This autumn I will be teaching a course on Postmodernism at the University for the Creative Arts outside London. The aim of this unit is to familiarise students with the key ideas and debates around Postmodernism, through key texts and visual examples. Postmodernism will be explored through analysing fashion and consumer culture, the city space, architecture, film, music videos, product design and art from 1970 to around 2000. Some concepts which we will explore in this unit are: ‘pastiche’, ‘parody’, ‘eclecticism’ and ‘intertextuality’. We will also look at the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s notion of Simulacra and the Italian philosopher Umberto Eco’s idea of Hyperreality – two of the most important and influential school of thoughts for postmodernism.
The objective of the course is to introduce key concepts in Postmodern theory; to evaluate theories of Postmodernism and consider their usefulness in practice; to consider issues relating to key terms within Postmodernism: ‘simulacra’, ‘hyperreality’ and ‘intertextuality.’