What if your favorite college professors were willing to talk about everything from philosophy and politics to pop culture and love with the same kind of consideration and enthusiasm? Each week C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss life, culture, and art, and challenge their listeners to take fewer things for granted and all things more seriously.
What can you learn about a culture through comedy? What can you learn about people, and maybe more importantly, what can’t you learn about them through comedy? The hosts agree it’s time to stop canceling people for trying to be funny.
Patrice O’Neal died in 2011, but his comedy is still hot. Stories that turn a bitter reality into laughter is this week’s subject. Should there be a limit on what comedians can say for a joke?
The hosts reflect on the last 100 episodes. What have the learned about each other, and about the issues they’ve discussed?
The cliché goes that “laughter is the best medicine,” but the idea’s been around for thousands of years, so it’s probably best to call it “wisdom.” How can comedy help us cope with trauma?
There’s laughing at yourself, and then there’s laughing at others. While the former is virtuous the latter is indispensable to group cohesion. In this episode the hosts talk about Jim Jefferies and Louis C.K. What are the limits of comedy?
The hosts take a personal look at what they find funny and why. Fair warning, political sensitivities aren’t off-limits.
Even though the country’s racist history still troubles the present, there are reasons to look up. What can we take away from @NYTimes 1619 project?
The history of racism in medical care is not surprising, but the impact it continues to have on contemporary medical treatments is shocking. How do unscientific racial biases continue to distort evidence based medicine?
The hosts talk about the history of food production in the United States and its connections to poverty, race, and slavery. How is the legacy of slavery connected to the contemporary obesity epidemic? Listen and find out.
The hosts discuss the history of “performing blackness” in music, as well as other forms of media. What does it mean to “co-opt” another culture’s music? What’s fair and what’s foul in artistic expression?
The legacy of slavery is long, but should the criticism of it extend to musical appropriation? What exactly is musical appropriation, and what can Warren G’s Regulate teach us about it?
The hosts, along with new contributor Sarah Bond, discuss their impressions of the 1619 project. Does it go far enough in reckoning with our past?
The podcast welcomes a new contributor, Sarah Bond, PhD, and the hosts reflect on their climate change discussion.
Contemplating the consequences of climate change is not only the purview of scientists. Artists are also helping to imagine the contours of a warming planet, as well as re-imagine what possibilities might emerge from this global crisis.
How well does “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006) hold up after ten plus years of scientific research and political upheaval? The hosts engage not only with the film and its nominal protagonist, Al Gore, but the effectiveness of film as advocacy.
Memory isn’t something that lives only in our minds. Memory lives in objects–in museums, and scrap books, and archives. How can archives help us make sense of climate change? What do we choose to preserve and why?
The hosts explore what pop cultural references to climate change can and can’t accomplish. Does pop culture improve our environmental awareness, or simply point back at itself recursively?
The effects of climate change will not be evenly distributed. Some landscapes, cultures, and peoples will suffer more than others. And some people will profit from that suffering. Who has a responsibility to deal with that suffering?
The hosts take a break from their long form discussion about climate change to discuss Toni Morrison, who died on August 5th. “We die,” Morrison said in her 1993 Nobel Prize acceptance. “That may be the meaning of life. But we do language,” she added. “That may be the measure of our lives.”
How can we think about climate change in new ways, so that we might better understand what’s at stake? If we look at the history of demographic displacement then the future of climate change comes into stark relief. And that future is darker for some than for others.
The hosts discuss climate change. It’s in the news all the time, but how we talk about climate change is as important as identifying its parameters and potential consequences. How are we talking about our precarious place in the world?
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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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.
C. Travis Webb
C. Travis Webb, PhD, is editor of The American Age.
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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?
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.