Category: Words

The Big Picture: Criminalizing Immigrants

Peering out the windows of John F. Kennedy Airport in the early morning hours of January 29, 2017, I had hope for this country’s future on immigration policy. Hundreds of ordinary New Yorkers were ...

Somalia and Italy across a Century

The United Nations Refugee Agency has calculated that, by the end of 2016, there were almost 68 million “persons of concern” (refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable groups) living on this ...

The Big Picture: Unholy Alliances

Andrew Jackson had good reason to believe that his first presidential election, of 1824, had been rigged. He had won the popular vote but not an Electoral College majority. Jackson was hated by elite ...

The World Silicon Valley Made

A repairman at the Shenzhen electronic bazaar treks from stall to stall, gathering inexpensive camera modules, casings, glass displays, batteries, and motherboards, and then, with only a screwdriver ...

The Big Picture: Building the Wall

Since November 2016, I’ve unfriended one family member on Facebook, and have been tempted to unfriend others. I blocked a cousin who lives in Texas and posted about Mexicans taking American jobs. It ...

Shoptalk: Overheard at GSA

Over one thousand scholars gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, in early October for the German Studies Association annual conference. In keeping with the German language’s tendency to prefer the passive ...

The Big Picture: Trump’s Charisma

Accepting the presidential nomination at the 2016 Republican convention, Donald Trump painted a picture of America in crisis, with “poverty and violence at home” and “war and destruction abroad.” ...

Going Deep: Baseball and Philosophy

Among the iconic images that memorialize one of the greatest moments in baseball history—Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run to win the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates—I have a special ...

The Big Picture: Rule by Misrule

Posters declaring “No Trump, no KKK, no Fascist USA!” and the like feature in most anti-Trump rallies. Viscerally, it’s clear what the posters mean: no more threats to children of illegal immigrants ...