Hamlet Is a Suicide Text—It’s Time to Teach It Like One

A Scholar of Shakespeare Sees Perils and Possibilities in the Bard's Plays, and His Own Experience

I once tried to commit suicide. Twenty years later, it’s still hard to talk about. I didn’t want to die. Self-esteem issues, depression, alcoholism. I was signaling, in an unhealthy way, that I was in pain and needed help. A better way would have been to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). It was the age of Nirvana. Depression and suicide were in the air in U.S. teen culture. A close friend had moved away from our small Midwestern town. Beforehand, he started acting out. A few …

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In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince

For Nearly a Century, the Small European Nation Has Fused Monarchy and Direct Democracy Into a Government That Works

Liechtenstein, the nation of 38,500 in the heart of Europe, has for nearly a century deftly governed itself by combining two seemingly contradictory elements: direct democracy and monarchy. Rather than …

I Dream of Jetlag | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Dream of Jetlag

After 12 Years in the Sky, a Flight Attendant Braces for Furloughs and Adjusts to Life on the Ground

Last year, a time in history I want to mark as 2019 BC—that is, Before COVID—I was at the height of my flight attendant career. I had just reached the …

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today?

Before the Rise of Caesar, the Roman Statesman Predicted How the Spread of Lawlessness Could Destroy a Republic

At some point in the early summer of 54 BC, the Roman statesman Cicero set to work on his most consequential work of political philosophy: De Re publica (On the …

Who’s Left Out of the New American Mainstream? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Who’s Left Out of the New American Mainstream?

The Diversification of Families, Universities, and Even Upper-Level Jobs Obscures How the Prospects of Black Americans Are Stagnating

At a moment when the eyes of the nation are fixed on Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism struggle, it may seem odd to call attention to quiet breaches of …

What the Jewish Name Changing Narrative Gets Wrong | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What the Jewish Name Changing Narrative Gets Wrong

A Forgotten History of Antisemitic Exclusion and Isolation in Mid-20th Century New York

In 1932, a man named Max Greenberger petitioned the City Court of the City of New York to change his last name and the last name of two of his …