Reviews

Philosophers of Babel (The New Inquiry, May 2014)
on The Dictionary of Untranslatables

Parent of All the Gods (Los Angeles Review of Books, March 2014)
on religion in China

Gatsby in Asia (The Daily Beast, June 2013)
on Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians

Party TV (The New Inquiry, December 2012)
on Ying Zhu's Two Billion Eyes: The Story of China Central Television

Ghosts in the Machine (The Daily Beast, December 2012)
on Hsiao-Hung Pai's Scattered Sand: The Story of China's Rural Migrants

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (The Daily Beast, March 2012)
on the bloodiest civil war in history and the birth of modern China


Saying Mazel Tov in Mandarin (Jewish Daily Forward, January 2012)

Zellig's Disappearing Act (Jewish Daily Forward, August 2011)
on Robert Barsky's Zellig Harris, biography of Chomsky's mentor 



Travels


Wherefore Art Thou Luomiou? (Foreign Policy, January 2015)
Shakespeare booms in China

Endangered Speakers (n+1, Spring 2014) subscription only
document the languages of immigrants, refugees, and exiles in NYC

Days of Wine and Rosaries (Harper's, July 2013)
Tibetan Catholics making wine and building churches

(Lapham's Quarterly, December 2010) 
from Kinshasa to Jakarta, the future of the megacity

The Silk Road Unravels (Open Democracy, July 2009)
the dark side of Silk Road frenzy and the destruction of Kashgar

Letter from Motor City (Open Democracy, June 2009)
techno, urban farming and guerrilla art in the Detroit ruins



This work is under a Creative Commons license
Last updated: 15 April 2016. 
Reports

Uber for Tutors? (Dissent, Fall 2015)

(Dissent, Summer 2015)

95 percent of all languages have almost no presence online


linguistic equality and sources of radical possibility

forget the triumphant universalism: 95 percent of languages are barely online

The Rise of Yiddish Online (Slate, February 2014)
the unlikely cyberlife of a struggling language

Chinese Workers Foxconned (Dissent, Spring 2013)
the world's biggest manufacturer, the hottest gadgets, the future of Chinese labor

(Chinadialogue, September 2012)


China's Instant Cities, Thirty Years On (Lapham's, November 2010)
instant dystopias or models of eco-dense 21st century living?


Histories

(Al Jazeera, March 2014)
the Kunming attacks and the forgotten genocide

In the Genizah of Dying Languages (Jewish Currents, Autumn 2012)
endangered languages in China and the Jewish ethnographic tradition

Riding the Godless Express (Lapham's Quarterly, February 2010) 
a short, curious history of the Soviet war on God 

Nero's Fiddle, Gaddafi's Fiction (Lapham's Quarterly, March 2010)
politicians and dictators making art (usually badly)

(The Jewish Chronicle, May 2008)