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Your complimentary articles You’ve read one of your four complimentary articles for this month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please I have in front of me a module description downloaded from a British university English department’s website.It includes details of assignments and a week-by-week reading list for the optional module ‘Postmodern Fictions’, and if the university is to remain nameless here it’s not because the module is in any way shameful but that it handily represents modules or module parts which will be taught in virtually every English department in the land this coming academic year.The pseudo-modern cultural phenomenon is the internet.
Voting is thus part of the material textuality of the programme – the telephoning viewers write the programme themselves.
If it were not possible for viewers to write sections of what it is, is the viewer’s act of phoning in.
The reason why the primary reading on British postmodernism fictions modules is so old, in relative terms, is that it has not been rejuvenated.
Just look out into the cultural market-place: buy novels published in the last five years, watch a twenty-first century film, listen to the latest music – above all just sit and watch television for a week – and you will hardly catch a glimpse of postmodernism.
Similarly, one can go to literary conferences (as I did in July) and sit through a dozen papers which make no mention of Theory, of Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard.
The sense of superannuation, of the impotence and the irrelevance of so much Theory among academics, also bears testimony to the passing of postmodernism.
The weakness in this analysis is that it centres on the academy, on the practices and suppositions of philosophers who may or may not be shifting ground or about to shift – and many academics will simply decide that, finally, they prefer to stay with Foucault [arch postmodernist] than go over to anything else.
However, a far more compelling case can be made that postmodernism is dead by looking outside the academy at current cultural production.
Its material production and its constitution were decided by its suppliers, that is, its author, publisher, serialiser etc alone – only the meaning was the domain of the reader.
on the other hand, to take a typical pseudo-modern cultural text, would not exist materially if nobody phoned up to vote its contestants off.