EVENT Dec 30
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The (B)end of (Hi)story: beyond postmodern narrative

Organization: Poli-femo Journal
Categories: Postcolonial, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Literary Theory, Rhetoric & Composition, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2021-12-30 Abstract Due: 2021-04-15

Between the fifties and the eighties, postmodernism took shape as the intellectual and creative interface of late capitalism, supported by a «cultural logic» imbibed with «senses of the end of this or that»: «the end of ideology, art or social class», the end of the novel, the end of criticism etc. This is what Fredric Jameson stated categorically in Postmodernism, Or The Cultural Logic Of Late Capitalism (1984), crystallizing once and for all a «legitimizing narrative» based on a «philosophy of history» (Jean-François Lyotard) aware of its statute not only of posterity, but also posthumous with respect to modernism. Shortly after, the fall of the Berlin Wall led to proclamations of the «end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government» (Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?, 1989). What is certain is that, while the novel and “mimetic” forms of literature and other languages not only have never ceased to prosper, but have actually become global, it was the postmodern episteme itself that rapidly turned towards its end, progressively being reabsorbed into a vaster episteme (John Arquilla, The (B)end of History, 2011), in which the before and the after of the end of history have started to communicate with one another again using a new, creole language, whose vocabulary was waiting to finally be compiled and systematized. «Post-postmodernism needs its own label», Linda Hutcheon claims resolutely in The Politics of Postmodernism (1995). The literary and audio-visual narratives emerging from this new episteme has been swinging like a pendulum for over thirty years between  the anti-referential and self-reflexive fluidity that deconstructs regimes, identities and cultures, depriving them of the traditional narrative patterns of realism, and the attempt to reposition that fluidity within new narrative patterns, arising from the mediation between the disenchanting derealization of postmodern and the enchanted realism of modern. This momentous attempt at mediating made by contemporary narratives, which some have suggested calling metamodernism (cf. Metamodernism. Historicity, Affect and Depth after Postmodernism, ed. by R. van den Akker, A. Gibbons, T. Vermeulen, and F. Vittorini, Raccontare oggi. Metamodernismo tra narratologia, ermeneutica e intermedialità, both published in 2017), and others surmodernité, trans-postmodernism, hypermodernism, post-millennialism, remodernism, digimodernism, auto-modernity, altermodernism, cosmodernism etc., marks a historic threshold which has still only partially been explored.

Poli-Femo therefore urges researchers in various disciplines related to the field of narrative, seen from a radically comparative and intermedial point of view, to present contributions:


a)    that represent the broadest range possible of current thinking on the transition of the global narrative beyond postmodernism;

b)    that contribute to defining the characteristic traits of metamodernism, with a focus on the restoration of modern mimetic devices;

c)    that analyze concrete examples of narratives that can be placed beyond postmodernism;

d)    that propose comparisons between metamodern narratives belonging to different media and languages.


Other proposals for study on the subject put forward by those intending to collaborate in the publication will be thoroughly examined by the Scientific Committee, in order to widen the field of exploration undertaken in this issue of the Magazine. Contributions will be accepted in Italian, English and French.

To this end, the Editorial Board propose the following deadlines, with an essential preliminary step being the sending of an abstract (min. 10/max. 20 lines) and a short curriculum vitae of the proposer, by the absolute deadline of 15th April 2021 to redazione.polifemo@iulm.it.

Authors will receive confirmation from the Editorial Board of acceptance of their contributions by 30th April 2021. Contributions shall be delivered on 1st September 2021. All contributions will be subject to a double blind peer review.

The issue, edited by Prof. Fabio Vittorini and Dr. Andrea Chiurato, will be published in December 2021.


Renato Boccali