Refugee Stories for Young Readers: Francesca Sanna’s The Journey (Public Books)

Over on Public Books today, I have a new, short piece on Francesca Sanna’s The Journey, a.k.a. one of the best picture books published last year.  If you have yet to read it, check out “Refugee Stories for Young Readers” (my essay), which includes some images from the book.  In the piece, I observe that As Francesca Sanna’s…

The Public University in an Age of Alt-Facts: Remarks on Receiving a Higuchi Award

Brief remarks on the university in an age of misinformation, delivered today when I received a Higuchi Award. It’s a great honor to be joining Professors Christer Aakeröy, Judith Carta, and Randolph Nudo in receiving recognition for our research. It’s especially meaningful to be receiving this recognition right now, at a moment when facts and the notion of policy based…

Surviving Trumpism. Restoring Democracy.

With apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton,… How does an unhinged, thin-skinned, son of a Scots and a Klansman, born into privilege and wealth, a thug who loves only himself, his money and his station, become the next leader of this nation? There are many reasons, including the false equivalency of the media (Clinton’s emails being…

Election 2016 in Picture Books; or, What Will We Tell the Children?

This election. You’re tired of it. I’m tired of it. And… it’s finally over. Today. Or, at least we hope it will be resolved today. Given that Mr. Trump has vowed only to accept a Trump victory, it may not be resolved today. Either way, the 2016 U.S. Election is one for the history books…

Trump Is the Voldemort of Presidential Candidates (Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote)

Just before the first debate, I wrote a little essay for the Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote project.  Here’s a small excerpt: Donald Trump is the Voldemort of presidential candidates. Now, wait just a minute (you might object): Trump has an elaborate coif, but Voldemort is bald! And Voldemort is well-spoken, while Trump uses the vocabulary of a fourth-grader!…

Election 2016: The Mixtapes

With the 2016 presidential election slightly less than 6 weeks away, it’s time to get up and dance. Or run around flailing and hollering. Likely, a bit of both. To aid you in this necessary activity, I have assembled two mixes — one for each of the two major presidential candidates.  Actually, I’ve assembled three….

A Report from Comic-Con 2016

[Taps microphone.] Greetings, fellow nerds, fans, and affiliated wanderers! If I may interrupt the daily (hourly?) reports of chaos and pain that saturate your newsfeed, I’ll bring you what I hope is a satisfying report from this year’s Comic-Con. Yes, while the Republican National Convention was busy opening a hellmouth in Cleveland, I was in…

Children’s Lit vs. Brexit

According to my unscientific survey, most creators of children’s literature and YA literature thought that Britain should remain in the European Union. They did not see the EU as without problems, but rather understood that remaining a member was far more advantageous than leaving. Here, then, are a few responses to the Brexit vote. I’ve gathered some from…

How Do We Stop the Trump on the Stump? The Truth Is in Seuss!

Many have likened Donald Trump to a “schoolyard bully.” Back in September, Mr. Trump even admitted that his own campaign rhetoric had been “a little childish.” To best understand a candidate who addresses voters at a fourth-grade level, we need the stories of one of our most plain-spoken political analysts — Dr. Seuss. These four…

The Treachery of Images

Perhaps you have also seen these memes drifting through your social media feed. There’s a photo of Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush sharing a hug. This was taken at Nancy Reagan’s funeral earlier this month, but one meme-maker offers the photo as evidence that her politics and policies are identical to those of George…