Author: Melissa Byrnes

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Time to Believe

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On December 6, 2017
You’ve probably already seen the news that Time‘s Person of the Year for 2017 is the collective of “Silence-Breakers” who have bravely stepped forward to accuse their harassers and abusers. Usually, my writing philosophy (perhaps overly conditioned conditioned by the academy and the publishing industry) involves finding stories you might not have come across on […]
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They Have Come for the Rohingya

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On September 9, 2017
I spend too much time thinking about genocide. It’s a professional hazard—twentieth-century history is rather murderous—and has led to a disturbingly glib sense of gallows humor (we all have our own coping mechanisms). So, it’s hardly an alarmist or knee-jerk reaction on my part to insist that we need to be paying attention to Myanmar […]

Napoleon Complex

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On July 14, 2017

Trump’s visit to Napoleon’s tomb in Paris yesterday is an irresistible invitation to compare the two leaders. Trendy as it is to focus on historical parallels with fascism, it’s worth thinking a

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Why, Yes, It IS Terrorism

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On June 19, 2017
  Just after midnight, London time, yet another attacker drove a van into a crowd of people, killing one and seriously injuring nine more. All of the victims were Muslims leaving their evening prayers in Finsbury Park. This tragedy, on one hand, is disturbingly unsurprising, given the rise in terror attacks, virulent anti-Muslim sentiments, and […]

Eurovision!

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On May 14, 2017

Major news in European elections: Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest last night. Salvador Sobral’s stripped-down performance and heartfelt singing were somewhat of an anomaly in an annual

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  So, clearly, I need to drop in soon with an update on this weekend’s French election. But, in the meantime, it turns out that France isn’t the only place where colonial history is back up for debate. A constitutional scholar just published an apparently serious call for Haiti to relinquish its sovereignty–preferably to Canada. […]
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