My Jewish Ancestors Fled Spain. Will Returning Feel Like Home—Or Just Another Diaspora?

Pursuing the Country’s Offer of Citizenship Feels Like Claiming Privilege When What I Want to Claim Is Justice

When the government of Spain passed a law that offered citizenship to the descendants of Jewish people expelled 500 years ago by the Inquisition, half the people I knew sent me copies of news reports about it, or wrote and asked if I planned to pursue Spanish citizenship.

No, I always said. It sounded like a ploy for tourist dollars. And besides, I wasn’t even sure I could prove my connection.

My parents were born in Mexico and fled north to California in the U.S. in 1914 and 1930, respectively, during the …

What Does It Mean to Be a ‘Local’ in Hawai‘i?

A Honolulu-Born Mainlander Reflects on How Demographic and Economic Change Are Making an Idealized Aloha State Identity Obsolete

The story of the modern Hawai‘i diaspora is a paradox: Many of us who grew up in Hawai‘i in the second half of the 20th century developed a powerful sense …

How Venezuela’s Oil Riches Fueled a Literary Explosion

In the Mid-20th Century, Writers Seized on the Conflicts Laid Bare by Petroleum's Power to Reshape Society

On December 14, 1922, a gusher of petroleum was discovered in Zulia, a rural area of western Venezuela. For nine days the oil showered onto the surrounding farmland, scaring the …

Hurricane Maria ‘Lifted the Veil’ on Puerto Rico’s Broken System

The Island Must Confront Past Mismanagement, or Face Outsize Future Disasters

On September 20, 2017, when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the media, government officials, and the American public were in awe when the island lost electricity and went dark. More …

How the Cold War Fused Exile and American Identity

In California's Orange County, Vietnamese Refugees Rewrote a Tragic Defeat by Finding a Home in the U.S.

Thirty years ago, the small city of Westminster, California, held a grand yet understated indoor ceremony at the Asian Garden Mall to unveil the Little Saigon freeway sign. Governor George …

Home Away from Home

Gaza-Born Taysir Batniji Documents His U.S. Relatives’ Lives

In his photo series Home Away from Home, the Gaza-born Franco-Palestinian artist Taysir Batniji explores and documents the daily lives of people dwelling in intermediate states—between the land of their …