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.
TAA 0069 – Megastars like Michael Jackson seem to be exempted from critiques of their wealth. Rarely do you hear Jay-Z or Tom Hanks referred to derisively as “the one percent.” Why don’t we care about extremes of wealth in our entertainers?
People are willing to sacrifice a lot to be near greatness. From Plato’s Symposium to starfuckers, the desire to be near the powerful has been with us a long time. But to be near that kind of power requires a sacrifice.
TAA 0067 – In this episode the hosts discuss our preoccupation with innocence, and when moral responsibility takes shape. Defenses of Michael Jackson often involve his complicated childhood. How convincing is that defense?
Podcast 0066 – Dan Reed’s documentary “Leaving Neverland” offers a compelling but disturbing description of the alleged abuse suffered by James Safechuck and Wade Dobson at the hands of Michael Jackson. But how credible is Reed’s film? Join as we discuss “Leaving Neverland.”
Podcast 0065 – Even though he died in 2009 Michael Jackson is still the most famous person in the world. With the release of Leaving Neverland his legacy has been once again called into question. Why is his life and art so meaningful to us? Join us as we try to unravel this history.
Podcast 0064 – The hosts conclude their conversation about White Supremacy. They discuss the reasons why even radical critiques of race relations in the U.S. have reasons to be hopeful about the future. And they preview their next topic: Michael Jackson.
TAA 0063 – In what ways does “white” ideology interfere with human empathy and compassion? And what does it mean to be “human” anyway? Can a better version of the United States be written in the twenty-first century? The hosts draw together several threads from their previous podcasts.
Podcast 0062 – What does it mean to say, as Malcolm X famously did, that it’s the responsibility of whites to educate themselves? If each group is responsible to educate only those who are already a member of that respective group, how can we forge a coherent national identity?
Podcast 0061 – What does institutional “white” power look like in the 21st century? In what ways are institutions oriented against people of color, and in what ways are institutions a result of that historical orientation? The hosts untangle the ways people use and are used by that history.
TAA 0060 – What do structural impediments to African-American progress look like in the United States? Even if cultural bias can be controlled, there is a history of segregation in real estate and education that has shaped contemporary American communities.
TAA 0059 – The hosts discuss Obama’s legacy as a “black” leader, and what it means about the present and future of “white” misanthropy. In particular his 2013 and 2016 speeches at Moorehouse and Howard Universities are closely examined.
TAA 0058 – The hosts begin their conversation about “white supremacy.” What does the supremacy of whites mean? Who is “white”? Are institutions or individuals primarily to blame for its perpetuation? And is it, in fact, perpetuating? Join us as we work through these and other questions.
TAA 0057 – The hosts conclude their conversation with a discussion of the role of race in the sexual imagination. Why is the white, blonde female body so often the location of heterosexual desire in American culture? Why is the male black body so often fetishized?
TAA 0056 – The hosts continue their conversation about pornography. This week they explore the emotional cost of pornography. Who shapes our desires? And what happens when we are regularly reminded of what we don’t have?
TAA 0055 – The hosts continue their discussion of pornography. Exploring their own consumption, the varieties and limitations of desire and its representations (sexual and otherwise), they move closer to some understanding of pornography’s persistence across time.
TAA 0054 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood continue their discussion about pornography. Picking up on last week’s conversation, the hosts explore how ideology shapes our views of pornography, and what role evolutionary politics might play in our voyeurism.
TAA 0052 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood continue their discussion about pornography. What happens when pornography becomes the primary method of sex education? The advantages and disadvantages of access to pornography are discussed, such as addiction and sexual liberation.
TAA 0052 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood return to the topic of cyclical time. Every year in the Mesoamerican calendar there were five unlucky days between the end of the ritual calendar and the start of a new solar calendar. Are the days between Christmas and New Year a similar experience for twenty-first century Westerners?
TAA 0051 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood apply some critical reflection to role modeling. Can one reject one’s status as a role model, as Charles Barkley famously did? Is there a difference between following a role model, and being inspired by one? Tune in and join the conversation.
TAA 0050 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss surveillance. Apps that track their users and government access to their data is much discussed, but surveillance isn’t new. Marginalized communities have been tracked for centuries, and powerful individuals have always had access to privacy, so what does privacy mean in the twenty-first century?
TAA 0049 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss the media’s reaction to the death of the 41st President, George H.W. Bush. Did mainstream outlets “whitewash” Bush’s legacy, or is there something to be said for speaking well of the recently departed? What is the role of public mourning and public anger in the establishment of community?
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.