Germane Marvel's Diunital Philosophies

metamodern scene
BLACK METAMODERNISM is an emerging approach to clarifying, enriching & grounding the metamodern project.

It clarifies by distinguishing true metamodern style from the trivializing academic notion of an oscillation between "modern" and "postmodern" (perhaps better considered as the hypermodern confrontation of modernity by its own logic). 

It enriches us by bringing in additional streams of metamodern insight that have been unexplored or under-emphasized by most contemporary white theorists. 

And it grounds the project by connecting it to the ongoing real-world issue of establishing deep dignity, liberating potentials & systemic fairness across different heredities of humans. 

But is the whole black thing too divisive?  Not really.  The concept here is both racial & also not limited to race.  Black metamodernism proposes itself as a challenge to the supremacy of lightness

Yes, that means that Caucasian-driven modernity needs to stop pretending it is the neutral destiny, deafult discussion frame and epitome of the world, HOWEVER, it also means that spirituality should be wary of premature ascensionist motives that try to access Spirit by escaping from body, nature, feelings & relationships -- into a realm of the invisible, abstract impersonal, non-identified, disembodied, etc.

Yang is not the solution to Yin.  Day is not more enlightened than Night.  The CEO is not doing waaaaay more work than everyone else.  Aspirational positive affects are not more true and more holy than ambiguous, sorrowful or personal feelings.  Your representative does not really represent you.  Etc. 

In addition to this laudable vigilance toward lopsided value systems, Germane Marvel's work on Black Metamodernism takes an important cue from Vernon J. Dixon's use of the concept of diunital thinking

Diunital refers to the kind of "both/and" cognition so highly praised in Ken Wilber's work on vision-logic.  Yet perhaps Wilber should have called it affective-logic instead.  It is as much a felt sensibility as it is an intellectual capacity to affirm concepts that are conventionally opposed. 

Black Metamodernism, therefore, stresses emotional intelligence and the embodied affective capacity to explore cognitive dissonance, to hold the feeling of potent mystery & to empathize coherently with alternative perspectives.   

In addition to social sensemaking (especially around the kinds of deep cultural critiques that racially-aware historians suggest we ought to think more profoundly about) Marvel's work also suggests many synthetic pathways that open up metamodern considerations of ethics, existentialism, spiritual practice and worldviews.

Let's increase the internal diversity and richness of the metamodern project already...


Although, we should all keep in mind the possibility that some cultures may inherit diunital, integrative & metamodern-ish attitudes and imaginal artifacts from their wise ancestors, Marvel's interest in the Yoruba and  Ifa are optional.

And check out Brent Cooper's work charting diverse origins and appearances of the metamodern sensibility.

Also:  Layman Pascal interviews Germane Marvel.