Novelist Laila Lalami

I Pledge My Allegiance to People

Laila Lalami is a Moroccan-born novelist. She is the author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Secret Son, The Moor’s Account, and most recently, The Other Americans. She teaches creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and lives in Los Angeles. Before joining the Zócalo/UCI Forum for the Academy and Public event, “Can Decolonization Explain Everything?,” she sat down in our green room to talk French curse words, her lack of culinary prowess, and her best writing advice.

UCLA’s Kal Raustiala

We’re Boxing Up Creativity

Kal Raustiala writes and teaches in the areas of international law and international relations. Since 2007 he has served as director of the UCLA Ronald W. Burkle Center for International …

Decolonization Tells the Story of Today

The Ongoing Political, Economic, and Intellectual Processes Reverberate in the 21st Century

The other day, the novelist and essayist Pankaj Mishra decided to change the navigation voice on his Google Maps settings from English (Great Britain) to English (India). A friend joked …

Decolonization Is Women’s Work

March 8, 1950—International Women’s Day—Marked the Embrace of a Feminist Battle Against Imperialism

It was 1950, and the world was in flames: In Vietnam, Iran, Madagascar, Algeria, West Africa, South Africa, Tunisia, Malaya, Burma, and Cuba, wars of counterinsurgency were being waged against …

Humanitarians Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Crises

But Race, Wealth, and Politics Are Dictating Who ‘Deserves’ to Be Saved

On February 6, two earthquakes struck near the border of Turkey and Syria. Measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale, they have, to date, claimed over 50,000 lives.

Those of …

We Can Tell New Thanksgiving Stories | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

We Can Tell New Thanksgiving Stories

For Centuries, Indigenous Thinkers Like William Apess Have Urged Americans to Reimagine the National Narrative

In November 1620 the Mayflower deposited about 100 Pilgrims at the Wampanoag community of Patuxet, which the newcomers renamed New Plymouth. A year later, the English and Wampanoags enjoyed a …