Migrants and Citizens

Circus tricks: a week in New York

The circus was in town.  I had a ticket:  but I did not really want to see the show.  I’ve not much appetite for tightrope-walking, especially when you know in advance the performer – in this case the… Read More


On Silence in an Anxious Year

I haven’t written much here in the past year. It is not for a lack of things to say, but rather a search for words adequate to meet so much misery.  Syria’s refugees; Europe’s xenophobes; Brexiteers; Trump. And… Read More


Green Cards

Our Green Cards arrived today. Shiny plastic; biometric bureaucratic confirmation that we can stay in San Francisco indefinitely. Do they matter? I’ve been trained to be skeptical of official labels and categories: legal status does a poor job… Read More


Summer Reading

  An ex-colleague once admitted to me that he sometimes thought his job as a lecturer was to recommend books he hadn’t yet managed to read to students who were never going to read them either. And so… Read More

baby toes 2

Three Passports

  He is just six weeks old. The limits of his world extend to just a few feet beyond his crib. He still lives in a universe where objects you cannot see do not exist, where hands are… Read More


On Integration: Kale, Yoga and San Francisco

In my professional life, I spend a lot of time thinking about “integration”, partly because discussions about integration are an inevitable partner of debates about immigration. And on the one hand, these conversations are easier part of the… Read More