This advanced Cultural Studies seminar engages the leading theorists of postmodernism and posthumanism, offering students an opportunity to become familiar with the debates, discourses and terminology of postmodern cultures. The seminar also analyzes leading postmodern cultural practices in fields such as architecture, music, film, science, theology, and fine art.

The course is structured such that it encompasses BOTH rather than one side(s) of the general cultural divide over usage of the term postmodern. Course work throughout the world's Cultural Studies programs takes either a Critical/Philosophical approach or an aesthetic approach to postmodernity.

These differentiations are usually understood as follows: 1) The theoretical/philosophical nomenclature of postmodernity; that is, the idea of the postmodern or postmodernity as a historical (political/economic/social) condition (an era we're still supposedly in whether we know it not); or 2) the aesthetic usage of the term postmodern in literature, film, fine art, architecture and other cultural realms; that is, an intentional movement in arts, culture, and politics that uses various strategies to subvert what is seen as dominant in modernism or modernity.

The course syllabus and student work will study both of these approaches to postmodernity, attempting to navigate between theory and practice. This will encourage students to simultaneously deepen the rigor of their textual readings and make connections to concrete cultural practices. Thus, the syllabus includes the analysis of postmodern cultural artifacts and practices from fine art, music, theology, literature, and film alongside primary texts by the leading theorists of postmodernism and posthumanism.

© 2007 - Ann Hetzel Gunkel
agunkel@colum.edu