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Spotlight Ukraine: Deconstructing a Global Conflict

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Night in the Ukraine (1871) by Ivan Aivazovsky. The artist was born (1817) and died (1900) in Feodosiya, Crimea. 

The Making of a Legend

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An interconnected world demands that we collaborate in the public sphere. Indeed, without this cooperation the public sphere would not exist, for it requires not just an action, but also a reaction. The speech is not a speech until it is heard. The rally is not a rally unless it is seen. The map is not a key until it is read. To exist, the public sphere requires a necessary but beautiful tension between all of us, all of us collaborators.

Factories of History

Sunday, May 5, 2013

History is the object of a construction whose place is formed not in homogenous and empty time, but in that which is fulfilled by the here-and-now. –Walter Benjamin

Writing in Motion: A Nation Divided

Arizona and the Power of Words

Saturday, January 15, 2011

While the focus of this blog is meant to be international affairs, occasionally domestic events in America prompt a change of topic; the shootings in Arizona this weekend qualifies as one of those events.  By now you've heard about the work of gunman Jared Loughner, which left Congresswoman  Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded, killed six others – including a nine-year old child – and wounded 12 others.  Once the immediacy of the shooting faded, talk inevitably turned to the why of the event.  The theory being pushed by many conservative, right-wing pundits is that Loughner was simply a “lone nut”, his action

South China Sea Conundrum

Monday, October 4, 2010

One of the truths of human history is that mankind has a tendency to go to war for some pretty stupid reasons; my personal favorite was the 17th century's War of Jenkins' Ear, though in the 19th century the United States and Canada nearly went to war over a pig, which probably would have trumped the unfortunate Mr.

The Faulty Narrative of Moscow’s Subway Bombings

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Terror returned to Moscow last Monday morning when a pair of female suicide bombers blew themselves up in the city’s subway system (the second busiest in the world) during the morning rush, killing 40 people and wounding 90 others.  The cable news channels in the United States began coverage of the attacks soon after they occurred and almost immediately began pointing to “Chechen separatists” as the likely culprits - which would have been a fine assumption to make, say ten years ago.Suicide bombings have been occurring with disturbing frequency lately in Russia’s Ca

Political Cynicism on Display in the Falklands

Monday, March 1, 2010

One of my earliest memories of foreign affairs from my childhood was the brief war between Argentina and Great Britain over the small, wind-swept Falkland Islands in 1982. In response to the Argentine seizure of the islands, which they call Islas Malvinas and claim as their own, the British sent a naval flotilla halfway around the world to retake them. Without GPS, YouTube, broadband satellite uplinks or any of the other tools of modern journalism, I remember watching the progress of the British fleet on the nightly news as a red dot on a map slowly, very slowly, making its way down the length of the Atlantic Ocean towards the Falklands.

Haiti and the United States, A Complex Past

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It’s been just over a week since an earthquake unleashed an epic wave of destruction across Haiti. And even as bodies of both the living and the dead continue to be pulled from the rubble of Port-au-Prince, conservative commentators are already using the tragedy to launch into an attack on foreign development aid programs.

Obama's Missed Uyghur Moment

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It could have been a powerful image – America’s first multicultural president promoting the benefits of an ethnically-diverse society to the Chinese – but during his trip to China this week, Barack Obama chose to steer clear of comments that could be perceived as lecturing the Chinese on their (poor) human rights record, and that included any reference to their treatment of their Tibetan and Uyghur ethnic minorities.