Histories of Postmodernism reexamines the history of the constellation of ideas and thinkers associated with postmodernism. The increasingly dominant historical narrative depicts a relatively smooth development of ideas from Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger, through a range of French theorists, most notably Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, to contemporary American thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Edward Said, and Judith Butler. Histories of Postmodernism challenges this narrative by highlighting the local contexts of relevant theorists and thus the crucial distinctions that divide successive articulations of the themes and concepts associated with postmodernism. As postmodern ideas traveled from nineteenth-century Germany to mid-twentieth-century France and on to the contemporary United States, so the relevant theorists transformed that heritage within the context of particular intellectual traditions and specific political and aesthetic issues.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction: Histories of Postmodernism
Mark Bevir, Jill Hargis, and Sara Rushing
Chapter 2: Honesty as the Best Policy: Nietzsche on Redlichkeit and the contrast between Stoic and Epicurean strategies of the self
Chapter 3: Escape from the Subject: Heidegger’s Das Man and Being-in-the-world
Chapter 4: A Rock and a Hard Place: Althusser, Structuralism, Communism and the Death
of the Anticapitalist Left
Chapter 5: Hammer without a Master: French Phenomenology and the Origins of
Deconstruction (Or, How Derrida Read Heidegger)
Peter Eli Gordon
Chapter 6: ‘A Kind of Radicality’: The Avant-garde Legacy in Postmodern Ethics
Chapter 7: Derrida’s Engagement with Political Philosophy
Chapter 8: From the ‘Death of Man’ to Human Rights: the Paradigm Change in French
Chapter 9: ‘The Democratic Literature of the Future’: Richard Rorty, Postmodernism and the American Poetic Tradition
Chapter 10: The Secular and the Post-Secular in the Thought of Edward Said
Chapter 11: Longing For ‘A Certain Kind of Future’: Drucilla Cornell, Sexual Difference and the Imaginary Domain
Mark Bevir is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Logic of the History of Ideas (1999) and New Labour: A Critique (2005), and coauthor of Interpreting British Governance (2003) and Governance Stories (2006).
Jill Hargis is an Assistant Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona where she teaches political theory and public law.
Sara Rushing is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Linfield College.