“What [in the World] Was Postmodernism?” Special Issue
Gathering: “What [in the World] Was Postmodernism?” Special Issue
In June of 2015 at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, the "What [in the World] was Postmodernism?" Symposium brought together scholars, poets, and media artists to reflect on how postmodernism has shaped their respective fields and practices, and how the defining traits of that movement have managed to—or failed to—translate into whatever we decide has superseded it in today’s postcolonial, posthumanist, and digital culture. Scholars interrogated how we might deconstruct or reconstruct the phenomenon of the postmodern—as a style, philosophy, or era, among other possibilities—along 21st century fissures and fault lines. They paid particular attention to the global, regional, and local contexts bracketed by "in the world," while keeping in mind the ontological implications of the duplicitous and multiplicitous worlds postmodernism so often entails. This gathering of essays for the electronic book review was conceived as a kind of antipodean offshoot of the larger, contemporaneous project of The Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature (2016), and it draws together some of the most compelling responses to the puzzles of postmodernism put forth at the 2015 event.