I am grateful

Acknowledgements

After an incredibly tortuous journey, in August 2014 I defended my dissertation and officially earned my Ph.D., which would be conferred at some point later on. While I’m proud of my tenacity and proud of the research and writing I did, there’s no question that the best part of the whole process was getting to …

broken glass

This is what I believe

On this cloudy Friday, I believe a few things to be true: I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Brett Kavanaugh is a basically good man. Notwithstanding his behavior as a teenager and his petulant performance yesterday, which reeked of entitlement. I also believe Kavanaugh doesn’t remember what Blasey Ford accuses him of doing because …

bad stories cover art

Bad Stories

One of my favorite podcasts is Dear Sugars, co-hosted by writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. They are both frank, passionate, clever creatives who give meaningful, compassionate advice to people facing any number of life issues. I listen regularly. So I was surprised, a couple of weeks ago, to find that Steve Almond has a relatively …

cracked Earth

Voices from Syria

You should buy and read the book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled, from political scientist Wendy Pearlman. To convince you, I’m going to share a half-dozen paragraphs that define the Syrian experience from 2011-2018, at least based on what I’ve read. Pearlman’s account is based on hundreds of interviews she’s done over five years …

finding commonality

Oneness

I’ve written before about how I see no inherent contradiction in being a political scientist who also teaches yoga. The undercurrent of my political science interests has always been an effort to understand people who are not like me. I’m fascinated by how others see the world differently than I do, and how that leads …

Perspective need not be dismissive

This floated across my Facebook feed last month, and it generated two competing feelings in me that I want to suss out with you. I gave myself a little time before writing about this, because it felt so raw at the time. My first and most pronounced reaction — as intended (I must assume) by …

The dangers of hubris

I’m currently at an academic conference, the sort of event I once adored and increasingly find to be somewhere in the neighborhood of insufferable. To understand why, I share this sentiment expressed by a researcher on a panel I just left, sporting an unattractive scowl: “Sad to say, I’m increasingly convinced that the American public …