Apr 2 • 1HR 37M

TOS #011: What Is Metamodernism? (w/ Greg Dember)

"If your sophisticated postmodern relativism and your sophisticated modern scientific process ends up leaving no place for the interior...you've kind of missed the boat."

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Appears in this episode

Scout Rainer Wiley
Once a month, I record a talk with someone whose work I admire, and we discuss various topics as they relate to magick, metamodernism, culture, art, and philosophy. There will also be 3-4 songs relevant to the topic (or not) included in the recording.
Episode details

Welcome back, friends!

This month’s episode features my good friend Greg Dember, a singer-songwriter who co-authors a blog called “What Is Metamodern?” We recorded it ages ago, and I initially thought I lost the file, so we ended up recording a part two, which will come out eventually.

Topics discussed today include some key differences between how “metamodern” is generally used in academia and how it is used in the Liminal web community; the characteristics of modernism and postmodernism; the birth of metamodernism; metamodern oscillations versus general oscillations; the relationship between stage theory and metamodernism; the model of epistemes; the difference between epistemes and metamemes; Wilber’s postmodernism versus academia’s postmodernism; the relationship between aesthetic values and personal values; metamodern methods in the arts, including examples such as Beasts of The Southern Wild, Emotional Hardcore, and Anti-folk; what cultural artefacts, trends, and aesthetics are metamodern. We also go down a rabbit hole into the origins of solarpunk, talk about metamodern manifestations of androgyny, and discuss a quality of the metamodern affect that I have termed “feral innocence.” 

Greg Dember is a Seattle-based wordsmith, musician and computer programmer who has been writing about metamodernism since 2013, enjoying it since the early oughts, and anticipating it since the late 80s. He has presented his ideas primarily at What Is Metamodern? a website he co-edits with Linda Ceriello, as well as in various academic journals and edited volumes as well as at conferences sponsored by the British AHRC Metamodernism Research Council and the American Popular Culture Association. Greg received his B.A. in psychology from Yale University, where he also studied literature. His recent intellectual preoccupations (beyond metamodernism) include questions about identity and consciousness, e.g. how people project narrative/self-hood onto other humans, animals, and objects. Musically, Greg records and performs as a “post-genre singer-songwriter” and sometimes plays in other people’s bands. The computer programmer part is how he earns his keep.

I asked Greg what his three favourites are of the songs he has written, and he responded with a playlist of way more than three. So I picked the four that I liked best and added them throughout the show. You can find links to them in the show notes.




What Is Metamodern? A blog co-written by Greg Dember and Linda Ceriello

Greg’s personal website

Dember’s “Eleven Metamodern Methods” article

Dember’s “Punk Rock for Sissies” article

The interview with Crackhead Barney

My article on feral innocence

Featured music

“All About You” - Chiefly

“Blue and Pink Gardening Gloves” - Greg Dember

“How We Met” - Greg Dember

“Ninety Four” - Greg Dember

Upcoming guests

Ben Hennessy-Garside. Landlord, Liminalist, father, musician, and blogger

Josh Schrei. Mythosomatic process facilitator and host of The Emerald podcast

Rachel Hayden. Social worker, independent researcher, musician, fellow Timothy Morton fan

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