Essays

Privacy Cultures

In “USS Callister,” a much-discussed episode of Black Mirror, a reticent computer programmer collects DNA around his office from discarded objects like lollipops and coffee cups. He uses that DNA to ...

Birth of a Mother

What exactly is motherhood? I’ve been mulling it over the past few months, during which time I again experienced pregnancy and childbirth, and again dealt with the confusion and sleep deprivation ...

Are Sharp Women Enough?

Twitter was a medium made for Dorothy Parker—alas, a century too late. Her famous poem “Resumé” is 141 characters. Her breakout feature in Vanity Fair, a series of Hate Songs, begs for a hashtag ...

Gap Year in Stockholm

What was the Nobel Prize in Literature? Everyone seems to think it’s over. December 10 is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death and the date on which the prizes in his name are traditionally ...

And the Women Shall Lead Us

Our historical and contemporary images of black nationalism privilege the masculine. This is true whether in distant or recent memory. Images of black men dressed ...

What Was Public Housing?

Any debate about American public housing will eventually have to reckon with Chicago. More specifically, it will have to reckon with that city’s wrecked projects. Those closest to the issue have ...

Our Drugs, Ourselves

Is the term “drugs” still meaningful? Many of us would confess to being at least mildly dependent on some substance, be it single-origin coffee or Sancerre, antidepressants or anti-inflammatories ...