Oscillate! Metamodernism and the Humanities – Glasgow, Tuesday, September 16th, 2014


Metamodernism and the Humanities

An Interdisciplinary Conference on Critical, Creative and Cultural Practice.

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

University of Strathclyde; Confucius Room, Lord Hope Building; 141 St James Road, Glasgow : @OscillateStrath

Keynote speaker: Dr Timotheus Vermeulen, assistant professor in cultural studies and theory, University of Nijmegen, editor of Notes on Metamodernism

‘Metamodernism displaces the parameters of the present with those of a future presence that is futureless; and it displaces the boundaries of our place with those of a surreal place that is placeless. For, indeed, that is the ‘‘destiny’’ of the metamodern wo/man: to pursue a horizon that is forever receding.’
(Notes on Metamodernism, Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker, 2010)

The postmodernism of the period following the Vietnam War is presumed dead, or at best dormant, no longer the vanguard. So what comes next? What are the defining characteristics of cultural logic post-9/11, post-Lehman Brothers? One of the most compelling interventions in the post-postmodernism debate is metamodernism, an increasingly contested and exasperating matrix of critical theory nominalism encompassing theories such as altermodernism and neomodernism.

The Journalism, Creative Writing and English Literature postgraduate students at the University of Strathclyde are pleased to announce a new research symposium uniting emerging work in the arts and humanities to explore the concept of metamodernism. This event is open to Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers or scholars working in any area of the arts, humanities, information sciences or social sciences. We are delighted to be joined by Dr Timotheus Vermeulen, who will deliver an opening lecture on metamodernism and offer concluding responses to the day’s discussion.

Deriving from Plato’s term metaxy, meaning ‘in between’ or ‘the movement between opposing poles’, metamodernism is offered by cultural theorists Timotheus Vermuelen and Robin van den Akker to describe a “structure of feeling” which departs from the “plenty, pastiche and parataxis” of postmodernism in favour of a state of oscillation between the idealism and optimism of modernism, and the cynicism and doubt of postmodernism: “It yearns for a truth it knows it may never find, it strives for sincerity without lacking humour, it engages precisely by embracing doubt.” From music to film, from architecture to journalism, the postmodernist urge to subvert and deconstruct has given way to a sincere desire to reinvent, reconfigure and create something new from the scraps of postmodernist decay.