Hi Michael. Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, I think you’re onto something with the distinction you make about ISM/ITY.
I’m not ready to write in more detail about my personal distaste for the “developmental model,” but from where I sit, there’s an obvious difference in tenor or sensibility between the two camps. To briefly point out two of the more obvious differences:
1) The vast majority of the academic study of aesthetics and culture (and V&V in particular) are adamant about metamodernism being a descriptive term and not a cultural or social program of any kind. On the other hand, the developmentalists (most notably Hanzi) are holding out metamodernism as a prescriptive social/cultural agenda, in particular framing it as some kind of antidote to postmodern politics.
2) I am also noticing that, whereas the descriptive form of metamodernism has included a wide variety of global cultural forms, the developmental movement seems very white and very male. From what I can tell, this social program does not seem to be much interested in developing a wide base of support across different demographics.
Adding both together, I would venture that these points indicate that the developmental version of metamodernism — as presently articulated —feels more like a retreat from postmodernism rather than a step forward. (As one of my friends put it, it feels more like “remodernism” than post-postmodernism.)