's not really my field. It seems to be a kind of theorising of now-ness and immediacy, through which we can examine streaming, digital media, or the 24-hour news cycle (for example). More so than at any other time, the general public can transmit ideas and thoughts instantly to almost anyone else on earth. What implications might that have for culture and ways of being? What might it mean for linguistic and social groups? What might it mean for patterns of wealth and poverty?

From the distance of history, we tend to lump disparate thinkers together and see them as a linear progression of ideas: the Atomists, the Stoics, the theologians of the early Church, and so forth. The thing is that all of these ideas and concepts formed in loose rather than tight groupings, and in overlapping periods - and they formed under political pressures too, which rulers supported which ideas, and so on.

What we see in academia now, generally, is a high level of interdisciplinarity, and this is only partially because the mixing of disciplines is interesting: there are also financial and political pressures on universities and research institutions to merge similar-looking departments together, or for departments to justify their existence by bringing in external money and influence. This isn't necessarily bad (my field of Performance Studies wouldn't really exist unless Dance, Drama and Music departments got mashed together) but it is a kind of outlier in the field of critical thought throughout history.
posted by prismatic7 at 12:29 AM on April 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Particularly in some art-focused circles the "altermodern" has been suggested as the next major philosophical movement thing after postmodernism.

Long essay on altermodernism:

It's been several years since I've read it but TLDR the Internet and global access to infinite digital resources allow us to experience images and ideas spanning across cultures and times has created a new thing. That new thing is altermodernism. There's a bit of a "time (and culture) is a flat circle" theme.
posted by forkisbetter at 3:49 AM on April 6, 2017

If postmodernism is the cultural response to the condition of postmodernity/late capitalism, then there isn't really an "after postmodernism" yet, because we're still in that condition. We won't know what comes next until we see how our condition changes. Maybe that's why there isn't one clear, compelling answer to your question, just competing alternatives within an overarching postmodern paradigm.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 10:13 AM on April 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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