I was thinking today how much of the language intellectuals use to describe our place in history has changed, and in particular, how I don’t hear the word “postmodern” thrown around as casually as I used to a decade ago. Curious whether or not I could find evidence for this change, I went to Ngram–as I am apt–and ran some searches et voila! Theory confirmed. Looks like 1998 was the ebb. What happened? Did reviews of Radiohead’s Ok Computer and the Matrix movies overuse the term, and 9-11 sweep away our Baudrillardian/Foucauldian concerns with representations and power by making our fears seem suddenly too immediate?
Dale Dorsey has a nice guest post on the Daily Nous available here. He was hired at the University of Kansas not long after I graduated, and I was sorry to have missed him and have enjoyed his writing since. The metaphor he uses here of many thinkers building a kind of atlas of theory is a timely one.