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A friendship with Zygmunt Bauman
Author: Peter Beilharz

What kind of intellectual was Zygmunt Bauman? Peter Beilharz worked with Bauman at an antipodean distance over 30 years. This memoir uses Beilharz’s archives to revisit and reconstruct their annual encounters and work together. It begins from Legislators and Interpreters, in 1987, through to Modernity and the Holocaust, in 1989, to the postmodern and the arrival of the liquid modern in 2000 and all the little books that followed. It tracks the unfolding of these two projects, held apart and together by place and time, experience and friendship. For these two thinkers shared the modern lifeworld but carried distinct biographies and formations. Their collaboration nevertheless depended on some kind of intimacy. This book addresses this friendship and some of the controversies surrounding Bauman’s work. It argues that his identity was that of an East European critical theorist, a Polish Jew of Marxist origins who was to become, finally, a reluctant celebrity in the United Kingdom, Europe and further afield. The reach of Bauman’s influence was much broader, and his legacy will be longer than this. Settling accounts with Bauman may be one precondition of moving on, for those who puzzle over modern times, and feel compelled to contemplate the challenges faced by intellectuals today.

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Peter Barry

What is postmodernism? What was modernism? As with structuralism and post-structuralism, there is a great deal of debate about how exactly modernism and postmodernism differ. The two concepts are of different vintage, ‘modernism’ being a long-standing category which is of crucial importance in the understanding of twentieth-century culture, whereas the term ‘postmodernism’, as is well known, has only become current since the 1980s. ‘Modernism’ is the name given to the movement which dominated the arts and culture of the first half of the twentieth century

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
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Peter Beilharz

modernism and the avant-garde, and its eventual exhaustion. Even in Australia there had been avant-gardes, and discussion of the postmodern into the 1940s at the hand of Bernard Smith, our most important and pioneering art historian. 3 There was cultural traffic between centres and peripheries, and it flowed both ways, even if unevenly. Sometimes we in the Antipodes might even lead in innovation. There were cultural riches in the ‘Big World’, but also closer to hand. There was, in short, a wealth of wisdom and culture that was on tap in Melbourne, and Sydney, and

in Intimacy in postmodern times
Susanne Becker

’) postmodernism itself. And it uses neo-gothicism to encounter the (1990s’) promise of knowledge and emotion that arises from this parody. 1 A. S. Byatt has long shaped the more English form of postmodernism that she herself has called ‘self-conscious realism’ ( 1991a , 4). Recent critics have retained social realism as predominant frame of reference for her work and emphasise the

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
from Dracula to the Twilight Saga
Antonio Sanna

This article will analyse (the lack of) telepathic connection between the characters of Edward and Bella in Meyers Twilight Saga and compare it to the subliminal link between the Transylvanian vampire and Mina in Dracula. The lack of a telepathic bond between the two characters will be read as a contradiction of the original concept of telepathy. The Twilight Saga is interpreted as a postmodern representation of vampires which both reprises and subverts the precedent literary and cinematographic narratives of such,‘monsters’.

Gothic Studies
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Bauman’s Levinasian turn
Ali Rattansi

Postmodern ethics: Bauman’s Levinasian turn Questions of ethics and morality were central to Bauman’s concerns over a long period of his life. This is hardly surprising. Any intellectual project which has at its heart the constant desire to envisage a future different from the existing – the ‘is’ – in order to create social conditions which embody the dignity of an altogether greater freedom has to have a persistent concern with what ‘ought’ to be the case. The ‘ought’ immediately plunges the thinker into reflecting upon the nature of morality and ethics. This

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Alex Link

Fredric Jameson‘s Postmodernism is shaped by a pervasive tension in its pages between a Modernist Gothic, which Jameson explicitly rejects, and a Postmodernist Gothic, which he does not acknowledge. This analysis of the Gothic in Postmodernism suggests that ‘paranoid paranoia’ is an unspoken counterpart to Jameson‘s ‘nostalgia for nostalgia’.

Gothic Studies
Ali Rattansi

Sociology and postmodernity If Bauman’s stance in Legislators and Interpreters is not difficult to classify as ‘postmodernist’ in a fairly strong sense, his remarks on the specificity of the postmodern condition as characterised by uncertainty and ambivalence in Modernity and Ambivalence do little to dispel that impression. I will soon explore in greater depth how Bauman’s analysis of the postmodern condition develops in a variety of works throughout the 1990s. For the time being, though, it is necessary to explore a key theoretical dilemma that confronted

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Saul Newman

1 The politics of postmodernity P O S T M O D E R N I S M is something that we have heard a lot about for some time now. However its meaning remains ambiguous and open to different interpretations. Moreover, it is a term that appears in a number of different contexts: art, architecture, cultural studies, literature and social theory all bear reference to the ‘postmodern condition’. Indeed, some thinkers, like Zˇizˇek and Eagleton, see postmodernism as now the dominant discourse in many academic disciplines – although perhaps this institutionalisation indicates

in Unstable universalities
Ali Rattansi

Modernism and postmodernism ‘Modernism’ is a term usually reserved for a set of movements in the arts that began in the latter part of the nineteenth century in Europe, gained a particular momentum in the early years of the twentieth century and continued to flourish until at least the middle of the twentieth century, the periodisation being dependent on when one believes that a new set of aesthetic strategies and products, dubbed postmodernist, began. As we will see, for many commentators postmodernism in the arts was, by and large, a continuation of modernism

in Bauman and contemporary sociology