Places

Entering Jerusalem: Scenes from the March of Flags

Notes from 2016’s Jerusalem Day, an Israeli national holiday.

May 24, 2017
The Future in Motion: Why I Judge High School Debate Tournaments

“You hope and hope they’ll get their chance and you know it’s possible they won’t.”

May 22, 2017
The Love of a Good Woman: A Visit to Alcatraz

“This is doing time. This is giving away a piece of your life. If I did get fixed, it wasn’t jail that did the fixing.”

Searching for the Internment Camp Where My Father Was Held

The phrase used was “barbed wire fever”—what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder.

May 10, 2017
Lessons from My Mother, the Grave Gardener

I witnessed my mother work twice as hard as the men under the hot sun. All she had were her hands.

May 08, 2017
Notes From a Young Professor: Writing and Teaching Through Charlottesville’s Culture Wars

The police are there, expecting us, academics in revolutionaries’ outfits.

May 04, 2017
Waiting to Go Home: On Being a Traveler in Trinidad

“Tourists accumulate photos and mementos; travelers collect memories and friends.”

Apr 13, 2017
In the Sahara, a Little-Known Nuclear Wasteland

“There’s nothing nuclear in what I do. It’s just rocks we dilute into powder.”

The Law of Historical Memory​

A strange inheritance from a grandfather resisting Franco and fascism in 1930s Spain.

Monuments and Memory: Working at Arlington National Cemetery

“It was an alternate world, where the dead came everyday, and we treated it as normal.”

Apr 04, 2017
Writing Behind Walls

Teaching a creative writing workshop at a men’s prison in Iowa.

Apr 04, 2017
Borders of the Past: On Europe and the Berlin Wall

The idea of a peacefully united continent that acknowledges identity must prevail.

Mar 29, 2017
A Conversation About Disability Rights in Education

“We need to move our schools toward increased inclusion and disability justice.”

Reconciling with Less Home: Between Haiti and Me

How did I come to the point of romanticizing a home I could not even identify?

Mar 15, 2017
The Giant Garbage Pit, or The Largest Diamond Mine in the World

Then, a Robbery and a House on Fire: My Travels in North Siberia

Mar 06, 2017
Für Bess: On Neighbors, Music Parties, and Growing Up

“It was that closeness that led me to notice the gaps that separated us.”

Mar 06, 2017
These Dark Skies: Seeking Refuge on Europe’s Shores

This situation can be changed, but only if our compassion is stronger than our fear.

Feb 27, 2017
Watching White Kids

“It occurred to me that maybe they didn’t see me at all.”

Feb 22, 2017
On Borders and Citizens

“My US citizenship is a kind of bulwark. It is not a guarantee of protection.”

Feb 21, 2017