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What is “Postmodernism”?

race. unified theory of progress Essentialism. image. Geneaological. uses other perspectives Intertextuality. and gender. social class.Modern: Linear progress in history Boundaries. socio-cultural locatedness of moments in history Critical study of class. reproductive social order Local accounts Description Generative. race and gender Formality. emphasis on authoritarian perspectives Scientific rationality. Archaeological . pastiche Signs. seeking “real” essences Grand narrative Prescription Normative Postmodern: “Historicity”. montage. historicization. selfreflexivity.

812-13) . Marion WynneDavies. as does modernism. and carries the connotations of transgression and rebellion. what is “modern”? Depends on Discipline. However. copyright 1990 by Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd. First Prentice Hall edition. It regards distinctions as undesirable and even impossible.First. free from all constraints. Rather than challenging and destroying cultural definitions. such as race. the last twenty years has seen a change in this attitude towards focusing upon a series of unresolvable philosophical and social debates. ed. The break away from 19th-century values is often classified as modernism. so that an almost Utopian world. (The Prentice Hall Guide to English Literature. gender and class. post-modernism resists the very idea of boundaries. becomes possible.

and vice versa. Different disciplines have participated in the post-modernist movement in varying ways … in architecture. 812-13) . In literature. which denies the formal propriety of authorship and genre. traditional limits have become indistinguishable. so that what is commonly on the outside of a building is placed within. ed. In commercial terms post-modernism may be seen as part of the growth of consumer capitalism into multinational and technological identity. Marion Wynne-Davies." (The Prentice Hall Guide to English Literature.” "Its all-embracing nature thus makes post-modernism as relevant to street events as to the “avant garde”. writers adopt a self-conscious intertextuality sometimes verging on pastiche. copyright 1990 by Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd. and is one of the major focal points in the emergence of interdisciplinary and cultural studies.“Post-modernism has many interpretations and no single definition is adequate. First Prentice Hall edition.

the replacement of empiricist theories of representation and truth. Baudrillard talks of the `triumph of signifying culture. 375-6) . 1991.' (David Jary and Julia Jary. eds.and more generally.…postmodernity (involves) the end of an overarching belief in scientific rationality and a unitary theory of progress. for example. so that any distinction between the appearance and the „real‟ is lost. and increased emphasis on the importance of the unconscious. speaks especially of the replacement of any *grand narrative* [les grands recits] by more local `accounts' of reality as distinctive of postmodernism and postmodernity. Lyotard. The Harper Collins Dictionary of Sociology. and a plurality of viewpoints … a shift from a `productive' to a „reproductive‟ social order. on freefloating signs and images. New York: HarperCollins. signs -. in which simulations and models -.increasingly constitute the world.

1987). According to many theorists. New York: HarperCollins. eds. for example. jazz. postmodernist cultural movements. are particularly associated with the increasing importance of new class fractions. 1990). motion pictures. and rock music (see Lash. which often overlap with new political tendencies and social movements in contemporary society." (David Jary and Julia Jary. 375-6) . „expressive professions‟ within the service class (see Lash and Urry. The Harper Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 1991.“Another feature of postmodernism seen by some theorists is that the boundaries between `high' and `low' culture tend to be broken down. for example.

. with their claims to referential truth. is committed to modes of thinking and representation which emphasize fragmentations.Among the characteristic gestures of postmodernist thinking is a refusal of the `totalizing' or „essentialist‟ tendencies of earlier theoretical systems. on the cavorite-lis n GET f tg/stores/d communit rate-item cust-rec m/justsay contrary. from intellectual systems to architecture. discontinuities and incommensurable aspects of a given object. Postmodernism. scientificity. especially classic Marxism. and belief in progress.

Postmodernist analysis is often marked by forms of writing that are more literary. than is common in critical writing . „bits-as-bits‟ to unified totalities. It delights in excess. showing that object no special respect. asymmetry… . certainly more selfreflexive.the critic as self-conscious creator of new meanings upon the ground of the object of study. carnival. It prefers montage to perspective. intertextuality to referentiality. play.

Archaeological . selfreflexivity. race. image.Modern: Linear progress in history Boundaries. pastiche Signs. unified theory of progress Essentialism. montage. socio-cultural locatedness of moments in history Critical study of class. reproductive social order Local accounts Description Generative. Geneaological. uses other perspectives Intertextuality. social class. and gender. race and gender Formality. emphasis on authoritarian perspectives Scientific rationality. historicization. seeking “real” essences Grand narrative Prescription Normative Postmodern: “Historicity”.

Postmodern histories of education that critique concepts like “truancy” and “at risk” .

Postmodern treatments of medicine. psychology. and incarceration .

Postmodern treatments of the history of sexuality .

(Spring 2003) Issue 3 Refutes how microhistorians try to link up small units of research to a larger macro-context Wants historians to cut ties with grand narratives Proposes a “singularization of history” Interested in the details.) . and broadening objects of research (personal documents. nuances of events. Volume 36. Journal of Social History. etc. "The Singularization of History: Social History and Microhistory within the Postmodern State of Knowledge”.Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon.

2 (1999): 293-322. social patterns and aesthetic preferences of different levels of society Individual life histories shed new light on political and economic situations . no.Sumit Sarkar. daily routine. people of lower strata and their convictions." Studies in History 15. Interested in life histories. ideals Radical departure from conventional focus on “leaders” Concern for movements between public and private spheres Lived experience. "Post-modernism and the Writing of History.

The question of nationalism at the beginning of the 21st Century The 1980‟s and 1990‟s see a change in focus. away from “unilinear teleologies of nationalism and modernity” Beyond assumptions of homogeneous nationality Beyond imperialist and colonialist attitudes …but what should be the status of “heroic emancipatory narratives”? .

also in "The P." Communities of difference. After The Wall" Radical History Number 54. New York : Routledge. Jeffrey Williams. Wars. ethnicities Does this mean we have to sacrifice standards or evaluative practices? . challenging hierarchies of power Multiculturalism. 1995. their presence challenges many of the prevailing assumptions about what counts as knowledge and how it is produced. pluralism.Joan Wallach Scott. Fall 1992 "The new populations in the universities bring with them histories of their own that have not been part of the traditional curriculum.C. "The Campaign Against Political Correctness: What's Really at Stake“ in PC Wars : politics and theory in the academy.

but more importantly those of our own campus. The major goals of the Council are to: Offer an opportunity for in-depth diversity training and skills-building. staff and students in the university community to create an environment that is strengthened and empowered by its “Achieving Excellence through Diversity” The mission of the Valdosta State University Cultural Diversity Council is to work with faculty. Create a multicultural environment in which an open. The Council attempts to increase communication. understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and addresses some of the important systemic issues of multiculturalism facing our society. . students and staff face working with a culturally diverse population.An example of postmodernism on campus? VSU Cultural Diversity Council http://www. Focus on some of the unique issues that faculty.valdosta. cross-cultural dialogue can occur.

asp?section=&article=12419&archive=true . Roy P. Open University Press The Economist. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction (History of Sexuality Volume 1) Vintage Books USA. Samuel P. Summer 93. 1986. Michel. 1991. Open University Press Carlen. Routledge Carlen. Michel. Pat and Denis Gleeson. vol. Foucault and Education: Disciplines and Knowledge. 2001. 72. 352. 1994. A Fading Hell. 1995. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Letters from the Pacific Edition. 1999. Foucault. Kuhn. issue 8130. vol. p1-26. Reissue edition Foucault. 10/22/2001. 1992. 1996. The Nation. Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality (Volume 2).estripes. 2. 2nd edition Said. Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review. 1988. “The Clash of Civilizations? The Next Pattern of Conflict. 273. Vintage Books USA Foucault. Reprint edition Rose. Edward. Vintage Books USA Foucault. Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self. University of California Press. Stars and Stripes. The MIT Press Mottahedeh. issue 12. Nikolas. The Clash of Civilizations: An Islamicist‟s Critique. p22-50. Intl Specialized Book Service Inc. following 46. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Stephen J.” Foreign Affairs.Additional Bibliographic Information • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ball. Olson. Vintage Books USA. p10-13. 1996. History and Class Consciousness. 1990. Jigsaw: A Political Criminology of Youth Homelessness. issue 3. 1993. Truancy: The Politics of Compulsory Schooling. Science Deified & Science Defied: The Historical Significance of Science in Western Culture : From the Early Modern Age Through the Early Romantic Era (2 volumes). University of Chicago Press Lukcs (Lukacs). vol.1995. Richard. Reprint edition Foucault. Georg. 10/22/02-10/26/02 http://www. Vintage Books USA Huntington. Michel and Alan Sheridan. July 13. Pat. The Clash of Ignorance. Thomas S. The Economist. 1972. Michel. Julia Wardhaugh. vol. 1999. 1995. 11-13. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Michel. 3rd edition.