Hi Zane. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experience and feelings here. I am sooooooo sorry for your loss of sweet Garfield. The two of you had (and still have) a deep connection that is an incredible gift, and of course you are grieving. I know you wish you could have known to hold him in your lap at the very end, but I think you are very lucky that you got to be there so he could say goodbye to you. He seems to have known his time had come, but there's no way you could have…


Metamodernism and the Return of Affect in Early 21st Century American Indie Rock

Back cover of the Ben Folds Five album _Naked Baby Photos_

This is a text version of a talk I gave at the 2019 AHRC Metamodernism Conference, at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Some people who were not at the conference have asked me if there was a way they could see or hear the talk, so I’ve made this text version for them. The talk was, of course, presented to folks who were already familiar with the notion of metamodernism, so if you’ve come across this article, and you’re new to metamodernism, I recommend you check out some of the resources I’ve provided at the end.


Before the name existed, I had been waiting for metamodernism.

For several years I had been observing and contemplating a certain shift in culture — something that was rather hard to pinpoint but yet was unmistakably new. Something seemed to have changed in the new millennium that made it cool again to express unabashed feelings — joy, wonder, sadness, vulnerability, triumph — in our art, and in everyday life, unfettered by the ever-present ironic snark that controlled the nineties and earlier… somehow, in such a way that didn’t toss out the fun that could be had in playing with irony…


My cat Penelope died. She was almost 21 years old, and she lived a good life. She had slowed down in the last few years a bit, but was still surprisingly spry and healthy. If not for the fact that cats simply do not live much past 20 almost ever, there was no reason to think that her time was up.

Then one night a few weeks ago, we found her lying on the floor looking strange, and it seemed like she couldn’t use her legs to stand up. Two emergency vet visits and a bunch of tests were inconclusive…


Two people who have been influential in my life died this January. First David Bowie, whom, of course, I never met, and then my friend Evan whom I played in bands with when we were both younger. David Bowie surprised his fans with his departure, having been battling cancer for more than a year, but keeping it secret. Evan’s death was a surprise to all: he succumbed to a severe case of pneumonia that became fatal so rapidly that Evan himself probably never knew that his life was ending.

My last conversation with Evan, over Facebook chat and shortly before…


On my local public radio station in Seattle, I heard a debate between two women about a homeless encampment. One was supportive of the homeless people and concerned about how they are being treated. The other was concerned about the possibly negative impact they were having on the surrounding community and felt they were getting a free ride.

What I was struck by was how easy it would be to tell which woman was on which side of the debate just by their tone of voice, rhetorical style and the persona they were presenting. Independent of the content of her…

Greg Dember

Human-centric ontological adventures! (a little bit of heart, a little bit of brain) (topics will vary) gregdember.com

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