Monday, December 19, 2016

On Kafka, Misreading Postmodernism, and Giving Up | the becoming radical

On Kafka, Misreading Postmodernism, and Giving Up | the becoming radical:

On Kafka, Misreading Postmodernism, and Giving Up

Image result for kafka and trump


In 2008, through a Republican connection with then-governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, a graduate of the university, President George W. Bush gave the primary commencement address at Furman University, sparking a faculty protest and a student push-back to that protest.
Once Bush being the speaker was announced, the days and weeks leading up to commencement were characterized by several media reports on the controversy, including some Op-Eds in the local paper by professors—one of which was by two neoliberal professors from one of the most conservative departments on campus chastising the protesting professors and characterizing them as postmodern.
Looking back through the rise of Trumplandia and the current focus on fake news and post-truth politics, this misreading of postmodernism is worth revisiting.
First, the protesting professors immediately balked at being labeled postmodern because most (if not all) were taking an ethical stand, counter to the postmodern questioning of objective or universal moral imperatives.
The neoliberal professors represented, even as elites, a cartoonish and dismissive lens for the public about nuanced and complex bodies of knowledge, ways of navigating the world.
By the twenty-first century, postmodernism was recognized as a moment in the twentieth century when modernism was unmasked, but that term and body of thought had mostly helped shape movements that many academics and scholars embraced (see this as one example of how complex postmodernism is as a term).
Postmodernism spurred many “post” ideologies, in fact—postcolonialism, poststructuralism, and others that, in fact, re-imagined how to reclaim the ethics and moral imperatives that postmodernism seemed to reject.
The key here is “seemed” since just as the neoliberal professors misrepresented the protesting professors as On Kafka, Misreading Postmodernism, and Giving Up | the becoming radical:


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