Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The American Age


What if your favorite college professors were willing to talk about everything from philosophy and politics to pop culture? This is The American Age Podcast.


Join us as we explore, provoke, and become inspired by those who are imagining a better world.


Welcome to The American Age Newsletter by me, C. Travis Webb, PhD. I am an “expert” in comparative sociology, civil religion, and running scrappy small businesses with big ambitions and tiny coffers.

C. Travis Webb

C. Travis Webb, PhD, is editor of The American Age

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Welcome to The American Age

The American Age has one objective: to re-ignite zeal for the American idea. Not by provoking nostalgia for what has been, but by inspiring hope for what might be…


Mountains are on the move. The oceans are growing. Vast shelves of ice are phase shifting. The world is unstable, and has always been, but for thousands of years it did not appear so to us…

Steven G. Fullwood

Steven G. Fullwood was born on January 15, 1966. He is an author, filmmaker, podcaster, and curator who may best be known as the archivist who founded the In the Life Archive at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, part of the New York Public Library.

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Brett Kavanaugh Meets #MeToo

TAA 0038 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in the light of the #MeToo movement. The conversation turns to issues of personal responsibility, power, integrity, and, as always, the history of civilization. This is part I of a multi-part discussion.


TAA 0035 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss fatherhood. Being sons and having sons informs their exploration of masculinity, pride, misfortune, and the culture’s ambivalence towards traditional masculine values.

Seph Rodney

Seph Rodney, PhD, is a staff writer and editor for the online art magazine Hyperallergic and has written for CNN, American Craft magazine, and Artillery magazine. He created a radio show in London called The Thread, broadcast on Resonance FM from 2008 to 2011. He has a forthcoming book from Routledge press on the topic of how the experience of attending an art museum has changed in the last generation. Seph was born in Jamaica and lives in the South Bronx.

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Potlatch Sneakers: The Economics of Social Status

TAA 0040 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss why human beings of limited economic means purchase luxury items–such as expensive sneakers. Who gets to ask the question, how does it manifest across culture, what do these items mean?

Triangulating #MeToo: Morality, Ideology, and Desire

TAA 0039 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss the #MeToo movement and the way in which mainstream American culture over-simplifies sexual desire. Woody Allen, The Son’s of Anarchy, and Brett Kavanaugh are dissected and analyzed.

Jeffrey Barken

Jeffrey F. Barken is the author of All the Lonely Boys in New York. Based on the unsolved terrorist attack that damaged the U.S. Army recruitment center in Times Square, March 6th, 2008, this gritty political thriller suggests a conspiracy among former Marines and portrays the beginning of the global financial crisis in New York. Uniquely, Barken’s short story collection This Year in Jerusalem, plants the seed for his novel, launching several reappearing characters in a series of inter-connected travel-inspired shorts. For both projects, the author collaborated with Irish artist Diana Muller to illustrate his fiction.

Barken is the founder and Chief Editor of This colorful publication and small press connects writers with artists around the world, encouraging collaborative multimedia projects and providing regular arts-related reporting. The author received his Bachelors in English from Cornell University. He also has a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing from the University of Baltimore. 

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Reluctant Romantic

Why can’t I remember his name? I quote him often… I’d gone West after graduating. It was election night, 2008, and Jackson Hole Wyoming was a tiny blue dot in a vast red state…

James Bielo

James S. Bielo is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Miami University. He is the author of four books, most recently Ark Encounter: The Making of a Creationist Theme Park (NYU Press, 2018). He is the founder of Materializing the Bible, a digital scholarship project, and co-editor of the “Anthropology of Contemporary North America” book series with the University of Nebraska Press. Dr. Bielo lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife, Sara, and son, Simon.

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Guy Clark - Randall Knife

“I need the things he’s haunted.”

John Cowie

John Cowie is a Southern California native who has lived in Incheon, Korea since 2002. He is currently a high school English composition and debate teacher and lives in relative harmony with his wife and 11-year old daughter. He enjoys long walks along the nearby sea, and often becomes irrationally angry at the lack of burritos in Northeast Asia. 

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America(ns) Around the World

As an American, more specifically a southern Californian living in South Korea…

Raising a Honyol

As a foreigner living in the Republic of Korea, it can be a rewarding existence with little financial anxiety…

Seth Perry

Seth Perry, PhD, joined the Princeton faculty in 2014. He is interested in American religious history, with a particular focus on print culture and religious authority. Perry’s most recent work includes “The Many Bibles of Joseph Smith: Textual, Prophetic, and Scholarly Authority in Early-National Bible Culture” in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and “Scripture, Time, and Authority among Early Disciples of Christ” in Church History. Perry’s first book, Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States (forthcoming June 2018 from Princeton University Press) explores the performative, rhetorical, and material aspects of bible-based authority in early-national America. Perry’s work has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education,Common-place, The Huffington Post, and the LA Review of Books. He very occasionally posts at The Junto ( Perry was a Mellon Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early-American Studies in 2011-12.

Paine Day, the Bible, and Motivating Histories

Motivating histories are necessary but imperfect things. Imagined communities of people become such by participating in aspirational stories of a shared past…

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