MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
In her article "Postmodern Blackness," bell hooks shows that the largely avant-garde concept of postmodernism is not only interesting in theory, but potentially progressive in application. She refers to its "deconstruction of 'master' narratives" (point 9) and its "critique of essentialism--to affirm multiple black identities" (point 11). Stereotypes can be redefined, and marginalized voices can be heard. That is the ideal application of postmodernism.
I wanted to address two ways in which these ideas have impacted me. First of all, I did a research project this summer that involved the creation of an online biography. As my subject, I chose my grandmother, and in my academic analysis of my project, I described the importance of presenting previously silenced perspectives on history. Because she is a Mexican woman who was dealt with stereotypes of gender, religion, etc., her voice is marginalized. In writing this explanation, I had no idea that it connected so directly to the heart of postmodernism, that elusive word that always get tossed around in high circles of culture in the ivory tower of academia. Reading bell hooks' article has helped me to feel more of a personal connection and interest in this concept. (The online biography of my grandmother is at http://abuelitarosita.com/ and the academic discussion is located under the "Discussion" tab.)