What remains of postmodernity?
Forma. Revista d’Estudis Comparatius has the honor to present the new call for papers for its seventeenth number, titled
What remains of postmodernity?
Since the 70s, the word postmodernity has articulated a tendency, a state of mind, and a condition that resists conceptualization or complete definition. Although the intellectual community has agreed to situate J. F. Lyotard and his key work, The Postmodern condition (1979), as the origin of the debate on this phenomenon, the truth is that the literary theorist Ihab Hassan had already used the word systematically in 1971. Since that date, the notion has spread across the fields of Literature, Architecture, Visual Arts, and the Social Sciences. These are two of the problems that one faces when approaching the surface of the postmodern phenomenon: its lack of definition and its ambiguous periodization. Along with these concerns, the thematic and disciplinary diversity of that which has been normalized under the name of postmodernity calls for a reassessment and a reconceptualization capable of assimilating decades of thinking under this subject. In this sense, a monographic issue dedicated to the question “what remains of postmodernity?” – without ignoring the potential controversy implicit therein – proposes the following questions in order to stimulate the debate:
Can we outline a definition of postmodernity or does the word keep fleeing the margins of the concept? It is not strange that in his Postscript to “the Name of the Rose”, U. Eco (1984) pointed out that “postmodern” is a word that is used for anything; and that is –in our opinion- due to the difficulties of thematization with which this phenomenon tends to operate.
What are the signs that allow us to talk about the postmodern in those areas in which it has had an impact, such as Philosophy, Literature, Art or the Social Sciences? Each area claims for itself a specific translation of the Zeitgeist in its particular framework. But, beyond that, what exactly allows us to speak about the Zeitgeist in such areas? What makes them specifically postmodern?
Are we really still within the margins of what is called postmodernity? Moreover: did “postmodernity” ever actually exist? Although the critiques of J. Habermas (1985) respecting the postmodern ethos are well known –in which there is an implicit recognition of its existence- we must also address the thought of those who define our current time as “hypermodernity”, either because they believe that we have never left modernity and rather operate in a certain extreme fold of it (G. Marramao: 1983; 2009); or because we have transcended the sociological signs that allowed us to speak about post-modernity, giving way to a hyper-modern society (G. Lipovetsky: 2004).
Where can we observe the current influence of the postmodern phenomenon? Are not gender studies, postcolonial studies or cultural studies, as well as other new fields of knowledge, among those fields indebted to those factors thematized by postmodernity? In other words: what is the current condition that we can recognize after decades of thinking through the framework of postmodernity?
In order to encourage conversation about a phenomenon that involves us all, and without whose debate we cannot elucidate alternatives to our present, we invite anyone who feels called to this issue to contribute from those different approaches that the subject allows. The authors of possible interest to this study certainly exceed those who have been briefly mentioned here; and the potential questions increase with each intervention in the dialogue. Therefore, this issue is open to all those approaches that allow us to delve into a phenomenon that has left no one indifferent and which demands a retrospective view in accordance with the multiple aspects that this subject has opened for our time.
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Deadline: April 20th 2018