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Dr. Timotheus Vermeulen

"Metamodernism in three figures:  metaxy, parafiction, and depthiness"

Wednesday April 10, 2024

6:00 pm

Performance Hall, University of Windsor Armouries, 37 University Avenue East


Sometime between 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and the climate crisis, culture got, as a Guardian critic put it, “weird.” The late twentieth-century culture was defined by cynicism and irony, a sense that History, for better or worse, had ended, that all there was the here and now -  the indifference of the ‘smart film,’ the hopelessness of Grunge and the critical parody of metafiction. Postmodernism is the name theorists give to these “senses of an end”. But now, amid socio-economic and environmental turmoil, filmmakers, musicians, and writers suddenly showed a proclivity towards sincerity, naivety, hope, and even utopianism: ‘quirky’ cinema, the new folk, the ‘new sincerity’. Whatever this was, it was not postmodern – but weird, indeed. In this talk, Professor Vermeulen considers this shift from postmodernism to what he and others have come to call metamodernism through a consideration of three prevalent aesthetic figures - metaxy, parafiction, and depthiness - in the context of changes in contemporary capitalism. 

Timotheus Vermeulen is Professor of Media, Culture and Society at the University of Oslo, and a 2023/24 visiting scholar in Art History at Harvard. He has written extensively on contemporary art, screen media and culture. His research on metamodernism has been translated into multiple languages, inspired numerous conferences, special issues and exhibits, and is cited widely, incl. discussions in the NYT, TLS, BBC, Art News and Log. His research has been discussed in popular media worldwide, including but not limited to The New York Times, BBC, The Telegraph, Die Zeit, Tagesspiegel, Haaretz, Corriere Della Sera, NRC, Dagbladet, Morgenbladet, Times Literary Supplement, Los Angeles Review of Books, De Groene Amsterdammer, Vrij Nederland, Klassekampen, Observator Cultural, Adbusters, Frieze, Art News, Art Pulse, Flashart, Metropolis M, Salon, Scenario, Log, TANK, Hyperallergic, Vulture, Billboard and even EOnline. Venues for his public talks include universities and institutions around the globe, including the Venice Biennial, BBC Radio Theatre, Strelka, Documenta, Frieze Art Fair, Dostoyevsky Library Moscow, CAFA Bejing, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, E-Flux, Columbia School of Architecture NYC, Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis, and the Centre for Contemporary Art Alexandria. Together with TV presenter Gia Milinovich, he hosts the ideas podcast The Cluster F Theory



The Humanities Research Group (HRG) is committed to engaging our community on campus, in the city, our region, and online across the country, with interdisciplinary ideas and perspectives of complexity and weight that are central to our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Our goal is to bring people together to challenge, inspire, and stimulate, in a space of open dialogue, sharing and exchange.

About the Humanities Research Group (HRG)

The Humanities Research Group is an interdisciplinary council comprised of University of Windsor faculty, students, staff, and community members, who support humanities research and facilitate events where thinkers and audience members grapple with issues relating to the human condition.

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