Re: the arrogance of postmodern mumbo jumbo

Mary Beth Williams (
20 Sep 1996 13:30:13 GMT

In <51fngg$> (Bryant) writes:
>Stephen Barnard <> wrote:
>>>In May, 1996 Alan Sokal, a physicist at NYU, published a paper in
>>>_Social_Text_, a leading journal of cultural studies. The title of
>>>paper was "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative
>>>Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity."
>I've wondered if the collapse of socialism played a role in the
>development of nihilistic postmodern deconstructionism in the academic

>left. Is the timing of this school's emergence right for that

M. Foucault's _The Order of Things_ (1970, Random House) first appeared
in France as _Le Mots de les Choses_ in 1966 (Editions Gallimard), a
good two decades before the purported *collapse* of socialism. Of
course, Foucault is a product of French Intellectualism with roots
leading back to Sarte (for some reason that spelling looks funny to me,
but I'll write it off as post-partum brain-loss), who wrote at the very
height of the Socialist movement.

I wonder how many people actually have a clue as to the history and
tenets of post-modernist (and its counterpart in archaeology,
post-processualist) frameworks, or have they just set them up as
Limbaugh-diam straw men.

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass Amherst