Introduction to Metamodernism


Through a combinatin of relatable, pop-cultural examples and theoretical characteristics of metamodernism, Thom Hamer (Cardiff University) introduces the concept to the audience. During this talk, many metamodern concepts will be made intelligible, such as postironic sincerity, an embrace of quirkiness, renewed spirituality, meme culture and pragmatic idealism in the political domain. Aware of both elitist tendencies in the academic world and the underdeveloped nature of the concept of metamodernism, he needs you and your personal insight into the contemporary condition, which is why the introduction will be followed by a roundtable discussion. Join in, learn and help us learn what metamodernism can look like!

What is Metamodernism?

The heyday of postmodernity is over. But what’s next? How should we understand the social condition that we’re in? Metamodernism is a term that aims to describe our contemporary condition: an age defined by the internet, reinvigorated fanaticism and a new sincerity, among other things. Essentially, metamodernism combines postmodern scepticism with the frenetic vigour of modernism.

This applies to our daily lives, as we are influenced by and contribute to the world that we inhabit. Notice, for example, the disarming quirkiness in films by Wes Anderson and series like The Office (US); or the positive embrace of our cringeworthy side on social media. These phenomena show how we don't have to choose between an attitude of ironic distance or a blissfully ignorant state of sincerity. What makes metamodernism so powerful and applicable, then, is the way in which it allows us to engage critically with the world without succumbing to cynicism.