Lecture 11 Feb 28.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
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Francesco Guardiani

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Lecture 11 SMC219- Monday February 28, 2011 Xerox pg. 73-84 - Postmodernism - Fact: we are living in this age of communication (electronic media) - We live in a “global village”- globalized environment, some implications or consequences - The content is not the same - Media are environmental agents, they change the contents, create another environment in which you must use different rules - Notion of postmodernism was a beginning of a fight (fighting to try and make some ideas comes across) - Computer- an essential part of life, education – implications: school based on books, books are not primary medium anymore – we are being taught something that is counter to what contemporary culture wants you to do (contradiction, speaking language not yours) - Why are we talking about this? Because we are talking about elements of life, our own contemporary environment, made of air, we breathe postmodernism Post modernity- contemporary cultural environment Culture is everything that is human - Definition* Guardiani’s definition is linked to media  Post modernity/ post modernism= electronic age, period of electronics, we know when it started, but do not know when it will finish First use of electromagnetism 1845 Pg. 73 Linda Hutcheon: wrote several books, most important book A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction (1988) - Her success was due to the fact that she was a very scrupulous surveyor of all the theories under postmodernism saying it is the age of acceptance, all free to tell own story, everyone can give own interpretation - Linda surveyed hundreds of opinions and gave her own: all positions are mostly acceptable but not satisfying for Guardiani because it does not clarify: why we speak of post-something? Because for her it was a post of modernism. - Post-modernity: that period after modernity - Something that comes after yesterday? - Linda’s definition is a “can of worms” – unclear, so many cultural entities seeming hard to put together even if they happen at the same time - Pg. 75 – Modernism: thing of the day, postmodernism: thing that comes after yesterday - Modernism is all these things, which we know have happened (impressionism, expressionism etc.) – but it is hard to understand if all put under that heading, so you postpone meaning… what does that teach you in terms of practical life? - Following Linda- she says postmodernism is not something that comes after, because modernism concaves and is a simple progression of modernism “the post of postmodernism suggests not an after but rather an extension of modernism” – but why Guardiani says would you go to Latin language and say it means extension rather than after when it clearly means after! – thus he sees it as a lack of accuracy in definition but she gains in overabundance of examples of discomfort, inability to contain contemporary life under one name - So what are all these expressions of post modernism? – descriptive rather than indicating cause Guardiani looks at Habermas, Jameson, Lyotard Lyotard looks at meta-narrative of progress, progress means exploitation of own nature, we go nuts if we continue with progress Late capitalism- the effect not cause of contemporary art Habermas- we must finish our work which started with Enlightenment Mistakes with interpretation? – Not many are willing to consider changes as big… we do not have these big apocalyptic changes so frequently according to Guardiani. Therefore we need to see this change as a big one, and see how big changes have taken place Criticism- first few pictures, know that we are talking about a cause that is more serious and profound than others which are merely descriptions, when we talk about media and electronic media we are looking at the cause Formal Cause: the cause which is the biggest, creates environments… Mega-effects? *Useful to turn to Northrop Frye, McLuhan gives big picture but not details Frye was a highly rational and analytical mind who liked the details - Look to Frye to understand big changes Look at primary concerns and secondary concerns Pg. 76: discussion of primary and secondary concerns* - Primary concerns: concerns with survival, life, food, water, air, ability to move wit
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