Postmodernism and Postmodernity, Baudrillard’s Simulation and Questions for Discussion

Hi, All

Here are the Tentative Questions copied from my notebook (Subjected to changes until the discussion in class):

“America” by Baudrillard:


1. What does Baudrillard mean when he says “Speed is simply the rite mobility, concealed beneath the very intensification of their mobility. Akin to the nostalgia for living forms that haunts geometry”? (256)

2. How do we comprehend the “immanence” of America in relation to the postmodern features—immanence? (p. 257) Indeterminacy and immanence are two concepts of postmodernity, how do they relate to simulations and the hyperreal?

3. How do we understand the miracle of America’s obscenity as opposed to its puritan obsession and how does the speed make the ground of of puritan obsession gone? (257)

4. What does Baudrillard mean by saying that “Here is the most moral society there is, space is truly immoral. Here is the most conformist society, the dimensions are immoral. It is this immorality that makes distance light and the journey infinite, that cleaneses the muscles of their tiredness” at the end of the article? (258) How does this relate to the primitiveness of America and its desert like speed? Can it be related to Freud’s psychoanalysis of the human being’s unconscious desire?

“The rhetoric of Intetexuality” by Frank A. D’Angelo


1. According to D’Angelo, what are the concerns of rhetorical study and literary study and how do they differ from each other in research purpose and objects? Do you think his argument reliable from this perspective?

2. How does Kristiva’s idea “any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another”(33) resonants with Baudrillard’s simulation?

3. How do you think this piece is conducive to make full use of adaptation, retro, appropriation, pastiche, and simulation for pedagogical purposes?

4. If we teach our students in class these techniques in relation to mass and new media composition, what assessment criteria we would follow to grade?

Baudrillard in Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric

1. How do we teach students critical thinking when we ourselves are immersed in a “consumer society in which objects dominate and control humans rather than the reverse”? (300)

2. What is your idea on whether or not Baudrillard is a postmodernist? (301)

3. How do you comprehend the inability of intellectuals to create social change? (302-303)

4. How do we understand Baudrillard’s incidental shift of interest to photography contributes to his simulation theory? (303)

5. What is your understanding of Baudrillard’s criticism to Marxism as “incapable of describing life before and after the era of production”? (305)

6. How do we understand his idea that the masses/the people does not exist? (305)

7. Is Baudrillard’s critique on Foucault and other theorists reliable? (305-306)

8. Why Baudrillard argues the Gulf War as a “virtual war of information, electronics, and images”? Do you agree with his idea? (306)

9. Is his ways of escaping from fullness useful to the postmodern world? (307)

10. According to Baudrillard, simulation comes into being from the increasing separation of signs from the objects they present (307), can you give examples of his assertion that embodies “signs of the real for the real itself”? (307)

11. Simulation makes us unable to distinguish the real from the fake in this society of media and technology. How do you practice information literacy and electronical literacy in composition classroom?

12. Discuss the evolution of simulation and see how symbols becomes unreliable throughout time (308-312).

13. How does the excess of information in the mass media world produce the postmodern uncertainty and the difficulties or even impossibility of communication? (312-315)

14. How does the hegemony of commodity culture realize its power and what bad impact it has on the consumers? (315-317)

15. To illustrate the centrality of the object and the excessive consumer culture, Baudrillard gives the example of contrasts the television with the cinema, how do you understand the “absolutely irreplaceable” qualities of the cinema? Will it be more illustrative if he compares television to the “theatre”? (321)

16. How do we understand the possibilities of resistance as rhetorical strategies against hyperreality? (321)

17. What does banal and fatal strategy mean respectively and why does Baudrillard favor the fatal rather than the banal? How do they interrelate to each other? (322-327)

18. What are the advantages of alternative paradigms as compared to the reason dominated perspectives of traditional rhetoric? (329)

19. How does the poem at the end of commentary part illustrates Baudrillard and the postmodernity in him?

Additional Questions on Baudrillard:.

1. What does Baudrillard mean by “hyperreal”?

2. How do we apply his theory of simulation into our own research and pedagogy?

3. How does his theoretical lens relate to other postmodernists’ views from our readings so far? For instance, how do you connect Baudrillard’s examples of Disneyland, Watergate, and so on to McGee’s ideograph? And the symbol using theory of Burke?

4. Do we see any hope in his theory from the assigned readings and the quotes I have selected?

5. How do we deal with the rhetorical situation Baudrillard defines?

6. What is the difficulty of invention in a surrounding of simulations?

7. How do we view ourselves as agencies of change in a “mirror of production”?

8. What is the significance of “America” when related to spacial theory?

9. How does intertextuality play its role in the academia and the classroom? How do we make use of it and at the same time not committing plagiarism?

10. How does technology, specifically the new media shift our way of comprehension and teaching?

Here is some information on what I have been doing with Baudrillard and postmodernism. Hope it helps if your are interested in his theories. Please give me your invaluable suggestions.

Links on postmodernism, postmodernity, and Baudrillard as a postmodernist: Lyotard and the Postmodern Condition Ihab Hassan Linda Hatcheon Fredric Jameson

Jaques Lacan

General Introduction to Postmodernism

Features of Postmodernism

Characteristics of Postmodernism

Features and Examples of Postmodernism

Baudrillard on Postmodernity

The Loss of Distinction Between Reality and Simulation

Available Books relevant to Baudrillard at GSU Library (in alphabetic order):

Baudrillard Now: Current Persoectives in Baudrillard Studies. Edited by Ryan Bishop. Polity Press, Cambridge. 2009.

Exiles from Dialogue: Jean Baudrillard and Enrique Valiente Noailles. Translated by Chris Turner. Polity press, Cambridge. 2007.

Fragments: Conversations with François L’Yvonnet. Translated by Chris Turner. Routledge, London. 2004.

Impossible Exchange. Translated by Chris Turner. Verso, London. 2001.

McLuhan and Baudrillard, The Masters of Implosion. Gary Genosko. Routledge. 1999. (ebook available via GSU library)

Simulations. Translated by Paul Foss, Paul Patton and Philip Beitchman.

In the end, I’d like to share Anderson’s prosumer approach:


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