PoMo Roundup – July 8

Here’s a collection of news articles, interviews, conversations, provocations, and otherwise – all related to postmodernism and the influence it has on societal issues.

News & Social Media

Postmodernism in Academia

  • Michael Zimmerman, the former Provost at Evergreen State College, wrote a detailed account of what really happened leading up to the protests that drove Bret Weinstein from campus.

“The Evergreen campus has become a place where identity politics takes precedence over every other aspect of social intercourse. It has become a place where it is acceptable for colleagues to levy personal attacks on colleagues in response to differences of opinion and even in response to calls for dialogue. It has become a place where it is acceptable to shout down those with whom you disagree. And it has become a place where the administration watches from the sidelines, apparently fearful of antagonizing anyone.”

  • In an interview, John McWhorter (a black academic from Columbia University) describes modern social justice activism as performative and theatrical.

“To be a black student who learns that their purpose, that something special about them, is that they can make a loud noise and make white people guilty, I don’t think that’s an education. And quite honestly, if a white person is constantly attesting to their privilege, constantly attesting that they still have things to learn, and not ever specifying what more it is that they have to learn, the idea that is somehow constructive, I suggest that be reexamined.”

Check out this Yale lecture on Derrida & Deconstruction:

“In this lecture on Derrida and the origins of deconstruction, Professor Paul Fry explores two central Derridian works: “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences” and “DiffĂ©rance.” Derrida’s critique of structuralism and semiotics, particularly the work of Levi-Strauss and Saussure, is articulated. Deconstruction’s central assertions that language is by nature arbitrary and that meaning is indeterminate are examined. Key concepts, such as the nature of the text, discourse, diffĂ©rance, and supplementarity are explored.”

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