Metamodern Theory and Praxis

JOURNAL OF METAMODERN THEORY AND PRAXIS

Metamodern Theory and Praxis cover image

[Image Credit: Jared Morningstar]

[The] metamodern [is an] extension of and challenge to modernism and post- modernism.

Moyo Okediji, Transatlantic Dialogue: Contemporary Art in and out of Africa

Editorial Statement

Metamodern Theory and Praxis is a new, peer-reviewed, anti-disciplinary, Open Access journal dedicated to bleeding-edge work in the Human Sciences (Humanities + Social Sciences) and focused on the unfolding paradigm(s) of metamodern theory and praxis. 

To anyone who is paying attention, the older scholarly paradigms associated with positivism and postmodernism have collapsed. While many of the Human Sciences are either reducing their ambitions to contemporary political concerns or going about their business as usual as the world literally burns around us, some of us are trying to figure out how to use our scholarly chops in benefit of the larger struggle. We think that in order to help make the world better, we need to be able to understand it better. This journal thus aims to be a home for no-bullshit scholarship and movement work.

To this end, we are especially interested in the following sorts of submissions: (1) work advancing metamodern theory, and (2) work exhibiting artistic and/or political praxis.

(1) Advancing metamodern theory

We are interested in works in epistemology, ethics, philosophy of language, and especially social ontology that work to advance, refine, refute, or (especially) develop the metamodern paradigm. 

This could be work that engages with Storm’s 2021 Metamodernism: The Future of Theory, departs from other thinkers (like Moyo Okediji), or consists of original philosophizing.

We are also interested in scholarship that applies metamodern theory to specific case studies. Examples might include: 

  • a social kinds account of Islam in contemporary Mali; 
  • a closely analyzed metamodern reading of a contemporary TikTok celebrity; 
  • a hylosemiotic account of wolf communication; 
  • putting James Baldwin (or some other theorist) in dialogue with Revolutionary Happiness.

The word “metamodern” does not need to occur in your work, though we are especially interested in scholarship that advances or utilizes some of the central components of the metamodern paradigm (e.g., Process Social Ontology, Hylosemiotics, Zeteticism, Revolutionary Happiness, Complexity, etc).

We are also interested in other post-postmodern projects that seek to move beyond postmodernism by means of postmodernism (i.e., not simply reactionary anti-postmodernisms or traditionalisms).

We are also open to attempts to analyze the current cultural moment. Accounts of metamodernity are admissible, but one needs to make the case for why the culture-forms under analysis share the cluster of properties being analyzed (see Submission Guidelines below). This may include attempts to identify emerging movements (artistic, religious, cultural), which do not need to be pegged to some notion of the metamodern but could instead be discussed in their own right. 

We agree with Boaventura de Sousa Santos’s call for an “emancipatory, non-relativistic, cosmopolitan ecology of knowledges.” We are interested in work that originates in a decolonizing mode, engaging indigenous epistemologies and non-Eurocentric theoretical formulations. But these need to make arguments that are not merely based on traditional authority. We are especially interested in works that make progress and positive contributions.

(2) Artistic and political praxis

Even more important than the journal’s commitment to philosophical analysis, we are interested in producing a new metamodern world. For this reason, we want to dedicate part of the journal to non-peer reviewed works whose aspiration is to call into being or exemplify metamodernism rather than merely describe it.  

We therefore invite submissions that explore the intersection of metamodern theory and praxis. This can include political theory, but we are especially interested in “on the ground” applications. What does metamodern engagement look like in action? How does metamodern epistemology or politics manifest when taken to the streets?

The interest in on-the-ground application extends to the arts. We invite you to share art, poetry, photography, and creative works of any medium that somehow exemplify the metamodern paradigm shift.

Submission Guidelines

In our pursuit of our mission, we want contributors to steer clear of what the philosopher Harry Frankfurt aptly labeled “bullshit,” which is characterized by its “lack of connection to a concern with truth.” While we don’t hold to simplistic notions of truth, many scholars regrettably treat theory as a mere exercise in producing pseudo-profundity, jargon, unfalsifiable pronouncements, or opportunities to provide a veneer of radicalism over conventional center-left politics. 

A lot of theory seems to involve branding oneself by producing new terms that sound cool, but which, when thought about further, prove either truisms, obviously false, or simply incoherent. Academic bullshitting advances because the people asserting often don’t really care if it is true or not or don’t have a really concrete idea about what it means. All that matters to many scholars is whether what they’ve written sounds evocative and can get published. 

This journal is fundamentally opposed to this careerist genre of writing.

Instead, we want contributions that make coherent arguments for which the author provides evidence.  Basically, we want folks to write as clearly as they can, without oversimplifying or simply marshaling authorities, but actually making a case for whatever it is they are arguing.

Contributors should also note that readers will come from a range of different disciplinary backgrounds and are therefore unlikely to be able to follow texts which are too dense with unexplained disciplinary jargon. We will accept most recognized academic methodologies. But, again, we want the argument to marshal evidence and be potentially falsifiable.   

As noted above, analyses of metamodernity are admissible, but one needs to make the case for why the culture-forms under analysis share the cluster of properties being analyzed. So, if you want to identify all the current films that seem to be playing with sincerity or post-irony, that is fine, but you need to make a case for why the films share this cluster of properties (e.g., the thing that made Jameson’s account of postmodernism so compelling is that he attempted to ground postmodern art and literature as the product of late stage capitalism).

Submissions should be provided in MS Word or an MS Word compatible file, in 12 pt text in either Times New Roman or Garamond. Your submission should include the following information on the first page. 

  • Title: Include a working title of the paper or article.
  • Type: Specify the type of work being submitted (e.g., research article, poetry, etc.).
  • Personal Info: Include full names and any organization or institutional affiliations, with emails and phone numbers of the authors of the submission. When more than two authors collaborate on a submission, arrange the names in the order of contribution. (Note: we do not discriminate against people without PhDs.)
  • Abstract: Write a one paragraph (250 words) summary of your submission. 
  • Keywords: Include up to 5 keywords that offer a general idea of the main concepts/topics of your paper.
  • Previous publication & copyright transfer: Describe if the submission has been distributed elsewhere in some form, and if so, where. 
  • Funding: Specify whether your submission was/is/would be funded, and by whom.
  • Research ethics: Where a submission includes direct research on people or animals, please give a brief explanation of research ethics. Where information included in your work may identify individuals, we will ask for your informed consent documentation. 

All submissions can be sent to [email protected]

Author Guidelines 

  • Copyright agreement: You will be asked to sign a copyright agreement. Copyright agreements exist to protect both the journal and the authors. In certain cases, at the author’s request, a copyright agreement may be customized and amended specific to author needs before being signed.
  • Language: The language of the journal is American English. 
  • Length: 4,000 – 10,000 words for articles pertaining to metamodern theory. Varying word counts outside these bounds are acceptable on a case by case basis. For artistic or praxis pieces, even shorter texts (e.g. a 250 word poem) would work.
  • APA: Modified Chicago. See https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html

Editorial Board

Editors

Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm, Williams College

Brendan Graham Dempsey, Sky Meadow Institute

Call for Papers:
If you’d like to get in on the first issue, please submit by March 15, 2024.