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By Bob Brier

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Consequently, the oppositional meanings of modern/modernity/modernism often coexist within certain disciplines, fields, and institutional units in the academy. Second, with the relegitimation of interdisciplinarity, the borders between disciplines and divisions of knowledge have become increasingly porous in the past forty years. Such cross-disciplinary work with modernity produces rich hybridities but also some confusion. For example, in his collection Modernist Anthropology, Marc Manganaro (who holds an appointment in a literature department) brings together anthropologists and literary critics to examine the interplay between literary modernism and modernist anthropology in the first half of the twentieth century.

Symptomatically and provocatively, the interdisciplinary journal Modernism/Modernity yokes two of these terms, as if the slash between them signaled their interchangeability on the one hand yet their permanent separation on the other. The slash is a bar that forever connects and disconnects (like the Saussurian/Lacanian bar between signifier/signified). This is yet another contradiction that demands attention. Is there a slash/bar separating and conjoining modern/modernity/modernism/modernization with all its cognates and antonyms as well?

To its progenitors. To its students. Modernism was the antidote to the poison of tradition, obligation. STORY 2: WHAT DOES A CYBERPUNK REALLY WANT? Picture an aging scholar in 1995, past the half-century mark, entering into her first graduate seminar on modernism in a land-grant university. ” she asks. A circle of eyes and silences. A couple to the side shift uncomfortably. She has cropped purple hair and kohled eyes. He wears fishnet stockings and thick buckled Pilgrim heels. A tidy tail of silky golden hair flows down his back.

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