Browse

You are looking at 71 - 80 of 819 items for :

  • Refine by access: User-accessible content x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
An intellectual history of post-concepts

What does it mean to live in an era of ‘posts’? At a time when ‘post-truth’ is on everyone’s lips, this volume seeks to uncover the logic of post-constructions – postmodernism, post-secularism, postfeminism, post-colonialism, post-capitalism, post-structuralism, post-humanism, post-tradition, post-Christian, post-Keynesian and post-ideology – across a wide array of contexts. It shows that ‘post’ does not simply mean ‘after.’ Although post-prefixes sometimes denote a particular periodization, especially in the case of mid-twentieth-century post-concepts, they more often convey critical dissociation from their root concept. In some cases, they even indicate a continuation of the root concept in an altered form. By surveying the range of meanings that post-prefixes convey, as well as how these meanings have changed over time and across multiple and shifting contexts, this volume sheds new light on how post-constructions work and on what purposes they serve. Moreover, by tracing them across the humanities and social sciences, the volume uncovers sometimes unexpected parallels and transfers between fields usually studied in isolation from each other.

A history
Hans Bertens

The ‘post’ in literary postmodernism is far from unequivocally clear. When the term came into circulation in the 1950s, it mostly referred to a new literary mode that came after modernism and was different enough to warrant a new label. Most, but not all, early commentators deplored literary postmodernism. However, in the 1960s and early 1970s, interpreters increasingly portrayed literary postmodernism as a continuation of the literary avant-gardes of the modernist period – especially Dada and Surrealism – and connected it to a radically anti-bourgeois mode that Ihab Hassan traces back to the Marquis de Sade. This postmodernism easily predates modernism, just as the postmodernism of the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard saw a postmodern moment that confronted radical contingency and was fundamentally rule-free before the rise of modernism. For Lyotard, postmodern moments have occurred before and will occur again. By contrast, for critics such as Brian McHale, postmodernism developed and radicalized formal elements already present in modernist texts. Their postmodernism was unthinkable without an earlier modernism, which it used as a stepping stone, and so was both ‘post’ and ‘modern’. Finally, for other critics, postmodern literature not only succeeded, but also superseded modernist literature. Here, ‘post’ not only signified ‘after’ but also implied superiority, not in a formal sense, but because of postmodern literature’s recognition of the limitations of modernism’s Weltanschauung.

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
A rare example of a post-concept in economics
Roger E. Backhouse

The term ‘post-Keynesian’ emerged in the 1940s, to describe work that built on John Maynard Keynes’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936). It had a purely temporal connotation, denoting any theories that took off from what Keynes argued in his book. Use of the term ‘Keynesian’ itself, whether post- or not, was controversial, for the name of Keynes was associated with ‘unsound’ policies, such as running permanent government deficits in peacetime. Keynesian ideas were strongly attacked by businessmen hostile to the interventionism associated with Roosevelt’s New Deal. Some went so far as to equate Keynesianism with communism. Economists hesitated to identify as Keynesian because they saw themselves as scientists, as not committed to specific doctrines, and also because it was politically dangerous to do so. All the same, Keynesian ideas became the orthodoxy in academic macroeconomics, and the terms ‘Keynesian’ and ‘post-Keynesian’ continued to be used in the same way. However, in the 1970s, some economists began to question whether Keynesian economics had remained true to Keynes’ own ideas, and the label ‘post-Keynesian’ came to be applied to the ideas of self-consciously heterodox economists who were critical of the Keynesianism or to the ‘new’ or ‘neo-’ Keynesianism of the mainstream.

in Post-everything
K. Healan Gaston

Like other post-constructions, the term ‘post-secular’ has expressed a number of different concepts that reinforce and interrogate one another to varying degrees. Foremost among these have been (1) the idea that a distinct era of secularity has come to an end, (2) the claim that secularity was always a fiction and observers now see through it, and (3) the theory that the religious and the secular are deeply intertwined. One can find early iterations of these views in the American context during the late 1950s and 1960s, especially among neo-orthodox and existentialist thinkers who charged that theological liberalism had capitulated to the forces of science and modern culture and within a younger generation of religious scholars – Protestants, Catholics, and Jews alike – who deplored the loss of community in a liberal age. Only recently has the term been widely used by commentators on religion’s public roles. The rise of a sharp normative critique of secularity over the past twenty years has led thinkers as varied as Peter Berger, Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor to argue that modern societies have passed beyond a phase in which public institutions steadily marginalized religion and scholars declared it dead or dying. Yet the term ‘post-secular’ also retains its other meanings, signalling divergent visions of the present and the future that emerge from competing understandings of secularism as either a boon or a disaster.

in Post-everything
Yolande Jansen, Jasmijn Leeuwenkamp, and Leire Urricelqui

This chapter argues that the ‘posterizing impulse’ has been part of the posthumanist discourse from the 1970s onwards, but stemmed from the debate about ‘transhumanism’ that came up in the optimistic 1950s already. The actual notion of ‘posthumanism’, when it was introduced in the 1970s, formed part of the postmodern, reflexive and ironic discourses of the time, which did not so much claim a historical shift or rupture, and did not imply a ‘space-clearing gesture’ towards a different future, but rather announced a position towards the present, a cultural critique, an explanation of ‘how we became posthuman’. It remains a question, however, how much ‘post’ was needed here, or whether, perhaps, the gesture towards a ‘post’ was rather a ‘problem’ than a helpful impulse. This chapter suggests that contemporary philosophical discourse on ‘posthumanism’ is very much aware of how it can remain trapped in the boldness of the posterizing gesture. It therefore seeks an earthly, ‘staying with the trouble’ kind of ‘post’, or rather a ‘com-post’, while being less academic, ironic and literary than the early postmodern posthuman.

in Post-everything
Stephen Turner

The idea of a break with tradition and its wholesale replacement with something else – most often some Enlightenment-inspired notion of the rational – is so pervasive in Western thought that it arguably constitutes a tradition in its own right. Yet recent uses of the term ‘post-traditional’ promise something novel: they radicalize the term’s meaning. Thus, ‘post-traditional’ increasingly implies not simply a break with a particular tradition, but rather a break with tradition as such. These new, more totalizing uses of ‘post-traditional’ tend to concentrate on the subjective aspects of experience and the self, rather than the demise of objective formal structures or of doctrines. Thus, in earlier iterations, tradition and traditional societies suppressed the self in a prison of duties, ascriptive demands, and restrictions, typically with religious justifications, something never fully effaced by modernization. But in its subsequent incarnations, the term ‘post-traditionalism’ denotes the end of traditional social roles and the possibility – or burden – of self-invention, a change whose full force has only recently been felt. This chapter discusses representative figures in this new account of tradition, including Robert Bellah, Alasdair MacIntyre and Anthony Giddens, and considers the relation of this new version of the break with tradition in relation to the problematic of multiculturalism, which, contrary to the Enlightenment view, acknowledges the continuing power of tradition.

in Post-everything
Full text access
The limits of Britain’s medicalised borders, 1962–1981
Roberta Bivins

Like their peers across western Europe, Australia and the Americas, large segments of the British public and a significant proportion of Britain’s medical establishment have enthusiastically promoted medical screening (and de facto medical selection) of would-be migrants since World War II. Moreover, from 1962, British law explicitly empowered medical inspection and the exclusion of migrants on health grounds at all three of Britain’s idiosyncratic ‘medical borders’: during entry clearance procedures in their countries of origin; at Britain’s ports and airports; and via public health surveillance in the British towns and cities that were the migrants’ destinations. However, Britain’s geographical and internal borders were largely unmedicalised in the twentieth century and remain comparatively free from specifically medical controls even today. I explore the role of the National Health Service – both as a national symbol and as a physical institution – in shaping and responding to this paradox. Given the intensity of popular suspicions of migrants’ bodies and their hygienic and reproductive practices, and the frequency with which medical claims mediated and bolstered anti-migrant rhetoric, why has medical ‘control’ itself proven politically elusive and persistently suspect?

in Medicalising borders
Open Access (free)
Sven Rubenson, Amsalu Aklilu, Shiferaw Bekele, and Samuel Shiferaw 

A variety of matters are dealt with in the documents of the year 1880, but two issues receive special attention. The first issue is the attempts made by the Italian government and its representatives to secure and expand their settlement at Aseb by means of agreements with local rulers, many of which seem to lack proper documentation on the Ethiopian part. The second issue is found in letters that deal with the problems of identifying the purposes and roles of European explorers and their respective fate, in particular the arrest of Giovanni Chiarini and Antonio Cecchi, as well as the death of the former and the release of the latter.

in Colonial Powers and Ethiopian Frontiers 1880–1884
Open Access (free)
Sven Rubenson, Amsalu Aklilu, Shiferaw Bekele, and Samuel Shiferaw 

Among the issues treated in the documents of 1881, the two most important are, first, the attempts made by Emperor Yohannis to define the borders of his country: these attempts involve Gerhard Rohlfs as German arbitrator, his mission to Egypt to obtain new bishops for Ethiopia, and his engagement on behalf of the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem. The second important issue is King Minīlik’s increasing attempts at an independent foreign policy and control over the increasing Italian interests in Ethiopia, documented in his letters to King Umberto of Italy. The increasing role of the import of arms for the Ethiopian rulers is also clearly visible.

in Colonial Powers and Ethiopian Frontiers 1880–1884
Open Access (free)
Sven Rubenson, Amsalu Aklilu, Shiferaw Bekele, and Samuel Shiferaw 

The letters of 1882 include a number related to internal conflicts between regional rulers and opposition to the Emperor. They also contain documents related to the struggle between Egypt and the colonial powers for control over the Gulf and the trade routes, and the increasing involvement of the most important ruler in the area, the Sultan of Awsa, Maḥammad Ḥanfadhē. The documents include the first letter by an Ethiopian ruler written in a European language.

in Colonial Powers and Ethiopian Frontiers 1880–1884