Arts & DesignReviews

Is Opera Back?

Two years ago, I thought opera was dead and, being a great lover of it, I invited you to celebrate with me a nostalgic funeral eulogy for the beautiful daughter of the Italian Renaissance. Saturday night, for the first time since I wrote that piece, I had the impression it has been resurrected.

The Bonfire of the Vanities, with music by Stefania de Kenessey and libretto by Michael Bergmann, premiered on 9-10 October at El Teatro at El Museo …

CapitalismDisabilityEssaysRaceRace/ismsSex & Gender

The Disability Paradox

Further thoughts on inequality, disability, and the imaginal

Do you have a disability? Do you want to work? This seemingly innocent pairing of questions should immediately raise a red flag, for it is technically oxymoronic: in the United States, the disabled, by definition, are those who cannot work, at least in any significant sense. Granted, disability falls on a continuum, and answering to this continuum is a parallel benefits scheme for some workers — specifically, those whose disabilities have resulted from …

DisabilityEssaysRaceSex & Gender

Invisible Privilege, Unspoken Racism

From street transactions to the NYSED disability campaign

I spent most of my summer on the Italian coast, in the little town where I was born, as I do almost every year. The difference, this time, was that I had not been back to my home country for a whole year. This gave me some sort of a distance from the customs and habits I have grown up with and perhaps also enabled me to see things I had never noticed before. In particular, as an insider-outsider, I was struck by the number of African immigrants …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/PublicsScience

Just a Peaceful Quartet?

Reasons for celebrating the Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize

The news has just been released: The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for its “decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.” This news is cause for rejoicing given the symbolic weight attributed to the role the Quartet played in 2013 in managing to force both a very unpopular government to step down …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Russia’s Game in Syria

Security, geopolitics, and a balance of powers

On Wednesday September 30, the Russian Federation started a bombing campaign in Syria with one objective in mind: the stabilization of the country and the survival of Assad’s regime. This action is very relevant for many reasons, but among them is the fact that it is historical. This presents Russia’s first military action on a foreign country, a majority of whose …


On Leaving

A meditation on the price of opportunity

Today I felt it when I saw the snow.

I hadn’t left the apartment in two days and had been watching television and aimlessly browsing the Internet, procrastinating and avoiding the cold. I turns out that I avoided it so well that for a couple of moments I forgot about how cold it is out there. And I forgot about the snow. But then I looked out the window and saw that “landscape” of pure concrete and white and I felt it… my phantom pain. My new life companion. …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/PublicsRace

The (de)Construction of the “Illegal” Immigrant

Latinos respond to Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s derisive statements about Mexican immigrants have mobilized a large portion of the Latino community in the United States. Faced with the same old accusations that Mexican immigrants are criminals, drug-dealers, or rapists, businesses and public figures such as Univision, NBC, ESPN, NASCAR, Macy’s, chefs Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian, Miss USA contestants, and even mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, took action …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionSex & Gender

Snitow Receives the Courage in Public Scholarship Award

A report from Warsaw, June 9th, 2015

It was in late July of 2014, during the final two days of the 23rd annual Democracy & Diversity Institute, that a sizable group of the Institute’s alumni — representatives of a much larger NSSR/TCDS community now living and working in Europe — joined us in Wroclaw. They were an impressive and accomplished assemblage: people who teach at excellent universities …