Date of Award

Spring 2018

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Chuck Archard

Second Advisor

Robert Smither


Abstract The first time I heard the term, “Metamodern Age,” I was actively involved in a discussion about the various themes in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The setting was a Master of Liberal Studies class (Rollins College, MLS 604), entitled “Modernity” taught by Dr. Tom Cook. It was October of 2015. Frankenstein, also known as The Modern Prometheus, is a masterpiece and a solid sample from the Modern Era. Following approximately fifty years of Postmodern Era sludge, we are now in what could be identified as the Metamodern Era. Our Modernity class speculated confidently that the current Age of Metamodernism is a positive societal rebuild in the terrifying wake of 9/11. I strong identify with metamodernism, as opposed to postmodernism, and believe that the Metamodern Age began to mature as the internet became culturally dominant in the 1990s, prior to 9/11. I am intrigued by the concept of metamodernism – an age born, unofficially, the same year as I was, 1975. In June, 2016; I took a trip to Amsterdam with fellow Rollins’ Master of Liberal Studies students, past and present. My curiosity erupted into fascination with metamodern thought as I connected it to my personal masculine identity struggle in our zeitgeist. It is a Post-postmodern Era wherein masculinity is too often seen as toxic. For the first time in my life, I traveled abroad and talked about culture, politics, and gender expectations with anybody and everybody who had experiences and opinions to share. Amsterdam humbly lent itself to my curiosity in defining metamodern masculinity, and thus The Metamodern Man. On June 18, 2017 (Father’s Day), I began to organize my massive pile of MLS notes and mentally filter my Amsterdam experience, in order to concentrate on my MLS thesis. With the consistent support of my wife and children, I decided to focus on my midlife masculine place in our current zeitgeist, and commit to writing about the metamodern man. I put pen to paper on Labor Day, 2017, after talking to my boys (ages 6 and 14) about what it means to be a man in metamodern society, specifically in America. We discussed what the future holds for masculinity. The potential is positively great. This thesis paper is my attempt at comprehending midlife masculinity and defining the reality of what being a successful metamodern man means.

Rights Holder

Nathan R. Arrowsmith