‘The rise of postmodernism’ provides an introduction to postmodernism. The term ‘postmodernist’ draws attention to a mixture of historical period and ideological implications with Marxist affiliations and political aspirations. Postmodernists have a distinct way of seeing the world as a whole and use a set of philosophical ideas that not only support an aesthetic, but also analyse a ‘late capitalist’ cultural condition of ‘postmodernity’. The ‘rise of theory’ among intellectuals and academics is discussed: workers in all sorts of fields developed an excessively critical self-consciousness. Postmodernists reproached modernists for their belief that a work of art could somehow appeal to all humanity, and so be free of divisive political implications.