I visited Columbia University during the fall semester of 2021. As chance would have it, this was the semester during which Columbia University’s student workers went on a 10-week strike which saw them win a range of improvements over previous working conditions
Are you familiar with Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”? Inspired by this song, this blogpost is dedicated to all people and organizations in Louisiana who give, advocate for and lay the groundwork for the delivery of decent shelter to all human beings from recurrent storms and other stormy life events. I invite you to listen to this beautiful song while you read this post.
Having grown up on a dwarf planet in the solar system of the United States’ cultural imperialism, my frame of reference is replete with American products, phenomena, and even phrases. While the orbital elements of U.S. hegemony – politics, news, and entertainment – have thus shaped how I look at the world, life in my native country, the Netherlands, only exposed me to reflections and derivatives of life in the American center of gravity.
From the halls of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, inhabited by the spirit of countless diplomats and foreign affairs specialist of the last century, to the offices of the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., my Fulbright Schuman experience was centered on the bond that ties the United States to Europe.
It’s 11 PM on a Friday in early January and I just arrived outside my hotel in Chicago downtown, tired and jetlagged. It is dark, cold, and the wind blows a freezing breeze from the great lakes through Chicago’s streets. Doing normally my Ph.D. at the European University Institute in sunny Italy I asked myself: […]
Amidst those protestors, is where I would be right now, had I not chosen to leave. Beginning of March: the world is watching China and, of all places, my home country, Italy, fight the “invisible enemy” COVID-19. It’s impossible to imagine what happens next. I left New York on March 21st. Destination: not Brussels, where […]
It felt like just a few moments passed since I was staring at the statue of Dante in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Italy until I was curiously looking at the gates of the beautiful Sterling Library in New Haven.
It has been twenty-five years since I was a Fulbright Scholar at the North Carolina State University – home of the wolf pack! At the time, in what seems like a lifetime ago, my husband and I, both graduate scholars from newly independent Croatia went to Raleigh, NC. We were both at the beginning of our careers, eager and fortunate enough to be there.
It’s 4 AM on a Saturday in December and I’m anxiously maneuvering a little Hyundai out of a dark driveway in the Bay Area. I’m not a morning person, nor a great driver, and this all feels a bit adventurous. As with most things Californian, there’s an app involved, allowing me to rent a good neighbor’s car for the day to drive to Lake Tahoe, where I am eager to go skiing.
It has been 173 days and 18 hours ca. since I landed in the United States for my Fulbright-Shuman experience. Such an experience. I never expected that my “cultural ambassador” duties would have been so intense. But let’s say: an extreme pleasure. Luckily enough, my project on Privacy and profiling had me ended up at the MIT Media Lab, i.e. a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, races, and minds from all over the world.