The fervor over pronoun usage might seem silly to some. Is it "he," "she," or "they"? But language has never been fixed, and how individuals refer to themselves is in constant flux. There's nothing wrong with negotiation, but there might be with something wrong moralizing.
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?
Music, Moments, & Memes
Existential Party Music
Reading the news
Meme of the week
Our video series The Moral Imagination.
The Moral Imagination
Our moral judgments are often reflexive and feel to us as familiar and intimate as our sense of taste and smell. But to share a moral vision with millions of other people is a tremendous work of the imagination. The Moral Imagination is an exploration of the ideas and events that shape this collective sense of right and wrong.
What are the contours of this imagination? How might we strengthen it? What ideas will help us thrive as a species in the 21st century and beyond?
Join us as we explore, provoke, and become inspired by those who are imagining a better world.
A new episode every Monday.
Check Out More
TAA Podcast Sessions
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 we do
Talking, writing, and filming aren’t enough, so we do more.
The Open Education Project
Some time in 2014 I picked this up at a yard sale. It was hard to resist, for a $1, with the day of the title coming up. Arthur C. Clarke, renowned science fiction writer, published this strange, heavy book in 1986, imagining this day in 2019 that would commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing in 1969. It’s not, Clarke was adamant, an attempt at prophecy, but (as he said of his work generally), “An inquiry into the Limits of the Possible.”
Lend your voice, your resources, or your time.
Write For Us
The American Age is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) devoted to reviving American civic virtue and improving educational access.
Scholars, poets, scientists, ex-patriots, capitalists, socialists, story tellers, gonzo journalists, activists, our contributors are faithful to two things—telling the truth and telling it their way.
It’s a digital world but print still has weight.
The American Age
Why? Because we’re writers, and we love writers. Academic, journalist, or creative, poet, playwright, or historian, even dry as the Antarctic philosopher, we value you all. If you agonize over words, you’re part of our tribe, whether we publish you or not. That said, we are a nonprofit whose activities are entirely supported by CultureHum Foundation—
If you’re interested in contributing and want to know what our current compensation structure is, you can find it here.
We suggest pitching us your essay idea before submitting it. We do publish unsolicited manuscripts, but you have a much better chance of making it out of the slush pile if you query us ahead of time.
All pitches should include the following in the body of your email.
- Very brief bio (two or three sentences)
- List of past publications (no more than three or four)
- Pitch (a short explanation of the topic and angles)All submissions should be a .docx, .doc, or .rtf file. Other file types will not be read.
Please email all pitches and submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Age produces a biannual journal. Each issue is focused on a particular thematic concern. The journal is an academic-journalistic hybrid: the sophistication and care are scholarly (i.e. academic), but its diction and tone are directed at a college level reader (i.e. journalistic).
Guidelines for Essays
- Word Count: We prefer a certain kind of heft, a little meat on the bone, more zaftig than slight. For the Essay sections something between 1,200 and 1,800 words is a good target. That doesn’t mean we won’t publish something shorter or longer, but that’s the suggested length.
- Style: Accessible. Light on jargon and technical terms—gloss the concept where necessary. There’s nothing wrong with the concision that professional language grants, but it should not muddy your thinking. Polemical is fine, but make sure your facts are on point, and that pointed criticisms hit their mark.
Drunk in America – Transcendence doesn’t belong to the monks. Inner peace doesn’t belong to the yoginis. God doesn’t belong to the churches, mosques, or synagogues. The secular carnival of ideas and desires offers its own opportunities for ecstasy. Explore them here.
Feature – Unique perspectives on diverse topics—informed, honest, provocative, and unbounded.
History – Without an understanding of our deep history, we cannot fathom our complicated present. Human beings have been roaming the earth for tens of thousands of years. We have to keep our past in mind if there’s any hope for the future.
Human Sciences – Anthropology, sociology, biology, economics, psychology, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, there have never been more or better tools at our disposal to help us understand our own natures. Some of these arguments are complicated; some are dubious; nothing should be off-limits in the pursuit of knowledge.
Reviews – A pugnacious but respectful engagement with the movies, TV shows, books, plays, and art works that are shaping American public discourse.
Guidelines for Poetry & Stories
- Word Count: For these sections a defined word length doesn’t make much sense, but it’s unlikely we’ll publish your epic poem or your novella. And it’s doubtful your experimental 1, 2, 1 haiku will make the cut either. Something around 1,000 words, give or take, is a safe bet for Children’s Stories.
- Style: No genre, style, or rhetorical school is excluded. Rhetorically straight is fine, and so is the highly experimental. The work of making your work speak to a wider audience is the job of our seasonal editors, who curate our selections.
- Open Submissions: Please note that open submissions for poetry run from August 1st through October 31st, and will also be considered for our annual print publication. Poems submitted outside of the submission window will not be read.
Poems and Stories Categories:
Stories – Children can help us recall the vulnerable curiosity that once animated our worlds. We invite parents, and non-parents alike to submit the conversations and encounters they’ve had with children that reminded them just how wild, confusing, sad, and exciting life can be.
Poetry – Before poetry was locked into stanzas, lines, and meters it simply meant something “made, created, or composed.” Very short stories, formal and in—poetry, proper and im—scenes, lyrics, letters, and dialogues—if it is attentive to language, truthful (even if embellished), and serious (even if humorous) we will consider it.
Guidelines for Existential Party Music
- Word Count: These submissions should be less than 100 words.
- Style: You’ve got less than 100 words so. Whatever you can accomplish coherently within that framework is encouraged.
Music doesn’t always bring people together, but this list does. A compilation of music from every genre with one common theme: time is like wine if you stomp its fruit with all your might.