CFP: Moralizing after Postmodernism (9/30/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Josh Toth
contact email: 

CFP: The Mourning after: Moralizing at the Wake of Postmodernism (essay

Although the body is still warm, it is becoming increasingly apparent that
postmodernism, in the words of Linda Hutcheon, "has passed" and that a new
cultural dominant is emerging in its place. Abstracts are sought for a volume
of essays tentatively titled The Mourning After: Moralizing at the Wake of
Postmodernism. The volume will be published (pending approval of final papers)
in Hans Bertens and Theo D'haen's ongoing series, Postmodern Studies. Papers
should explore the newly emergent strategies present in the cultural production
of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, considering such things as the rise
of neo-conservatism and the apparent return of a climate in which it is once
again acceptable to moralize and/or appeal to 'The Truth.' From Mel Gibson's
The Passion of the Christ to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, this moralizing
trend has taken form on both sides of the political spectrum. Obvious examples
include the growing dominance of a type of neo-realism and the rejection of
postmodern anti-foundationalism in favor of certain 'renewed' humanist and/or
religious assumptions. While we expect to see papers that focus on traditional
'literary texts,' explorations of other narrative forms (film, music, video
games) will also be of interest.

Areas of consideration might include (but are not limited to):

–The Re-birth of God: narratives that emphasize a renewed belief in god(s),
mysticism, spirituality, etc.

– Scientific Neo-Positivism: including chaos theory, the renewed interest in
mathematical certainty, DNA, etc.

– The Religion of America: patriotism as religious discourse, the new rhetoric
of democracy, etc.

– Representing Terror: examinations of texts that address 9/11, the war on
terror and/or the return to certain imperialist ideologies.

– Playing War: the popularity of video games and films that celebrate battles
previously considered 'unpopular' – i.e. Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, etc.

– The Return of the Real: the (re)configuration of past narrative strategies, as
seen in 'dirty realism,' 'critical realism,' 'neo-humanism,' etc.

– Ethics and/of Theory: the theoretical shift from distinctly poststructuralist
discourses to issues of ethical and/or communal responsibility.

Please e-mail abstracts of no more than 500 words to Neil Brooks
( or Josh Toth ( by September 30, 2005. Authors
whose abstracts have been selected will be asked to submit full papers (by
March 1, 2006); however, ultimate determination of inclusion in the volume will
be based on the final paper.

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