The Ghost of Roy Orbison Goes on Tour

Peter Lehman He seemed to be defined by an absence, which then materialized as a dark, quiet persona who always kept his eyes covered in public, inviting people to project their thoughts, fears and melancholy onto him.

Humor is Not Just Entertainment: 7 Questions for David Feltmate

David Feltmate Popular culture scholarship is actually quite difficult, but people seem to think it is easy. It is not enough to just watch TV or listen to music, you really have to dig into the significance of the material and its social importance.

7 Questions for Elizabeth Drescher

Elizabeth Drescher . . . what constitutes “religion” and the “spiritual” for most people often has little in common with what scholars study and demographers track.

American Secularism: Seven Questions

In our interview series, “Seven Questions,” we ask some very smart people about what inspires them and how their latest work enhances our understanding of the sacred in cultural life. For this segment, we solicited responses from Joseph O. Baker and Buster G. Smith, co-authors of American Secularism: Cultural Contours of Nonreligious Belief Systems (New York University Press, 2015). 1. What sparked the idea for writing this book? In delving deeper into the sociology of religion as a subfield, we were struck by an interesting split in the discipline. On the one hand you have numerous classic texts on theory, […]