New at Zócalo

  • News & Notes

    Zócalo Announces Bianca Collins as Director of Public Programs

    Collins Emerges From the Los Angeles Art World and Into the Ideas Journalism of Zócalo

    Zócalo Public Square is pleased to announce the appointment of Bianca Collins as its Director of Public Programs.

    Collins brings years of experience working as a curator, an art consultant, and …

  • Poetry

    by Tomasz Różycki, translated by Mira Rosenthal

    Reading by translator Mira Rosenthal


    This world, along with several other worlds,
    can fit into the outside pocket of my backpack
    or in a bag from Switzerland procured
    in a shop …

  • Culture Class

    Why It Matters That Star Trek Is Confronting Eugenics

    For Decades the Dangerous Pseudoscience Was Heavily Censored on Screen—While Offscreen It Continued Influencing Policy

    by Jackie Mansky |

    In a meme that’s been floating around online recently, William Shatner asks, “When did Star Trek get all political?”

    The joke is on Shatner, or rather on an old tweet from …

  • Essay

    When the Public Narrative Fails

    In a Nation That's Lost Its Way, Literature—the Private Narratives of Others—Can Guide Us

    by David L. Ulin |

    Leave it to Joan Didion. In her essay “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” published in 1967, she identified a kind of slippage in our culture, the breakdown of collective narrative. “The center …

  • Essay

    Surfing the Tides of History in Northern Chumash Land

    White Men Have Long Dominated the Sport I Love—But the Status Quo Isn’t Set in Stone

    by Maya Weeks |

    For health reasons I have to stay out of the water for the next couple weeks so I am dreaming about surfing, thinking about surfing, writing about surfing, doing everything …

  • Essay

    How Do Pandemics End?

    Argentina’s 19th-Century Cholera Outbreaks Show the Myth of a Single, Definitive Conclusion

    by Carlos S. Dimas |

    The study of epidemics has routinely centered around what medical historian Charles Rosenberg calls a “dramaturgic structure”: a story of infection that builds to a climax of widespread illness and …

  • Poetry

    by Simone Muench and Jackie K. White

    I stood in a room that contained every moment

                it contained Tranströmer, insects, and charcoal


  • Essay

    How to Treat the ‘Wounds to the Soul’

    A Therapist Assembles an Emotional Toolbox to Help Us Grapple With Collective Trauma

    by Jack Saul |

    he subterranean strata of U.S. wrongdoing run deep—the genocide of Native Americans, the long history of slavery and racism, the effects of xenophobia, the illegal wars of aggression around the …

  • Connecting California

    Carmel’s Cautionary Tale for Post-Roe America

    Poet Nora May French’s Account of Her 1907 Abortion Is an Infuriating Read—and a Sobering Reminder of What History Omits

    by Joe Mathews |

    I am no longer able to think of Carmel without thinking of abortion and Nora May French.

    For this new habit of mind, I blame two things: the U.S. Supreme Court, …

  • Essay

    How Literature Became a Weapon in Russia’s Culture Wars

    It’s a Battle of Tolstoys as Protestors Face off Against Putin’s Propaganda Machine

    by Jacob Lassin |

    On April 10, 2022, Moscow police arrested resident Konstantin Goldman for brandishing a book in public. Goldman had posted an image on social media in which he posed holding a …