Hey there, my name is Bradley Camacho. I am a rising junior majoring in English and minoring in computer science. Once I graduate in May 2020, I hope to teach abroad for a few years, then return and apply for PhD programs with the intent of researching Modernism and fantastical genres such as Magical Realism.
Last Fall, I took a Comparative Literature Modernism/Postmodernism course which explored the history, themes, and techniques of each “genre” or time period of literature. One of the foundations of the course was that, while many similarities are present, Postmodernism is a distinct fork from Modernism. I later discovered that in the English department, this foundation is not held true by all. The question I would like to explore would be if there
is enough evidence to call Postmodernism simply a sub-genre of Modernism.
My project will consist of a website which explores this question. I plan on using techniques such as GIS to map out publication density for each “genre” to visualize the diffusion of each, and to see if there is any correlation between the two. I hope that, when finished, my project will not only answer this question, but serve as an introduction to both Modernism and Postmodernism.
- Cooper, Robert, and Gibson Burrell. “Modernism, Postmodernism and Organizational Analysis: An Introduction.” Organization Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 1 Jan. 1988, pp. 91–112., doi:10.1177/017084068800900112.
In this article, Cooper and Burrell introduce both the concepts of Modernism and Postmodernism. They keep the scope fairly large, and focus on the movements as a whole instead of individual components of each for the most part, but do place a slight emphasis on the discourse of each movement. The latter half of the article is focused on how the discourse of each provides “opposing” views on human organization. The article helps define both movements, but may still be a bit to broad for my project.
2.Rallo, Carmen Lara. “Atlantis.” Atlantis, vol. 36, no. 1, 2014, pp. 179–183. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43486091.
In this journal review, Rallo examines arguments made in the essay collection titled Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Short Story. The review itself brings nothing to the table other than a peek into claims made by the authors of the essays. Of note, the a central argument seems to be that there is a sort of “betweeness” in the relationship of Modernism and Postmodernism. The essays also claim “postmodernism is a product or revision of modernist literary practice and theory”.
3. Faber, David S. “Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Problem of the Criterion.” Direction: Solving the Problem of Violence, Direction Journal, 2001, www.directionjournal.org/30/2/modernism-postmodernism-and-problem-of.html.
In this article, Faber uses the issue of Criterion, or how we distinguish between a truth and a falsehood, to show differing philosophies between Modernism and Postmodernism. On key statement he makes, is that Modernism finds skepticism to be the most unappealing when presented with it, particularism, and methodism. Postmodernism likewise finds particularism and methodism unappealing, but embraces skepticism.
4. Keiser, Graciela. “MODERNISM/POSTMODERNISM IN ‘THE LIBRARY OF BABEL’: JORGE LUIS BORGES’S FICTION AS BORDERLAND.” Hispanófila, no. 115, 1995, pp. 39–48. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43807005.
Keiser makes the argument that Borges’ fiction, specifically The Library of Babel serves are a “borderlands” between Modernism and Postmodernism. The main point is the fact that Borges uses very modernist stylistic choices and techniques but uses them to express very postmodern theories and logic. It seems to argue for the same “betweeness” as other articles.
5. Barthes, Roland, et al. Writing Degree Zero. Hill and Wang, 2012.
While having nothing to do with the relationship between Modernism and Postmodernism, Barthes’ book makes many points that will be useful to my comparasin of the two, such as his statement that “the fundamental ambiguity is that Revolution must of necessity borrow, from what it wants to destroy, the very image of what it wants to possess”. His arguments will help define this “betweeness”.
6. Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Duke University Press, 2007.
Jameson’s book is referenced is practically all articles I have read from the 21st century. In it, he attempts to define what Postmodernism is through an exploration of the movement as a whole. While it doesn’t explore modernism much, it will help to have a solid definition of Postmodernism to use during my project.
7. Heffernan, Teresa. Post-Apocalyptic Culture: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Twentieth-Century Novel. Univ. of Toronto Press, 2014.
Heffernan explores how Post-Apocalyptic themes have been explored by both Modernism and Postmodernism. She explores common themes such as the meaning of “the end”, skepticism of meaning, and human organization through the lens of Modernism and Postmodernism giving me a platform to once again examine the “betweeness”.
8.Hummel, Ralph P. “‘We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges’—Modernists vs. Post-Modernists: Kant, Foucault, Weber, Loewith, Arendt.” Administrative Theory & Praxis, vol. 28, no. 3, 2006, pp. 311–329. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25610802.
This article helped give me more comparisons between the Modern and Postmodern theory. It gives more context to the social and academic climate during both eras. Most important though, is that it actually explores the era when Modernism and Postmodernism were both prevailing theories.
9. Teodora, Ghiviriga. (2014). Deep Magic and Modern Magic. Linguaculture. 2014. 10.1515/lincu-2015-0024.
Teodora explores an allegorical relationship between Magic and Postmodernism. Teodora is extremely critical of Postmodernism, and calls for shift in our Postmodern world. I find it interesting since it makes no mention of Post-Theory, and calls for a revert back to Modernism instead of whatever lies beyond Post-Modernism.
10.Zhou, Xian. “Literary Theory, Theory, and Post-Theory.” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, vol. 4, no. 1, Dec. 2010, pp. 1–18., doi:10.1007/s11702-010-0001-6.
Similarly to Jameson, Zhou focus more on the definition of the concepts of Theory and Post-Theory more than attempting to compare them to anything else. The focus to me was his exploration on the relationship between Postmodernism and Poststructuralism, which no other article mentioned.