The last -ism?

There has lately been something like an arms race in literary studies to name whatever comes after postmodernism. Post-postmodernism, cosmodernism, digimodernism, automodernism, altermodernism, and
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There has lately been something like an arms race in literary studies to name whatever comes after postmodernism. Post-postmodernism, cosmodernism, digimodernism, automodernism, altermodernism, and metamodernism rank among the more popular prospects. Each of these terms ostensibly describes a new mode of literary production after the alleged death of postmodernism. Yet the push to name a new period necessarily raises two important questions that should cause us to look back even as we squint toward the horizon: What is an -ism? Do we need periods at all? If there is some kind of shift happening, if something new is taking place, if metamodernism, for instance, is supplanting postmodernism, then we implicitly assume that this new thing is new in contrast to the old thing that came before. In other words, to name a new -ism requires us to set the previous -ism in stone. But is, or I guess I should ask, was postmodernism ever an -ism at all? In literary studies, we often use -isms to. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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