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Universal Abandon

The Politics of Postmodernism

1989

Andrew Ross, editor

Universal Abandon

“The essays are new, readable and well-informed; the collection is an excellent basis for inquiring into the politics of contemporary art and criticism.” --Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism

“The essays are new, readable and well-informed; the collection is an excellent basis for inquiring into the politics of contemporary art and criticism.” --Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism

Contributors: Stanley Aronowitz, Hal Foster, Nancy Fraser, Lawrence Grossberg, Laura Kipnis, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Meaghan Morris, Linda Nicholson, Jacqueline Rose, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Paul Smith, Anders Stephanson, and George Yúdice.

. . . essential reading on the subject [of postmodern culture].

Border Lines

In recent years, the debate about postmodernism has become a full-blown, global discussion about the nature and future of society: it has challenged and redefined the cultural and sexual politics of the last two decades, and is increasingly shaping tomorrow’s agenda. Postmodernist culture is a medium in which we all live, no matter how unevenly its effects are felt across the jagged spectrum of color, gender, class, sexual, orientation, region, and nationality. But it is also a culture that proclaims its abandonment of the universalist foundations of Enlightenment thought in the West. At a time when interests can no longer be universalized, the question arises: Whose interests are served by this “universal abandon”?

Universal Abandon is the first volume in a new series entitled Cultural Politics, edited by the Social Text collective. This collection tackles a wider range of cultural and political issues than are usually addressed in the debates about postmodernism - color, ethnicity, and neocolonialism; feminism and sexual difference; popular culture and the question of everyday life - as well as some political and philosophical matters that have long been central to the Western tradition. Together, the contributors provide no consensus about the politics of postmodernism; they insist, rather, that “universal abandon?” remain a question and not an answer.

The contributors: Anders Stephanson, Chantal Mouffe, Stanley Aronowitz, Ernesto Laclau, Nancy Fraser, Linda Nicholson, Meaghan Morris, Paul Smith, Laura Kipnis, Lawrence Grossberg, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, George Yudice, Jacqueline Rose, and Hal Foster.

Andrew Ross teaches English at Princeton University and is the author of The Failure of Modernism.

Universal Abandon

Andrew Ross teaches American Studies at New York University and is the author of The Failure of Modernism.

Universal Abandon

. . . essential reading on the subject [of postmodern culture].

Border Lines

The essays are new, readable and well-informed; the collection is an excellent basis for inquiring into the politics of contemporary art and criticism.

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

“Universal Abandon? is likely to join the ranks of notable publications surveying the prevalent politico-cultural climate” South Atlantic Review

“Those looking for a ‘politics of deconstruction’ that does not limit itself to texts or textuality can test their hopes and fears on these powerful and articulate essays.” Modern Fiction Studies

“Universal Abandon? stands as a fine example of qualitative research resulting in an occupational case study, and has much to offer to those labor studies readers who are willing to depart from our standard reading matter to gain a fresh perspective from outside our field.” Labor Studies Journal