The Contemporaneity of Modernism : Literature, Media, Culture book cover
1st Edition

The Contemporaneity of Modernism
Literature, Media, Culture

ISBN 9781138547643
Published February 12, 2018 by Routledge
248 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $59.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

At a juncture in which art and culture are saturated with the forces of commodification, this book argues that problems, forms, and positions that defined modernism are crucially relevant to the condition of contemporary art and culture. The volume is attuned to the central concerns of recent scholarship on modernism and contemporary culture: the problems of aesthetic autonomy and the specific role of art in preserving a critical standpoint for cultural production; the relationship between politics and the category of the aesthetic; the problems of temporality and contemporaneity; literary transnationalism; and the questions of medium and medium specificity. Ranging across art forms, mediums, disciplines, and geographical locations, essays address the foundational questions that fuse modernism and the contemporary moment: What is art? What is the relation between art and the economy? How do art and technology interpenetrate and transform each other? What is modernism’s logic of time and contemporaneity, and how might it speak to the problem of thinking genuine novelty, or the possibility of an alternative to the current stage of neo-liberal capitalism? What is modernism, and what is its history? The book is thus committed to revising our understanding of what modernism was in its earlier instantiations, and in accounting for the current moment, addressing the problems raised by modernism's afterlives and reverberations in the 20th and 21st centuries. The volume includes essays that consider literature, sociology, philosophy, visual art, music, architecture, digital culture, television, and other artistic media. It synthesizes the most recent thinking on modernism and contemporary culture and presents a compelling case for what happens to literature, art, and culture in the wake of the exhaustion of postmodernism. This book will be of interest to those studying literature, visual art, media studies, architecture, literary theory, modernism, and twentieth-century and contemporary culture more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Contemporaneity of Modernism Michael D’Arcy and Mathias Nilges  Part 1: Modernism’s Temporality  1. Abstract in Concrete: Brutalism and Modernist Half-Life C.D. Blanton  2. Our Last September: Climate Change in Modernist Time Douglas Mao  3. Time, Modernism, and the Contemporaneity of Realism David Cunningham  Part II: Modernism’s Literary Afterlives  4. Relative Autonomy: Pierre Bourdieu and Modernism Andrew Goldstone  5. Impersonality and Institutional Critique Sarah Brouillette  6. Impressionism After Film Jesse Matz  7. Involutions of the Word: Lorrie Moore and Jonathan Lethem Joseph Brooker  Part III: Modernism’s Global Economies  8. The Fidget Manifesto: Fast Capital, the Gesture, and Growth in Modernist Culture Enda Duffy  9. "The Highways of Empire": Geopolitics, Modernism, and Committed Reading Thomas S. Davis  10. "La furia de la materia’: On the Non-Contemporaneity of Modernism in Latin America Eugenio Di Stefano and Emilio Sauri  Part IV: Modernism’s Media  11. To Burn or not to Burn: Modernism’s Photographic Exposures Michael D’Arcy  12. The Plain Viewer Be Damned: Or, Modernism on TV Nicholas Brown  13. Modernist Binge-Watching Michaela Bronstein  14. Modernist Poetics After Twitter, Inc. Lisa Siraganian  Afterword David James

View More



Michael D'Arcy is Associate Professor of English at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada.

Mathias Nilges is Associate Professor of English at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada.