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Post-postmodernism is a term describing a state of affairs after or beyond postmodernism. While it is often described as being impossible, post-postmodernism is an idea that surfaces in a number of debates.


Postmodernism defines itself in relation to what it comes after: Modernism. But Modernism must be a time-limited term. Most scholars agree that, in the arts, Modernism began circa 1914 and had its heyday in the twentieth century. The time must come when both Modernism and Postmodernism are replaced by more specific names.


In a book on City as landscape: a post-postmodern view of design and planning (E&F Spon, 1986], Tom Turner argues that:

The modernist age, of "one way, one truth, one city", is dead and gone. The postmodernist age of "anything goes" is on the way out. Reason can take us a long way, but it has limits. Let us embrace post-postmodernism—and pray for a better name.

"Performatism" was coined by Raoul Eshelman, as a term to describe or replace the term "Post-Postmodernism". He goes on to describe it as "a new epoch in which subject, sign, and thing come together in ways that create an aesthetic experience of transcendency"...a place where meaning is created. [3]. See also his other works... [4] A contemporary example may be the annual Burning Man festival that attracted 39,000 people in 2006 [5].

Mikhail Epstein also argues that "Post-postmodernism witnesses the re-birth of utopia after its own death, after its subjection to postmodernism's severe scepticism, relativism and its anti-utopian consciousness".
Post-postmodernism has also been described as renewed faith.[6]


Others have latched onto the phrase as the height of academic doublespeak or as a way to assign some degree of existentialism to their artwork:

I hadn't intended to let any more of [Howell's] post-post modern mumbo jumbo find space on these pages, but now it seems necessary to reproduce a paragraph or two of his description to identify exactly where he runs astray.

Chris Wilson, "A Critical Review Of S. Howell's 'A Critical Review Of Jazz Music In The Post-Post Modern Era'"[1]

We had to make a convincing facade for this film, so that the actors wouldn't get suspicious while we were filming. Because it was extremely important that they not realize our real motives here, or we would have lost everything. So we sold this film as a post-post-modern telling of the Passion, an experimental film that cast Christ in a 21st-century setting.

Chris Wilson, "Interview with James Valentine, Director of Passion of the Christ--The Outtakes"[2]

External links[]


  1. Wilson, Chris. "A Critical Review Of S. Howell's 'A Critical Review Of Jazz Music In The Post-Post Modern Era'" storySouth, Summer 2004 [1]
  2. Wilson, Chris. "Interview with James Valentine, Director of Passion of the Christ--The Outtakes" eclectica, July/August 2005 [2]
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