There is no such thing as postmodernism.

Rather, there are various postmodernisms, each a theoretical construction, each a state of mind rather than an historical period, each with its own (non)assumptions about itself and the world.

This course will engage with some of the most influential constructions to arise within the last half century or so by addressing the following questions (postmodernism, one should remember, no matter what the construction, is all about the question rather than the answer, the process rather than the product):

Who are Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, and Jean-François Lyotard, and what, if anything, do their poststructuralist theories have in common with texts produced by such postmodern American writers as Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Shelley Jackson, Vladimir Nabokov, and Thomas Pynchon?

With contemporary performance art, rock'n'roll, architecture, art, photography, film and MTV at its most disruptive and co-opted?

With the notions of future shock, conspiracy theories, virtual reality, genetic engineering, multinational control of computer networks, artificial intelligence, techno-angst, hacker outlaws, religious cults, neo-conservative politics, toxic waste, the commodification of the arts?

What are hypertext fiction, metafiction, graphic fiction, trangressive fiction, pla(y)giarism, cyberpunk, deconstruction, poststructuralism, metanarratives, heteroglossias, simulacra, polyphony, postindustrialism, the hyper-consumer culture of late capitalism, the cult of posthumanism, the avant-pop?

Why, as we begin a new millennium, is our culture experiencing such a profound crisis in the (inter)face of technology?

Standing at its launch site, what predictions might we make for the near future? The far?


Course Objectives



A new era is upon us and we are entering a world that is undergoing a fundamental transformation.
The Great Illusion is falling apart

moon reflection




Believe Understanding The Great Illusion

Cafe Zeitgeist