Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Contemporaries are persons, events, or movements that overlapped in time. For example, that William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were born in the same year and wrote at the same time; thus they were contemporaries.
Contemporary as an adjective usually means pertaining to the period of time being considered. Thus, to judge Thomas Jefferson by "contemporary standards" is to judge him by the standards of his own time.
However, the word has a host of other meanings. Perhaps confusingly, it often means pertaining to our time—the time during which the word is used. In some contexts it is a synonym for Modernism, even if the artists or composers in question have been dead for some decades. In other contexts it means the host of influences, events and questions which are still being actively debated. Many people regard the present as being Postmodern, and part of the Information Age, while others see it as being in the Modern period, with post-modernity being a reaction against the general modern trend.
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