Where I Go: The Headlands of Yehliu

It Took Me 20 Years and Five Visits to Develop My Own Relationship to Taiwan

I was hiking the Port Orford Heads State Park on the coast of Southern Oregon this summer when I realized how closely the rock formations and coastline resemble the rugged geology of my parents’ native Taiwan. These similarities brought back memories of my trips to the country, and made me miss my friends and family overseas. By June, lacking enough shots for its 24 million citizens, the country, once seen as a COVID success story, was forced to institute lockdowns and close public spaces. Due to the pandemic and the …

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Is Anything More American Than Oklahoma! in Oklahoma? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is Anything More American Than Oklahoma! in Oklahoma?

Forget Broadway's Reopening—The Nation's Artistic Heartbeat Is at Its Center

If there’s a more rambunctious and promiscuous genre than musical theater, I haven’t met it yet.

Musicals are an everywhere phenomenon. They touch an enormously broad swath of American lives, unapologetically …

When an Empire Withdrew from an Unwinnable War | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When an Empire Withdrew from an Unwinnable War

Hadrian's Retreat From Parthia Drew Fierce Criticism—and Opened the Door to a Better Roman Future

Ending wars has always been hard for great powers. Hadrian knew this. In 117 A.D., the new Roman emperor decided to withdraw his forces from an unwinnable war against the …

Colorado River water

When the Colorado River Runs Dry

A Coachella Valley Farmer Reflects on the Water Source He, His Date Palms, and People and Animals Across California Rely On

Even as she was going blind, my mom, ever the poet, delighted in sitting out among the palms and birds, and enjoying and visualizing the scene, as I irrigated my …

How ‘Automation’ Made America Work Harder | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How ‘Automation’ Made America Work Harder

Computers Were Supposed to Reduce Office Labor. They Accomplished the Opposite

The world confronts “an epochal transition.” Or so the consulting firm McKinsey and Company crowed in 2018, in an article accompanying a glossy 141-page report on the automation revolution. Over …

Is America Ready to See Itself as an Orchestra? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is America Ready to See Itself as an Orchestra?

Cultural Pluralism Offers a Better Concept of the Nation Than the Melting Pot Ever Did

More than a century after Jewish American philosopher Horace Kallen developed the concept of cultural pluralism in 1915, it has never been more important. In the simplest terms, cultural pluralism …