WHAT'S LENE'S BEEF WITH METAMODERNISM? Isn't she one of them? Didn't she literally write the book on it?
Well, sort of -- her book is on metamodernity
It's a delicate distinction that she makes relentlessly in various corners of the Emerge universe. Here
is what she says in an online paper:
METAMODERNISM is an emerging strand in the arts, philosophy and cultural theory integrating/juxtaposing modernity & postmodernism.
METAMODERNITY is a cultural code integrating all four previous cultural codes -- indigenous, premodern, modern & postmodern.
So the "-ism" is an aesthetic and intellectual attempt to bring together 2 styles (modern and postmodern) while the "-ity" is an emerging culture coordinating and re-validating 4 styles.
Does this distinction matter? Yes & no. (Obviously).
It matters in at least two ways:
Firstly, we certainly do have to make sure that the oscillations of second-tier or meta or liminal or Game B or Bildung culture (in all their similarities and differences) definitely include premodern & indigenous patterns of insight, social organization, values and depth strategies. We risk a flatland if we confine our integration merely to modern & postmodern moods. Secondly, we have to make sure that the broader emerging project is not reduced to a kind of narrow university notion of "metamodernism" as some kind of art fad or theory wave.
Yet that is also why it doesn't matter.
In addition to making careful distinctions, we also need to generously assume that what we are collectively doing is emerging from - and not being contained by - various different, partial and incomplete cultural phenomena.
Many people are now using "metamodernism" to mean something closer to what Lene would call metamodernity. Analogously, many integral folks are becoming more integrative than a pop reading of Integral Theory would suggest. These labels are starting points that place no inherent limit on the amount of depth and inclusion and richness into which they can evolve.
So this is our tension, the doubleness, the skillful edge with which we are working. We must simultaneously make finer distinctions AND presume that forms, movements, names, categories, etc. are growing beyond their conventional definitions and narrowest examples.
Let's cook that beef.