Who Is the Real Monster in Frankenstein?

Mary Shelley’s Novel and Its Many Adaptations Challenge Us to Explore Bias and Belonging

In 2022, I found myself reaching back to my childhood’s favorite monster for literary inspiration.

That year’s midterm elections had brought with them another round of angry MAGA candidates promoting the Trumpian lie of a stolen 2020 election. Part and parcel of their rhetoric was—yet again—an attack on immigrants and anyone who just didn’t fit in with their image of “real” Americans.

Trump’s wrathful rallying conjured images of the torch-bearing mobs of black-and-white horror films. I thought about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s 1818 tale—and the inherently political implications of being a “monster” in …

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Don’t Draw Conclusions From the Flags Mrs. Alito and I Choose to Fly | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Don’t Draw Conclusions From the Flags Mrs. Alito and I Choose to Fly

This Columnist Believes in the Right to Freely Choose What Flies in Front of One’s Home

Early last year my city councilmember, who likes to walk his dog through our neighborhood, stopped me as he strolled by.

“Are you Mexican?” he asked.

“Nope, I’m Scots Irish,” I replied. …

A Yearbook to Remember

We Can’t Hold Time in Our Hands, But We’ll Always Have Signed Messages, Funny Photos, and “Most Likely to …”

I lost my first year of high school to Zoom in 2020. Not just my first day, or first week, but the entire first year. This jarring start to a …

How Two Chicana Nerds Wrote Their Way Back to Oxnard

Michele Serros and I Did Everything We Could to Escape Our SoCal Hometown—Only to Find It Lived Within Us

Growing up as a Chicana nerd, I never thought I’d write a book about myself, much less about Oxnard, where I grew up. This humble city on the Southern California …

How I Learned to Blowdry My Hair at 40

And Other Lessons from Growing Out My Locks in Middle Age

In March 2020, I stopped cutting my hair. Like many, I wasn’t about to risk a COVID infection for a trip to Floyd’s barbershop. Unlike many, however, I have yet …

Are Venture Capitalists Silicon Valley’s Biggest Villains?

They Get Lauded for Funding Innovation—But What They Really Fund Is Exponential Growth That Lines Their Own Pockets

This essay was published alongside the Zócalo and CalMatters public program, “What Makes a Great California Idea?” Click here to watch the full conversation.

Will …