Postmillennial Sensibility

in Anglophone Literatures, Cultures and Media

Thursday 29 June – Saturday 1 July 2017

The conference aimed to bring together scholars from across the world to explore the postmillennial sensibility in Anglophone literary, cultural and media texts. Selected papers to be published in a collection of papers by the Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Recent development in the field of cultural studies has produced an increased consensus about the emergence of a postmillennial sensibility, characterized by the end of postmodernism and its replacement by a new cultural paradigm. Cultural theorists have so far produced a rich variety of concepts and approaches that try to capture the essence of the new state of culture: Nealon’s study (2012) associates the ‘post-postmodern’ era with an intensification of postmodern capitalism and increasing influence of the economic sphere on everyday cultural life. Lipovetsky (2005), Kirby (2009) and Samuels (2010), though employing three different concepts, respectively hypermodernity, digimodernism, and automodernity, focus on the role of digital technologies and consumerism in the contemporary transformations of human relations and cultural production. Bourriaud (2009) uses the term altermodern to define new, anti-commercial trends in contemporary visual arts typical of globalized perception, cultural nomadism, and creaolization. Elshelman (2008) identifies the new epoch with performativism reflected in a wide range of performatist texts that encourage the viewer/reader to accept (at least for the duration of the text) the monistic and metaphysical values (e.g. unified self, transcendence, god) that postmodernism challenges through ironic deconstruction. Elshelman (2008) shows how performatist texts induce the suspension of disbelief by using ‘a coercive frame’ that cuts, at least temporarily, the reader/viewer off from the outside context of metaphysical scepticism and irony. Gans (2000, 2011), drawing on his theory of generative anthropology, sees the victimary discourse, reflected mainly in feminist, postcolonial and post-Holocaust narratives, as the defining feature of the postmodern era and associates postmillennial sensibility with the possibility to lead a dialogue with victimary thinking.

Finally, the new cultural paradigm is also addressed in Vermeulen and Akker’s work (2010) that suggests that metamodernism could be a useful umbrella term for such diverse cultural practices as digitalization of textuality, creolization of arts and performativism. Vermeulen and Akker believe that metamoderism finds its ‘clearest expression in an emergent neoromantic sensibility’, in ‘the return of the Romantic, whether as style, philosophy or attitude’. They find its reflection in the works that replace postmodernist rationalism (sarcasm, indifference, ironic deconstruction) with the perspective of childlike naivety and a desire for metaphysical truths, and the postmodernist focus on pastiche and parody with the focus on irrational principles (nature, the primitive, sublime, mysterious). These neoromantic practices are seen as playing a crucial role in the metamodernist oscillation between the ‘modern desire for sens’ (expressed in modern beliefs in utopism, linear progress and grand narratives) and the postmodern doubt about the sense of it all’.

Organising Committee – Department of British and American Studies,

Faculty of Arts, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice and SKASE

Main organisers: Soňa Šnircová and Slávka Tomaščíková

Department Staff: Zuzana Buráková, Petra Filipová, Slávka Janigová, Martina Martausová, Silvia Rosivalová Baučeková, Július Rozenfeld, Karin Sabolíková, Adriana Sabovíková.

PhD Students: Ester Demjanová, Lýdia Desiatniková, Vesna Kalafus Antoniová, Lukáš Lukačín, Tomáš Sňahničan.

MA Students

With Special Thanks to:

Dagmar Hvozdovičová

Milan Kolcún

Ľubica Nezníková

Tomáš Polák

Adriana Sabolová

Marek Sekerák

Academic Programme Committee

Myriam Boussahba-Bravard, Université Paris Diderot, France

Zuzana Buráková, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia

Stanislav Kolář, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic

Vesna Lopičić, University of Niš, Serbia

Soňa Šnircová, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia

Slávka Tomaščíková, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia