Universal Abandon was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In recent years, the debate about postmodernism has become a full-blown, global discussion about the nature and future of society: it has challenged and redefined the cultural and sexual politics of the last two decades, and is increasingly shaping tomorrow's agenda. Postmodernist culture is a medium in which we all live, no matter how unevenly its effects are felt across the jagged spectrum of color, gender, class, sexual, orientation, region, and nationality. But it is also a culture that proclaims its abandonment of the universalist foundations of Enlightenment thought in the West. At a time when interests can no longer be universalized, the question arises: Whose interests are served by this "universal abandon"?
Universal Abandon is the first volume in a new series entitled Cultural Politics, edited by the Social Text collective. This collection tackles a wider range of cultural and political issues than are usually addressed in the debates about postmodernism—color, ethnicity, and neocolonialism; feminism and sexual difference; popular culture and the question of everyday life—as well as some political and philosophical matters that have long been central to the Western tradition. Together, the contributors provide no consensus about the politics of postmodernism; they insist, rather, that "universal abandon?" remain a question and not an answer.
The contributors: Anders Stephanson, Chantal Mouffe, Stanley Aronowitz, Ernesto Laclau, Nancy Fraser, Linda Nicholson, Meaghan Morris, Paul Smith, Laura Kipnis, Lawrence Grossberg, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, George Yudice, Jacqueline Rose, and Hal Foster.
Andrew Ross teaches English at Princeton University and is the author of The Failure of Modernism.