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Introduction to Postmodernism. Why Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Postmodernism. Why Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Postmodernism

2 Why Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be

3 Deconstructing Mrs. Miller

4 Questions 1.What is postmodernism? 2.Why should we care about it? 3.Have you received a modern or postmodern education? 4.What does postmodernism have to say about your identity? 5.What does postmodernism have to say about truth, beauty, and goodness? 6.How postmodernism is impacting K-12 education, religion, the arts, and our daily lives.

5 Evolution of Western Thought Timeline as TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING Theocentric Humanistic Economic Naturalistic

6 Modernity RENAISSANCE TO ABOUT 1900 (+/- 30 years) Baudrillard: Early modernity: Renaissance to Industrial Revolution Modernity:Industrial Revolution Postmodernity:Period of mass media The world according to white Anglo-Saxon males from Europe Timeline TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING

7 Your Place in History n Modern Timeline TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING n Modernism n Postmodernism 14th C You are here

8 Your Place in History n Modern Timeline as TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING n Modernism n Postmodernism 14th C Your teachers were / are here

9 Modernity n God, reason and progress n There was a center to the universe. n Progress is based upon knowledge, and man is capable of discerning objective absolute truths in science and the arts. n Modernism is linked to capitalism—progressive economic administration of world n Modernization of 3rd world countries (imposition of modern Western values) Newtonian Order TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING

10 Language & Truth n People are the same everywhere n There are universal laws and truths n Knowledge is objective, independent of culture, gender, etc. n Language is a man-made tool that refers to real things / truths n I, the subject, speak language n I have a discernible self n The self is the center of existence What Is Language? as TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING

11 Liberal Humanism: View of Literature n Good literature is of timeless significance. n The text will reveal constants, universal truths, about human nature, because human nature itself is constant and unchanging. Purpose of Literature TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING

12 Modernism n Early 1900s: F World War I F Worldwide poverty & exploitation Death of the Old Order TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

13 Modernism n Early 1900s: F World War I F Worldwide poverty & exploitation n Intellectual upheaval: F Freud: psychoanalysis F Marx: class struggle F Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Neitzsche F Picasso, Stravinsky, Kafka, Proust, Brecht, Joyce, Eliot Death of the Old Order TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

14 Relativism n Einstein: relativity, quantum mechanics n Refutation of Newtonian science n Time is relative n Matter and energy are one n Light as both particle and wave n Universe is strange The Bending of Time & Space TRADITIONAL WESTERN “MODERN” THINKING PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM E=mc2

15 Modernist Art n Cubism n Surrealism n Dadaism n Expressionism Breaking the Rules PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

16 Modernist Art n Cubism n Surrealism n Dadaism n Expressionism Breaking the Rules PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

17 Modernist Art n Cubism n Surrealism n Dadaism n Expressionism Breaking the Rules PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

18 Modernist Art n Cubism n Surrealism n Dadaism n Expressionism Breaking the Rules PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

19 Modernist Literature “Things fall apart, The centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” --Yeats, “The Second Coming” A World with No Center PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

20 Modernist Literature n Emphasis on impressionism and subjectivity n Movement away from “objective” third-party narration n Tendency toward reflexivity and self- consciousness n Obsession with the psychology of self n Rejection of traditional aesthetic theories n Experimentation with language Breaking the Rules PRECURSORS OF POSTMODERNISM

21 What is Postmodernism? n Continuation of modernist view n Does not mourn loss of history, self, religion, center n A term applied to all human sciences — anthropology, psychology, architecture, history, etc. n Reaction to modernism; systematic skepticism n Anti-foundational Acceptance of a New Age POSTMODERNISM

22 What is Postmodernism? n The Enlightenment project is dead. Acceptance of a New Age POSTMODERNISM

23 Frederick Jameson n Modernism and postmodernism are cultural formations that accompany specific stages of capitalism 1.Market capitalism: 18th-19th C. Steam locomotiveRealism 2.Monopoly capitalism: Late 19th C to WWII Electricity and automobileModernism 3.Multinational/consumer capitalism Nuclear and electronicsPostmodernism Culture & Capital POSTMODERNISM

24 Postmodernism: Basic Concepts n Life just is n Rejection of all master narratives n All “truths” are contingent cultural constructs n Skepticism of progress; anti-technology bias n Sense of fragmentation and decentered self n Multiple conflicting identities n Mass-mediated reality The End of Master Narratives POSTMODERNISM

25 Postmodernism: Basic Concepts n All versions of reality are SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS F Concepts of good and evil F Metaphors for God F Language F The self F Gender F EVERYTHING! The End of Master Narratives POSTMODERNISM

26 Postmodernism: Basic Concepts n Language is a social construct that “speaks” & identifies the subject n Knowledge is contingent, contextual and linked to POWER n Truth is pluralistic, dependent upon the frame of reference of the observer n Values are derived from ordinary social practices, which differ from culture to culture and change with time. n Values are determined by manipulation and domination Language As Social Construct POSTMODERNISM

27 Richard Rorty (1931-) n A “pragmatic philosopher” n Anti-foundationalist n No reality independent of our minds n Truth is the result of inter-subjective agreement between members of a community n We must choose between self-defeating relativism or solidarity of thought within our group n The goal of the “search for truth” is to help us carry out practical tasks and create a fairer and more democratic society Relativism & Pluralism POSTMODERNISM

28 Postmodern View of Language n Observer is a participant/part of what is observed n Receiver of message is a component of the message n Information becomes information only when contextualized n The individual (the subject) is a cultural construct n Consider role of own culture when examining others n All interpretation is conditioned by cultural perspective and mediated by symbols and practice The Observer is King POSTMODERNISM

29 PostModern Literature n Extreme freedom of form and expression n Repudiation of boundaries of narration & genre n Intrusive, self-reflexive author n Parodies of meta-narratives n Deliberate violation of standards of sense and decency (which are viewed as methods of social control) n Integration of everyday experience, pop culture Play and Parody POSTMODERNISM

30 PostModern Literature n Parody, play, black humor, pastiche n Nonlinear, fragmented narratives n Ambiguities and uncertainties n Conspiracy and paranoia n Ironic detachment n Linguistic innovations n Postcolonial, global-English literature Fragmented Identities POSTMODERNISM

31 ModernityPostModern n History as fact n Faith in social order n Family as central unit n Authenticity of originals n Mass consumption Binary Oppositions POSTMODERNISM n Written by the victors n Cultural pluralism n Alternate families n Hyper-reality (MTV) n Niches; small group identity

32 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

33 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

34 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

35 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

36 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM A gay Southern Baptist who practices Buddhist meditation and believes in the Big Bang theory.

37 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

38 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

39 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

40 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

41 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

42 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

43 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

44 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

45 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

46 Modern or Postmodern? POSTMODERNISM

47 PostModernism n “The narrative is unravelled, the author is dead, the Enlightenment project is toast, and history is history.” n “An epochal shift in the basic condition in being.” --Geoffrey Nunberg An Epochal Shift in Thinking POSTMODERNISM

48 PostModernism A Global Battle: THE OBJECTIVISTS vs. THE CONSTRUCTIVISTS Battle of World Views POSTMODERNISM

49 PostModernism OBJECTIVISTS My Way POSTMODERNISM “When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo- Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'” -from Pat Robertson's "The New World Order"

50 PostModernism People were burned at the stake for believing there was more than one version of reality. Metaphors Kill POSTMODERNISM

51 PostModernism Our public schools have become a postmodern battleground. God is Not Dead POSTMODERNISM

52 PostModernism You can be a Christian (or Buddhist, or Hindu, etc.) in the postmodern world. God is Not Dead POSTMODERNISM

53 PostModernism We all slip and slide between the objective and constructive views: 1. We live in a world of naïve realism. 2. But when we think about things, or have to explain our views, we become constructivists. We Live in the Middle POSTMODERNISM

54 How Popular Culture Changes RAYMOND WILLIAMS n Dominant ideology controls n Human agency: people work together to bring about change n Takes into account pluralism of a culture as POSTSTRUCTURALISM

55 How Popular Culture Changes Acceptance of Pluralism Monica in “Friends” Playboy Bunnies & June Cleaver Samantha in “Sex & The City” Courtney Love Carrie in “Sex & The City”

56 PostModernism n THE HOPE OF POSTMODERNISTS: F The deconstruction of foundational views will lead to a recognition and acceptance of a pluralistic worldview. F Create a truly global civilization. Celebrating Diversity POSTMODERNISM

57 Literary & FilmTheory Celebrating Diversity POSTMODERNISM n Different constructs of reality n “Lenses” through which we see the world ?


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