About Me

I’m a Ph.D. candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. I’m working on a dissertation about the meaning of merit in America – what American culture and individual Americans say about what people have earned, what they deserve, and whether they got lucky or unlucky. My research interests more broadly include American politics, popular culture, journalism, and media, and the role of life stories in political discourse, social discourse, and democratic deliberation. I teach in the Media Studies and Production department at Temple University, and in Drexel University’s Center for Public Policy.

Before becoming a pointy-headed academic, I was a journalist with the Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Daily News, and I wrote a bunch of book reviews for the Washington Monthly.

I live in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia with my wife, Chelsea, and our sons Sam and Leo. In fall and winter, I run a kids’ basketball clinic at the Germantown Life Enrichment Center.