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.
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.