Post Somethingism

In academia, adding the prefix "post" to a movement, theory, genre, etc is quite common. The best way to describe the meaning of "post" in this context is to see that "post" is a synonym for "beyond", building on the innovations, theories, style, etc of the original in such a way as to take it beyond what the original was, creating a new theory, genre, whatever, in the process. See Also Evolving Trope.

Often subverted in popculture. Usually when someone is being called a "Post-something", it amounts to Strawman.


  • Post Modernism, (which refers to a large number of loosely connected movements, including, but not limited to the trope used here) gets its name because its goal was/is to move beyond the movement of modernism. An excellent definition of postmodernism (insofar as postmodernism can be defined) is, "an interruption of the modern mythological form."
    • And in recent years, there's been a growing movement towards what has been called "Post-Post Modernism", which is a rejection of Post Modernism in the same way Post Modernism is a rejection of Modernism.
  • Bands such as the Foo Fighters and Creed have been called "post-grunge" because they borrow various elements of classic grunge, while at the same time experimenting with new elements.
  • Post-Disco, which includes most modern pop music. Hip Hop, most electronica, and progressive R&B just to name a few.
  • The Other Wiki once had a humorous example in an article named "Post Gangsta Rap", sadly, said article no longer exists, so we don't get an explanation.
  • Post Cyber Punk tries to move beyond the cynicism and hopelessness of Cyber Punk in various ways, such as giving hope for the future (The Matrix Trilogy does this with a messiah figure), showing the upside of technological progress (works that focus entirely on the bright side of cyber-technologies, and don't also show the potential downsides, are called "cyber prep") or by parodying or deconstructing Cyber punk tropes (Snow Crash and Transmetropolitan come to mind.)
  • Reconstruction could be said to be "Post-Deconstruction", in that it tries to move the genre beyond the criticism of the deconstruction, while at the same time accepting said criticism.
  • The Ur-Example is Post-Impressionism, a term used by art historians to describe artists like Vincent van Gogh, Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, or Paul Gauguin, who built upon the innovations of the Impressionists and took painting to new styles of expression. Not so much a cohesive art movement as a bunch of loosely-affiliated, like-minded yet fiercely independent artists.
  • Many developed nations are said to have "post-industrial" economies, since the service and finance sectors are more important than the industrial sector.
  • Similarly, certain kinds of products are considered to be Post-Scarcity goods. An excellent example is computer software, which, once written, can be infinitely duplicated at virtually zero cost.