Catalyst: Jason Porath


New Modality Catalyst:
Jason Porath, animator turned novelist


Profile edited by Michael J. Coren

Photo courtesy of Jason Porath
Last update: October 21, 2019


Jason Porath is a polymath, illustrator, and writer at The New Modality. He's also one of our Catalysts

In a past life, Jason Porath used to work on animated movies such as "How to Train Your Dragon 2," "The Croods," and "Kung Fu Panda 2." In 2014, he left the film industry to start Rejected Princesses: a blog-turned-book-series that celebrates the lives of little-known women with thoroughly-researched and illustrated histories of their lives. He later created Tough Mothers, "Amazing Stories of History's Mightiest Matriarchs." He lives in Los Angeles, where he works on screenplays and novels, in between singing a lot of karaoke.


“The century to come is going to require a push for reparation, mental health, and mutual understanding at a scale never before seen in our species’ history.”

Hey Jason. What's a current cultural edge you're excited to see people pushing?
I’m excited to see how #MeToo evolves. I’m fascinated by the push into areas like restorative justice, and seeing how the increased focus and resources in such realms transforms how we talk about trauma, punishment, and redemption. The century to come, should we survive the current global slide towards fascism, is going to require a push for reparation, mental health, and mutual understanding at a scale never before seen in our species’ history. I think we’re starting to see the seeds of what that might look like.
What's a relatively small, highly achievable dream of a better world that you sometimes think about but haven't done yet?
Teach consent in high school sex ed. Have students practice asking for something (“Can I hug you?”), practice saying no firmly (“Thank you, but no”), and practice receiving rejection graciously (“Thank you for being honest with me, and with yourself”). A half hour of practice doing this can really help orient people sensibly.
If you could put out a PSA to the entire world asking for help with one thing, what would you ask for?  And if someone is able to help with that, then how can they reach you?
I have more stories than I could possibly hope to tell, working by myself. I’d love to collaborate with artists, playwrights, producers, and the like. Probably easiest way to get ahold of me is email:

New Modality Catalysts

The New Modality is about experiments in culture — and the people who do those experiments. NewMo Catalysts are people who do things we admire and want to celebrate. They also help us stay accountable to our values. To learn more about NewMo Catalysts (or nominate someone to be a Catalyst), check out the Catalyst FAQ.

This profile was edited by Michael J. Coren. Michael is a journalist focused on business, technology, and science — especially climate science — living in San Francisco. More about him at his NewMo profile

The information in our Catalyst profiles usually comes directly from the subjects, and we usually don't fact-check them. You can learn more about The New Modality's fact-checking and epistemological ideas by reading the page about our process for truth and transparency.