I learned about ‘metamodernism‘ when I was in my second year at Chelsea. I honestly don’t remember how I came upon it, but it blew my freakin’ mind and spoke to me in the deepest way. It suddenly made everything I’ve been increasingly feeling over the past 15 years make sense. Metamodernism is the cultural era we are currently living in- the previous two being Modernism (approximately late 19th century – World War II) and Postmodernism (approximately World War II until September 11th)… I wrote one of my second year ‘experimental’ essays on it (I may post that here in the sidebar, but I need to build up the nerve to do so. Making these things ‘public’ is scary…). I’ll post just a few things from that so you can get an idea of what it is.
To start to understand the structure of metamodernism, we need to look at a few
differences between Modernist and Postmodernist thought.
MODERNISMDrake, T. (n.d.). Modernism vs Postmodernism. [online] Webpages.uidaho.edu.
Available at: https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/engl_258/Lecture%20Notes/modernism_vs_postmodernism.htm
reason leads to universal truths.
reason and science are the foundations of knowledge
there is a stable, coherent “human nature” which exists independent of culture or society
focused on creating, improving and reshaping ourselves and our environment using scientific knowledge and technology
Feminism- Women are oppressed by patriarchy and can use reason to achieve independence and to regain and reconnect with their authentic selves which exist beyond the influence of culture and society.
POSTMODERNISMDrake, T. (n.d.). Modernism vs Postmodernism. [online] Webpages.uidaho.edu.
Available at: https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/engl_258/Lecture%20Notes/modernism_vs_post
“no eternal truths, no universal human experience, no universal human rights,
overriding narrative of human progress” Psarras, B. (2015). Initial reflections on a “Metamodern” Flaneur. [online] Hybrid
Flaneur. Available at: https://hybridflaneur.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/on-ametamodern-
Reason and Science are merely myths created by humans.
the Self is a myth, a social construction or an Ideology.
focused on deconstructing everything into smaller and smaller parts which end up having no relation to each other at all.
Feminism- The categories of male and female, masculine and feminine are culturally constructed and/or are an Ideology.
The seminal essay by Vermeulen and van den Akker, Notes On Metamodernism Vermeulen, T. and van den Akker, R. (2009). Notes on Metamodernism. [online] Notes on Metamodernism. Available at: http://www.metamodernism.com/, states that metamodernism oscillates between a modern enthusiasm and a postmodern irony, between hope and melancholy, between naïveté and knowingness, empathy and apathy, unity and plurality, totality and fragmentation, purity and ambiguity.
Between Modernism and Postmodernism
Between Irony and Sincerity
Between Pragmatism and Idealism
Between Apathy and Passion
Between What We Know and How We Live Sure. I understand. â€œThere is no there thereâ€¦ but I am here.â€ (Janes, J. and Snyder, J. (2019). #20 What’s Metamodern with Linda Ceriello & Greg Dember. [podcast] … Continue reading
Between The Real World and The Internet I am not a robot.
Between Knowing that “God is Dead” and seeking some type of transcendence aka The Spiritual But Not Religious. When you see the literal awesomeness of the material world. You know, those moments when you understand â€œthe transformative capacities inherent in human … Continue reading
Does this make sense to you?
If it does, you finally have a way to make sense of it all.
Anyway, last week, I watched this AMAZING interview by Linda Ceriello and Greg Dember with Timothy Vermeulen (all three of them were referenced above!) about metamodernism, including some of the possoble causes of and qualities found in metamodernism. It really is brilliant. If you’ve never heard of metamodernism before, this jumps you feet-first into the topic.
Sure. I understand. â€œThere is no there thereâ€¦ but I am here.â€ (Janes, J. and Snyder, J. (2019). #20 What’s Metamodern with Linda Ceriello & Greg Dember. [podcast] Both/And. Available at: https://podtail.com/podcast/both-and/-20-what-s-metamodern-with-linda-ceriello-greg-dem/) The space between what we have learned from postmodernism and â€˜how we liveâ€™ is similar to the space between quantum mechanics and a car mechanic. The former tells you anything that can happen will happen. The latter tells you that your brake pads ARE worn and need to be replaced. This is where we exist.
aka The Spiritual But Not Religious. When you see the literal awesomeness of the material world. You know, those moments when you understand â€œthe transformative capacities inherent in human experienceâ€. (Ceriello, L. (2018) Metamodern Mysticisms: Narrative Encounters with Contemporary Western Secular Spiritualities PhD Thesis. Rice University. Available at: https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/103873/CERIELLODOCUMENT-2018.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y) You know what I mean.