Joss Whedon Delivers Metamodernist Commencement Address

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Joss Whedon, whose many accomplishments include the creation of cult-favorite TV shows Buffy The Vampire Slayerand Firefly, spoke to the graduating class of 2013 at his alma mater, Wesleyan University. In both its style and its message, his address comes across as downright metamodern. He arrives at the microphone already muttering what sounds like a self-narration of the experience of giving a commencement address, reflecting the metamodernist mode of positing oneself as a character in a story. He then proceeds to temporarily adopt a postmodern stance, with a sarcastic dismissal of the modernist Robert Frost “Road Not Taken” as the faux introduction to a cliched version of his speech, followed by an earnest metamodernist rejection of Bill Cosby’s postmodern cynicism (“You cannot change the world”). Utlimately, Joss Whedon folds both of these starting points back into some very metamodernist nuggets of wisdom that he shares with his soon-to-be fellow alumnae. It has to do with paradox, but no more spoilers – watch it for yourself and enjoy!


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more about metamodernism and Joss Whedon’s work, you might check out these articles as well:

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse: A Metamodern Negotiation of the Real

“METAMODERN MUCH?” – Three MM Aspects in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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