Seattle Metamodernism Summit Sept 10-11 2022

Flying into Seattle

I had a great time at the Seattle conference! I met loads of people I was very keen to meet and did my talk at the end of the first day on the Metamodernism in Popular Culture panel.

My talk – like my research paper – is on the depiction of Metamodern Alienation in the Apple TV+ series Severance.

I first watched the series in the spring as it was going out. It was on my list of ‘to watch’ series as I’m a fan of Parks and Recreation and was keen to see Adam Scott in a new role. I didn’t start watching it immediately (every evening my family and I watch something on TV and it’s often difficult to start something new as we’re in the middle of a series), but after a few weeks I saw Greg Dember recommend it on Facebook and decided to start watching it immediately.

My mind was blown from the very first shot and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since!

It works perfectly as an analogy of the split between the real and the digital worlds. It even covers cult-thinking and high-control groups, which I think might be an inevitable result of the real world/digital world split (ie we are forced into a kind of resonant thinking where we intensify only certain aspects of ourselves).

I was a bit nervous about giving my talk. I wasn’t worried about the “performance” element of it- I can give a talk just fine – I was worried that everyone would think it was dumb! I was one of two MA students giving talks, everyone else was either a PhD student or a lecturer or a professor. I hoped that what I had to say was interesting and developed the thinking on Metamodernism just a bit.

I’m pleased to say my talk went really well! A lot of people came up to me afterwards to tell me that they will DEFINITELY be watching Severance. They were also interested in my idea about how we think about the Real and Digital worlds as separate spaces. One academic challenged me about it at dinner that night – but I pointed out how we talk about IRL friends and Facebook friends and we know they are different – one is more ‘legitimate’ than the other. I talked about how we can known someone really well ‘online only’ and how we can meet them in person and that friendship falters or just doesn’t work IRL as we are different people online and off.

Anyway, I now need to turn my attention to my research paper.

Leaving Seattle