The metamodernism network is a global collection of scholars and artists interested in the legacies of modernism and critical engagements with post-postmodernism. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK.
Metamodernism has gained impetus over the past ten years as a way of understanding what is happening in contemporary literature and culture. Tim Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker proposed in 2010 that metamodernism attempts to account for the emergence of a wider ‘structure of feeling’ in the twenty-first century that responds to our historicity, and which is bound up with the aftermaths of 9/11, the financial crash and austerity. Over a decade later, the different critical versions of metamodernism require refining. Does the term refer productively to the legacies of modernism in the twenty-first century, the advent of post-postmodernism, or both? Can these different approaches’ positions be reconciled? Or does the divergence signal the need for an alternative critical vocabulary?
During 2018-19, the AHRC funded a European research network to formulate a multidisciplinary response to the diverse meanings of metamodernism. In 2021, the AHRC awarded a Leadership Fellowship to Professor Antony Rowland from Manchester Metropolitan University to continue the network with Dr Usha Wilbers and Dr Dennis Kersten at Radboud University (Nijmegen).
The metamodernism network includes academics working in the area of contemporary literature, culture and art, non-academics and creative practitioners such as architects, creative writers, and avant-garde artists. Participants come from the United States, Canada, South Africa, Japan, Russia, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, China, Belgium, Sweden and Poland, collectively representing a broad range of disciplines that includes literary and cultural studies, American studies, women’s studies, philosophy, sociology, film studies and fine art.