I am a writer. I am best known for my critical take on the “prestige economy”, my reporting on St. Louis, my coverage of the 2016 election and the Trump administration, and my academic research on authoritarian states in Central Asia.
My best-selling essay collection, The View From Flyover Country, was published as an ebook in 2015. An updated version of the book is being released by Macmillan Publishers in April 2018, with new material on the Trump administration — how America got here, and where we’re going. Pre-order your copy today!
I am currently an op-ed columnist for the Globe and Mail, where I focus primarily on US politics. I am also a frequent contributor to Fast Company, NBC News, and other national outlets. Since 2017, I’ve been covering the transformation of the US under the Trump administration, writing on authoritarian tactics, kleptocracy, racism and xenophobia, media, voting rights, technology, the environment, and the Russian interference case, among other topics.
I was previously an op-ed columnist for Al Jazeera English, where I wrote about exploitation, particularly in higher education, the diminishing opportunities of America’s youth, and gentrification. I have also covered internet privacy, political repression, and how the media shape public perception. My April 2013 article “The wrong kind of Caucasian” is the most popular AJE op-ed of all time.
I have also written for POLITICO, Quartz, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Diplomat, Marie Claire, De Correspondent, The Atlantic, Medium, Radio Free Europe, POLITICO Europe, The Chicago Tribune, The Baffler, Blue Nation Review, Alive Magazine, Ethnography Matters, The Common Reader, The New York Daily News, La Stampa, Slate, World Policy Journal, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Belt Magazine, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Teen Vogue, City AM, Opinio Juris, HRDCVR, World Politics Review and The New York Times.
In August 2013, Foreign Policy named me one of “the 100 people you should be following on Twitter to make sense of global events”. In October 2013, St. Louis Magazine profiled me as one of 15 inspirational people under 35 in St. Louis. In September 2014, The Riverfront Times named me the best online journalist in St. Louis. In June 2017, St Louis Magazine named me the best journalist in St. Louis.
In addition to working as a journalist, I am a researcher and scholar. I have a PhD in anthropology from Washington University in Saint Louis (2012) and an MA in Central Eurasian Studies from Indiana University (2006). Most of my work focuses on the authoritarian states of the former Soviet Union and how the internet affects political mobilization, self-expression, and trust.
My research has been published in American Ethnologist, Problems of Post-Communism, Central Asian Survey, Demokratizatsiya, Nationalities Papers, Social Analysis, and the Journal of Communication. I am a program associate for the Central Asia Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and a research associate at the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
I am regularly interviewed by the media and have been a guest on MSNBC, NPR, CBS, Al Jazeera, CBC News, BBC World Service and other broadcast outlets, and am a recurring guest on the MSNBC show “AM Joy”.
I have given talks all over the world as an invited speaker at universities and at conferences on foreign policy, politics, education and technology. If you would like to book me as a speaker, contact me at the email address below.
I occasionally serve as an expert witness in asylum cases involving applicants from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.