Mehdi Ghasemi, Chapter 7 Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned in:

Joel Kuortti, Sirkku Ruokkeinen (Ed.)

Movement and Change in Literature, Language, and Society, page 153 - 170

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-89665-867-8, ISBN online: 978-3-89665-868-5,

Series: Academia Philosophical Studies, vol. 65

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Part II From Time to Time Chapter 7 Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned – Mehdi Ghasemi Premature Declarations of Postmodernism’s Death Several scholars and critics have announced the death of postmodernism that once itself announced the death of the author, authority, authenticity, centre, certainty, finality, fixity, determinacy and subject. British cultural critic Alan Kirby writes that postmodernism is dead and buried, and believes that the death of postmodernism becomes even clearer “by looking outside the academy at current cultural production.”1 Kirby notes that most of the undergraduate students taking courses on postmodern fictions at the time (2006) were born in 1985 or after, while almost all of the postmodern texts on the module under consideration had been published before 1985.2 Likewise, Brian G. Toews, an American theologian, records the death of the fathers of postmodernism, including Michael Foucault, Jean- François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida and Jean Baudrillard, and draws our attention to the fact that their seminal works on postmodernism had been written before the mid-1980s. Toews then concludes that postmodernism had indeed died in the 1990s, and that “we have killed it,” and would have to “live in the light of postmodernism’s death.”3 My contention is that Kirby and Toews confine postmodernism to a finite time span, assuming that with age, postmodernism shall die; in other words, it exhausts itself, and becomes obsolete. Unlike Kirby and Toews, I consider that while postmodernism is undoubtedly old it is not old fashioned or dead. Postmodernism has avoided exhaustion through recycling and replenishment from time to 1 Alan Kirby, “The Death of Postmodernism and Beyond,” Philosophy Now 58 (2006): 34,, accessed December 2, 2019. 2 Kirby, “Death,” 34. 3 Brian G. Toews, “The End of Postmodernism: It Is Dead and We Have Killed It,” (2007),, accessed December 2, 2019. 155 time, and now it has generated a pedigree with several successors; it has grown a tall family tree with several branches. In the second edition of The Politics of Postmodernity, Canadian literary scholar Linda Hutcheon also declares the death of postmodernism: “Let’s just say it: it’s over.”4 Hutcheon, however, neither offers clear reasons to show how the postmodern moment has passed nor elucidates the clear rift time between postmodern and post-postmodern periods. Notwithstanding the declaration of postmodernism’s death, Hutcheon believes that postmodernism’s “discursive strategies and its ideological critique continue to live on [...] in our contemporary twenty-first-century world.”5 This reveals that Hutcheon, while announcing the apocalyptic ending of postmodernism, is reluctant to surrender the postmodernism and believes that postmodernism’s principles and practices continue to linger on in the twentyfirst century. Admittedly, the only way to justify Hutcheon’s contradictory statements is to say that postmodernism, in Hutcheon’s view, consists of a physical and a spiritual life. The former has a limited time span and naturally ends after a while, whereas the latter passes on from time to time. Accordingly, Hutcheon believes that the spirit of postmodernism, unlike its physique, does not cease to exist. Later in her book, Hutcheon challenges the readers to find a name for post-postmodernism by saying, “post-postmodernism needs a new label of its own, and I conclude, therefore, with this challenge to readers to find it – and name it for the twenty-first century.”6 I argue that since postmodernism favours diversity, it would be impossible to find and agree on one single label for it as required by Hutcheon. Following Hutcheon’s challenge, several scholars have attempted to label the era succeeding postmodernism. French philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky’s proposal for the phase after postmodernism is “hypermodernism.” Lipovetsky believes that we have “moved from the ‘post’ era to the ‘hyper’ era,” and as a result, “a new society of modernity is coming into being,” which has “a vast enthusiasm for change, reform and adaptation.”7 According to Lipovetsky, in hypermodernity, the past is not destroyed but reformulated, reconceptualized and reintegrated in the modern logic.8 Like Lipovetsky, I believe that we have moved to a “hyper” era, in which there 4 Linda Hutcheon, Politics of Postmodernism (New York and London: Routledge, 2002), 166. 5 Hutcheon, Politics, xi. 6 Hutcheon, Politics, 181. 7 Lipovetsky, Hypermodern Times (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005), 159. 8 Lipovetsky, Hypermodern, 160. Mehdi Ghasemi 156 is a desire for change in all aspects of man’s life; however, it does not mean that we have passed behind the “post” era, and as Lipovetsky’s statements convey, we cannot expect to experience genuine originality in the “hyper” time. Another suggestion is made by American culture scholar De Villo Sloan, who introduces “postliterature” as postmodernism’s successor, noting that unlike postmodernism, postliterature uses common language in lieu of metalanguage. According to Sloan, postmodern American literature experienced its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, and “postmodernism as a literary movement in the United States is now in its final phase of decadence [...] and American culture moves into an era of postliterature.”9 Sloan draws a graphical representation of postmodern era and marks its most important moments while believing that postmodernism has oversaturated the American literature with its metalanguage. Sloan notes further that “as postmodernism fades into the past, there is no evidence that any meaningful literary movement will follow it.”10 On the one hand, Sloan announces the death of postmodernism and introduces postliterature in its stead, but on the other hand, he expresses his uncertainty about the functionality of postliterature and even other alternatives proposed for the twenty-first century. For Kirby, the successor to postmodernism is “pseudo-modernism,” which emphasizes the media and their roles in creating cultural contents. In pseudo-modern age, cinema has become another computer game, wherein images, once captured from the factual world, are now created and edited virtually on computers. Kirby further notes that in pseudomodernism, the media have prepared the ground for the superficial and instantaneous participation of people in culture through for example clicking, pressing, choosing, downloading, phoning, or texting.11 Kirby suggests “digimodernism” as another term to describe the contemporary epoch, predominated with “the computerization of text, which yields a new form of textuality characterized in its purest instances by onwardness, haphazardness, evanescence, and anonymous, social and multiple-authorship.”12 Digimodernism shatters the encounter between computerization and the text, and, similar to postmodernism, it disrupts the traditional idea 9 De Villo Sloan, “The Decline of American Postmodernism,” SubStance 16, no. 3 (1987): 29, 10 Sloan, “Decline,” 41. 11 Kirby, “Death,” 35–37. 12 Alan Kirby, Digimodernism: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture (New York and London: Continuum, 2009), 1. Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 157 of authorship and readership. I here argue that by introducing two different terms for the epoch Kirby manifests his lack of conviction over the feasibility of one single term to cover and represent all diverse features of the new era. Like Kirby, Robert Samuels, American culture scholar, describes the current era with the term “automodernism,” in which digital youth use new media and technologies.13 Samuels believes that “we have moved into a new cultural period of automodernity, and the key to this cultural epoch is the combination of technological automation and human autonomy.”14 Automation has enabled the digital youth to express their autonomy, “copy and paste texts from the Web and then distribute them in chat rooms and e-mails.”15 Accordingly, the digital youth has also challenged the traditional models of educational systems, which once were book-centred. I agree with Samuels that the digital youth has access to plethora of information sources in automodernity, and this possibility offers them alternative models of education. However, I believe that, like pseudo-modernism and digimodernism, automodernism is very limited in scope and fails to cover many other aspects of the current era. In addition, Samuels fails to show how automodernism shifts away from postmodernism. Media and culture scholars Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker introduce “metamodernism” as a successor for postmodernism. According to Vermeulen and van den Akker, metamodernism is “inspired by a modern naiveté yet informed by postmodern skepticism, the metamodern discourse consciously commits itself to an impossible possibility.”16 They argue that metamodernism oscillates between the modern and the postmodern: between modern enthusiasm and postmodern irony, between hope and melancholy, between naiveté and acumen, empathy and apathy, unity and plurality, totality and fragmentation, purity and ambiguity.17 In my view, since metamodernism, as defined by Vermeulen and van den Akker, swings between the present and the past, it covers the timespace between modernity and postmodernity. In their article, these scholars do not 13 Robert Samuels, “Auto-modernity after Postmodernism,” in Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected, edited by Tara McPherson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), 219, 14 Samuels, “Auto-modernity,” 219. 15 Samuels, 220. 16 Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker, “Notes on Metamodernism,” Journal of Aesthetics and Culture 2, no. 1 (2010): 5, 5677. 17 Vermeulen and van den Akker, “Notes,” 5–6. Mehdi Ghasemi 158 illuminate whether postmodernity is still continuing, or if it is already over. If the former, they fail to elaborate on the connection between postmodernism and metamodernism, and if the latter, metamodernism holds no connection with postpostmodernism. In addition to the above names for the twenty-first century, there have been suggestions such as “post-humanism,” “post-millennialism,” “altermodernism,” “post-truth” and “performatism.” However, none of these has yet made it to mainstream usage. My contention is that postmodernism has several successors, which is appropriate, for postmodernism itself favours multiplicity, plurality, diversity, fluidity and openness over essentialism, grand narrative, closure, univocality and absolutism. Thus, I argue that the contemporary era is defined by multidirectionality. Based on these arguments, any attempt to find one single successor to postmodernism is doomed to fail, and thus, all of postmodernism’s successors, mentioned above or named hereafter, are equally valid as different branches or recycled tenets of postmodernism. In what follows, I develop yet another heir to postmodernism, which I call hyperhybridism. As I discuss below, hyperhybridism exists synchronically along with its ancestor and recalibrates some of its key assumptions. Hyperhybridism As one of the postmodernism successors, hyperhybridism repeats and revises some of the features of postmodernism. Hyperhybridism opens up some spaces for the arrival of new forms and contents, new cultures and colours, new genres and genes, new disciplines and fields; however, what it offers is not totally new and navigates between sameness and difference, oldness and newness. To create difference and newness, exponents of hyperhybridism even resynthesize what had formerly been synthesized, using different options and opinions until new or different paradigms open before them. With a hyperhybrid impulse, hyperhybridists intend to subvert some aspects of dominant cultures beyond; however, their involvement with a set of used conventions obstructs them. To put it differently, hyperhybridism consists of innumerable alternatives that altogether make up the whole of what we become or produce, making us and our products kaleidoscopic, situational and contradictory. As a result, hyperhybridism occasionally generates irregularity, imbalance, unconventionality and defamiliarization. Since hyperhybridism embraces and mixes multitudes, it is a new attempt to become. It is, per se, not a finished entity; rather, it is an attempt Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 159 to take humankind to the next level. Like postmodernism, hyperhybridism resists essentialism, purity and dominance of one single colour, race, material, style, etc., and consequently, through the combination of different devices, genres, genes, materials and elements, it stirs pluralism and diversity. In line with postmodernism, hyperhybridism rebuts the notions of a unitary truth offered by dogmatism or monism. In this light, through promoting a politics of difference, hyperhybridism contributes to the spirit of heterogeneity and tolerance for difference. In its many guises, hyperhybridism appears in different domains of the world today, including industry, art, music, literature, politics, and architecture, to name a few. Like its ancestor, hyperhybridism functions to challenge and change some of the routine patterns and practices in these disciplines in an effort to free minds from outworn structures and former forms. Due to its potential to collage and montage different elements, hyperhybridism oscillates ceaselessly between two poles of “presentation” and “representation,” and as a result, it has been favoured by some designers, writers, artists, politicians and architects, who wish to offer divergent models in their fields. Hyperhybridism in Industry and Daily Life Hyperhybridism primarily manifests itself in industry. For instance, nowadays some cars have become hybrid and use double energy resources. It seems that experts in car industry are in a trial and error period, trying different forms of energy resources to see how they can find a way toward clean, green, reliable and renewable energy resources for cars. Like hybrid cars, Smart TV, also known as hybrid TV, is a convergence between computers and flat screen television sets, equipped with both an Ethernet port and built-in Wi-Fi support for internet access, providing the users with internet connection and online interactive media. By the same token, through the amalgamation of different devices and applications, now we have a tablet and|or a cell phone that can serve as our TV, radio, newspaper, library, photo album, chat room, camera, personal computer, phone book, calendar, navigator, watch, alarm clock, step counter, to name but a few. The omnipresence of these devices and apps at one single moment in one single place can hybridize several activities and blur the timelines and geographical locations. These devices intertwine our workplace and working hours with our recreations and vacations. For instance, while visiting a gym, we receive and answer messages, phone calls and emails from our colleagues, clients or students. As soon as we arrive at Mehdi Ghasemi 160 our hotel room in Rome during our vacation, our manager asks for an urgent Skype meeting to discuss a project. While we are supposed to be fully engaged with our duties during office hours, we might post something on our social media pages or play games. In fact, we hybridize and conduct all these different tasks instantaneously, which create non-linearity in our daily life. As Robert Samuels puts it, “when one goes to a café, one sees people working with their laptops as if these customers are sitting at home: they have their food, their phone, their newspaper, and other personal items displayed in public. The reverse of the public being absorbed into the private is therefore the private being displayed in public.”18 This shows that some elements of hyperhybridity are present in automodernism, blurring the borders between private and public spheres. The ubiquity of these devices and apps has also challenged and changed the old definitions of shopping. To do shopping, once customers had to visit a shopping centre in person during their opening hours, choose and purchase the items they needed, but now they can order whatever they wish from anywhere at any time on line or by phone and receive them wherever they wish. Yet in another case, people assemble different texts and sources in a remix culture to generate an intertext, made primarily from fragments of several existing texts.19 While they work on an essay in MS Word program, they search in different websites and sources to find some required and appropriate information. They copy|cut and paste some texts and images in a new file, change their sequences, remix them with existing ones, revise them, trim some parts, add some others, move them back and forth and change their font sizes, colours, alignments and typefaces. This feature of hyperhybridism, which hybridizes authorship, bears a resemblance to palimpsest, wherein an original text of an old manuscript made of papyrus or paper is partially erased or scraped, and this makes room for new texts to be written on the layers of the original one, which results in the creation of a hybrid text. Kerstin Schmidt contends that “the palimpsest provides a […] model for explaining how layers of different texts and discourses are built upon each other.”20 Based on these definitions, one can assume that information hyperhybridity offers a multi-layered text, which includes 18 Samuels, “Auto-modernity,” 230. 19 Johandan Johnson–Eilola and Stuart A. Selber, “Plagiarism, Originality, Assemblage,” Computers and Composition 24, no. 4 (2007): 380, compcom.2007.08.003. 20 Kerstin Schmidt, The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2005), 38, 02473. Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 161 some traces of both old and new views, written by different authors, known and unknown, at different times and places. As a result, text hyperhybridity creates a new inter-, intra-, para- and meta-textual structures and contents. Kirby refers to this as “the era of the hybrid or borderline text,”21 showing that digimodernism also contains some traits of hyperhybridism. In hyperhybridity, we also mix reading with watching and listening. The emergence of e-books and audio books has made it possible for some readers to listen to a book while driving, jogging or eating. At the same time, the number of people who use their mobile phones, tablets and laptops for reading or listening to texts are increasing. In this regard, Kirby claims that “Young people today don’t know about books, don’t understand them, don’t enjoy them; in short, they don’t read.”22 Unlike Kirby, I believe that young people read and enjoy reading, but their methods of reading have differed. The traditional methods and disciplines of reading are no longer appealing to them, and thus, they have updated them. Here I should note that interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies, which have emerged as an inevitable hybridization of different disciplines and fields of research, are another signs of hyperhybridism in our time. Like in car and electronic industries, hyperhybridism has affected fashion industry. As we commonly see in our daily life, a number of teenagers and youths wear new but ripped jeans and coats. The rip-off in the clothes shows the convolution of oldness and newness, poverty and affluence, low class and high class, and this hybridity not only enables designers to open new paradigms in fashion designs but also helps them add to the fascination of their products and earn more profit. Thus, in its focus on the marginal, hyperhybridism just like postmodernism attempts to question ruling forms and norms and take the marginal into account, too. In a similar manner, some people use a mishmash of unconventional colours and shades to dye their hair. They divide their hair to several parts and dye, for example, one part violet and the other parts orange, pink, green, blue, etc. Some people also shave one-half of their head and keep the hair on the other half as long as they can, and accordingly, their hair colours and styles might look both different and queer. The performativity of hyperhybridism can be also perceived in hybrid nail polish designs, wherein several stunning colours, images, shapes and shades are merged in one single nail and hand, showing that hyperhybridism has the potential to put together different, and, in some cases, contradictory trends. 21 Kirby, Digimodernism, 274. 22 Kirby, 67. Mehdi Ghasemi 162 Hyperhybridism has been also implemented in food industry. We are sometimes astonished to see many different colours and flavours of ice creams while visiting some ice-cream bars, especially in multicultural cities. To make multi-coloured ice creams with synthetic flavours, some ice-cream suppliers mingle several different spices, colours, fruits and additives in varying degrees. It is more astonishing to see that some customers, owing to optionality, choose several scoop combinations, consisting of different flavours and colours, for their ice-cream cones. As another example, international restaurants are growing in different towns and cities worldwide, and their expansion has affected local and traditional cuisines in each region. With their multilingual fascia signs, they change the face of towns and cities, and with their cuisines, they challenge cuisine homogeneity. To attract more customers from natives, some of those restaurants mix local and traditional cuisines and ingredients with their own national cuisines and ingredients. For instance, nowadays mulligatawny soup is served in some Indian restaurants based in the UK; however, the use of some ingredients, favoured by the English, has made it an English-Indian food. This shows that hyperhybridity can convert local to glocal. Hyperhybridism in Art and Literature Like industry, hyperhybridism has not left art, culture and literature untouched. To eschew cliché styles of art and literature, a number of artists and writers have resorted to hyperhybridity. For example, some of the paintings by Brazilian street artist Dinho Bento can be considered as clear examples of hyperhybridism in visual art. Bento mostly depicts half-animal, half-human hybrids, drawing images of humanimals. For instance, in one work, a horse has the head of a teenage boy with a cap and sunglasses, eating a McDonald’s sandwich. The horse has blue Nike shoes on his four feet, and it suffers from obesity, since it has the whole globe in its belly. In another work, he draws an image of a dog, which has a woman’s head. She has dyed her hair blue, polished her nails red, putting on four high-heeled red sandals and carrying a red Chanel bag over her shoulder, while she has a red Coca Cola can in front of her mirror table. Through his art, Bento criticizes capitalism that only thinks of its own profit and rebukes our contemporary consumerist culture, which entices people to purchase whatever famous brand companies offer. He also criticizes consumers and their folly that reduces them to some obedient animals – like horse and dog – fully controlled by brand companies, their advertisements and products. How- Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 163 ever, the use of hyperhybrid elements makes Bento’s street art paintings look distinct and bizarre. In a similar vein, some images tattooed on some people’s bodies mix the worlds of humanity with animality and materiality. Some tattoo artists mix different colours, words, icons and pictures together to express their feelings, love, hatred, protest, freedom, strength, hope, despair, etc. In one tattoo case, named “Owl and Crow,” one can detect more than ten colours and animals, including a fox, a crow, an owl, a bug and a bunny, mixed with some flowers, a watch, a balloon, a heart, a candle, a pair of scissors and some unfamiliar images. The combination of different colours and images in one single image creates diversity, pluralism, decentrement, multiple perspectives and settings, which is also in line with postmodern tenets. To expose humanimality, Russ Foxx from Vancouver, Canada, who calls himself a transhumanist, has had over one hundred modifications applied to his body. For example, he has implanted a couple of silicone horns on his head to challenge the conventional assumptions of humanism and human embodiment. Here I should note that organ transplantation is another manifestation of hyperhybridism. In such surgeries, the organs of donors and|or artificial organs are located in the body of a transplant recipient, creating a hybrid body. Likewise, gender reassignment surgeries function to create gender hybridity in one single body. For instance, applicants for male-to-female surgeries undergo different surgical procedures, including hormone therapy, facial feminization surgery, breast augmentation, male genitals reshaping, etc., to remove their male signs; however, some male anatomical traits remain intact in the sex-reassigned body, generating a site of gender convergence. As such, hyperhybridism can complicate essentialist gender categories and turns monolithic gender identity into a gender dualism. In literature, the high and low discourses as well as global and local styles of writing blend and create uncustomary styles of writing. The wide use of inter-, intra- and meta-textuality through borrowing from different literary works further expands the scope of hyperhybridity in such literary works. Through the employment of different languages and their diverse accents and dialects in one single work, these works incorporate lingual hyperhybridity, too. Furthermore, the use of historical figures along with fictional and contemporary ones creates the ground for recontextualizing old and new motifs. It is worth noting that to live in hyperhybridism is to further amalgamate fake and real things and to manipulate the users with the help of new technologies and devices so much that the distinction between fake and real is totally dissolved. Mehdi Ghasemi 164 In addition, some writers might mix different genres together and innovate hyperhybrid genres. A clear example is the formation of “noveramatry” wherein novel, drama and poetry merge, and their borderlines blur, so that narrative forms mix with dramatic and poetic forms all in one line in one single work. Four clear examples of such works are my own fiction books: Flight to Finland: A Noveramatry (2016), How I Became a W Finn: A Noveramatry (2017), Finnish Russian Border Blurred: A Noveramatry (2018) and A Farewell to the Earth and Kepler 438b: A Noveramatry (2019). In these hyperhybrid works, different characters immigrate from different eras and areas and share their mininarratives and experiences with the readers, and since the characters belong to different geographical locations and historical times, they use different languages. The employment of different languages in one single literary work brings about lingual hybridity. In parallel, empty spaces and overcrowded spaces mingle, and thus, the omnipresence of non-textual sections along with the sections with plethora of details breaks up the textual unification. Moreover, the identities and genders of several narrators in one single work occasionally merge and create voice and gender hyperhybridity, which requires the readers’ strenuous efforts to distinguish different voices and genders from each other. However, the use of excessive ambiguity and indeterminacy, which was prevailing in postmodernism, is moderated in hyperhybridity, and through combining ambiguity and clarity, hyperhybrid authors move toward further clarity. This might meet with the requirements of those readers, who have been frustrated with postmodernism’s excessive use of ambiguity and indeterminacy. Yet in another example, Manoucher Parvin, the Iranian American writer, writes his novel Dardedel: Rumi, Hafez & Love in New York (2003) entirely in verse. In his novel-in-verse, Parvin mingles different philosophies and cultures, including Eastern and Western, and different languages and literatures, including Persian and English. For instance, in Chapter 11, entitled “West Side Stories, East Side Stories,” Parvin offers a comparative analysis of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and Layla and Majnun, a romance by Nizami Ganjavi, the 12th-century Iranian poet. Parvin also combines ancient and modern times, and this enables him to recontextualise a number of classical and modern poets, their works and words. For example, Rumi and Hafez are reincarnated first as two saguaro cacti in Arizona and then as two New Yorkers in modern time. The book features mixture of different times, philosophies, cultures, languages and literatures and forms a mosaic built out of the juxtaposition of prose and poetry. Hyperhybridism is also happening in music nowadays. Diverse music genres, sounds, rhythms, languages and accents mingle, and they sound Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 165 like a blend of simultaneous styles. Two clear examples include “Pray for Me” by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar, which combines pop music and rap music, and a piano performance by Iranian musician Saman Ehteshami, entitled “Shookhi ba Piano” (2016), which combines famous Western classical pieces with Iranian classical music. Similarly, in architecture, different styles from modernity and antiquity mingle. In some cases, the combination of those elements might look odd, unconventional and even controversial. For instance, “double coding” is used to describe the architects’ attempts to establish some links between the present and the past through blending modern techniques with old patterns in a construction. For instance, they fit new buildings into old structures; thus, a building may look quite old or ancient, but upon entering it, one finds it totally new and modern. Moreover, unlike the past time, wherein the house furniture, walls, ceilings and kitchen cabinets consisted of one single typical colour and material, nowadays they are made of two and even several different idiosyncratic colours and materials. Hyperhybridism via Immigration and Globalization Immigration has also catalysed the process of hyperhybridization. Immigration has paved the way for multiculturalism and the hyperhybridity of different, and in some cases contradictory, cultures, religious beliefs, races, ideologies, languages and nationalities. Immigrants transfer their own cultures and customs to their adopted homes and attempt to preserve and live with them. However, in order to integrate in the host society, they need to adopt parts of dominant cultures, and this creates a ground for them to host several cultures within their minds, households and workplaces. As a result, hyperhybridism defies the purity of cultures and customs. Likewise, immigration has affected religious beliefs and blurred the sharp borderlines between different religions. Immigration has made the interaction between followers of different religions feasible, providing the grounds for some immigrants to speak with followers of other religions, detect some similarities between some of the key principles of different religions and question the superiority of their own religions. Thus, the interaction between different religious beliefs and ideologies can make some immigrants fully or partially, voluntarily or involuntarily adopt some of those new beliefs and ideologies, and this generates religious and ideological hyperhybridity in varying degrees. As Lipovetsky writes: “We are no longer Jewish, Muslim or Basque ‘as easily as breathing’; we question our identities, we examine them, we want to appropriate for ourselves Mehdi Ghasemi 166 something which had hitherto gone without saying.”23 In this light, some believers incorporate teachings and principles of some religions based on their own yearning, which undermine their strong biases toward one particular religion. The interracial marriages that recur nowadays because of immigration throughout the world further hybridizes different races, and as a result, hyperhybrid races and genes are created. Like the mixture of races, high, middle and low classes as well as privileged and unprivileged, superordinate and subordinate classes are mingled in hyperhybridity. Until some years ago, it was the common belief that royal family should only marry a member of royal family, and no one could foresee that, for instance, one day Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle – the result of a hybrid marriage – a half-black and half-white woman, whose father was Caucasian and her mother an African American. This shows that in hyperhybridity those who have been the result of a hybridity are rehybridized. In addition, Prince Harry’s decision to marry a girl from a different race and class clearly shows that we are in the age of hyperhybridism, wherein – in spite of the common beliefs and expectations – blue blood and red blood can mix and challenge the hegemony of hierarchies. Immigration has also made the hyperhybrid nationalities feasible, since the number of people with double and even triple citizenships are dramatically increasing. Overall, religious, cultural, racial and national hyperhybridity can bring about hyperhybrid identities; identities that sometimes concur and sometimes clash. Like immigration, globalization has sped up the process of hyperhybridism. It has made the world a smaller place as many people can communicate easily and travel freely. Linguistic bricolage is also an outcome of globalization and immigration. Nowadays, different languages extensively borrow words, phrases and structures from each other. Moreover, the spread of Western ideas, mostly through the mass media, has affected some of the world educational, cultural, social and political systems and created a global hyperhybrid world. George Ritzer has called this process of spreading Western ideas “McDonaldization” in his book, entitled The Mc- Donaldization of Society. Ritzer argues that world cultures are becoming similar to one another in the way that fast food chains are similar to each 23 Gilles Lipovetsky, “Time against Time, or the Hypermodern Society,” in Supplanting the Postmodern: An Anthology of Writings on the Arts and Culture of the Early 21st Century, edited by David Rudrum and Nicholas Stavris (New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2015), 167. Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 167 other.24 However, I argue that although the cultures of the world meet and affect each other – at least for a while that the culture hybridity is in process – we take distance from homogeneity and assimilation, and this tendency toward heterogeneity and dissimilation is more visible in areas that have been further touched by immigration and globalization. As an example, it is for a while that some countries that once had very strong communist or socialist tendencies have shown an inclination to capitalism. The amalgamation of capitalist ideologies with communist or socialist ideologies has changed some of those countries to “state capitalism,” a social system, combining capitalism with ownership and|or control by the state; a new phase in the pursuit of preserving the welfare society on the one hand and adopting the global dominant culture on the other hand. In addition to the states, in such systems, people also oscillate between two systems. Although there is a demand for luxury in those states, some citizens socially and culturally attempt to moderate their demands for luxury with longing for mental peace, physical convenience and satisfaction with what they own and earn, swinging between an economic intensification of the power of consumerism and longing for a simple life. The redefinition of communist and socialist tenets offer alternative values, which make pure socialism and communism fade. To conclude, hyperhybridism is discerned in all guises of the world today. Following postmodernism, it is anti-foundational and relativistic and renounces originary and homogenizing impulses. Consequently, like postmodernism, it disrupts the boundaries between the dominant and the marginal, high and popular cultures, and provides the grounds for mixing different ideologies, religions, cultures, discourses, languages and styles of life and writing with the dominant ones, which in some cases is riddled with contradictions. Likewise, hyperhybridism promotes the politics of difference and tolerance. It also enables us to have and experience several paradigms, colours, flavours, cuisines, nationalities, genes, genres, beliefs, activities, etc. all at once. Like its predecessor, hyperhybridism functions not as a philosophy or a movement but as a principle of inclusivity, a means for including and juxtaposing different and in cases contradictory elements. Thus, in the age of hyperhybridism, a mosaic – no style of fixed shape, colour and design – is built out of the juxtaposition of various alternatives. In this context, hyperhybridism is not a departure from postmodernism but an integral part and continuum of it. Hyperhybridism offers a 24 George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society (Los Angeles, CA: Pine Forge, 2008). Mehdi Ghasemi 168 means, but that means is not an end in itself, and accordingly, hyperhybridism serves as a transition period until human beings manage to enter another era; however, it is not clear how long this transition period of hyperhybridity lasts. Bibliography Hutcheon, Linda. The Politics of Postmodernism. New York and London: Routledge, 2002. Johnson–Eilola, Johndan and Stuart A. Selber. “Plagiarism, Originality, Assemblage.” Computers and Composition 24, no. 4. (2007): 375–403. 1016/j.compcom.2007.08.003. Kirby, Alan. “The Death of Postmodernism and Beyond.” Philosophy Now 58 (2006): 34–37. Accessed December 2, 2019. Kirby, Alan. Digimodernism: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture. New York and London: Continuum, 2009. Lipovetsky, Gilles. Hypermodern Times. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005. Lipovetsky, Gilles. “Time against Time, or the Hypermodern Society.” In Supplanting the Postmodern: An Anthology of Writings on the Arts and Culture of the Early 21st Century, edited by David Rudrum and Nicholas Stavris, 156–71. New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2015. Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization of Society. 5th edition. Los Angeles, CA: Pine Forge, 2008. Samuels, Robert. “Auto-modernity after Postmodernism: Autonomy and Automation in Culture, Technology, and Education.” In Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected, edited by Tara McPherson, 219–40. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008. Schmidt, Kerstin. The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2005. 73. Sloan, De Villo. “The Decline of American Postmodernism.” SubStance 16, no. 3, issue 54 (1987): 29–43. Toews, Brian G. “The End of Postmodernism: It Is Dead and We Have Killed It.” Self-uploaded at (2007): online 8 pp. 726475. Accessed December 2, 2019. Vermeulen, Timotheus and Robin van den Akker. “Notes on Metamodernism.” Journal of Aesthetics and Culture 2, no. 1 (2010): 1–14. v2i0.5677. Hyperhybridism: Postmodernism Is Old but Not Old Fashioned 169

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This volume investigates the themes of movement and change in human societies. The chapters deal with spatial and temporal mobilities in language, literature, culture and society. The theme is addressed from theoretical, critical, historical and practical perspectives, through discussions of sometimes controversial issues such as political movements, identity, body image, sexuality, and violence. The volume includes chapters using multiple methodologies and apply them to a variety of materials. The underlying idea is that of understanding time and place as movement. Human societies and interaction are never static, and the volume helps us to see how the changing conditions determine the functioning of societies and human life.


Dieser Band untersucht die Themen ‚Bewegung und Wandel‘ in verschiedenen Gesellschaften. Die einzelnen Kapitel befassen sich mit räumlichen und zeitlichen Mobilitäten in der Sprache, Literatur, Kultur und Gesellschaft. Das Thema wird aus theoretischer, kritischer, historischer und praktischer Perspektive beleuchtet, indem teils kontroverse Themen wie politische Bewegungen, Identität, Körperbilder, Sexualität und Gewalt kritisch beleuchtet werden. Der Band trägt so zum Verständnis der sich ändernden Bedingungen und der verschiedenen Funktionen von Gesellschaften bei.