we europeans

From Lublin to London, Europe‚Äôs Contested Ideas of National Identity,  NYR Daily 12 November 2019

On patriotism, being European, and how to live with the other half of a divided nation.

talking languages

Podcast, The Hedgehog and the Fox 15 May 2019

Podcast, Yale University Press 2 May 2019


Observations, FT Magazine  1 March 2019

On identity, documents and reclaiming my Polish citizenship.

never too late? languages and later life

Feature, i Newspaper  28 February 2019

Languages, science and the brain.

'excuse me, we speak english in this country'

Author feature, Big Issue 22 February 2019

Why some people object to hearing foreign languages in public, and what to do about it.

why multilingualism matters

Q/A, 18 February 2019

A little of a language can take you a long way.

artificial translation and the future of languages

Feature, Observer 17 February 2019
Blog, busuu 11 April 2019

The better artificial translation gets, the more people will appreciate the value of knowing languages.

four words for friend: why using More than one language matters now more than ever

February 2019

Four Words For Friend is published in the UK and the US by Yale University Press.

why we need a europe of communities

20 June 2018

An opinion piece about how to be European.


Interview, 28 August 2017

In which I talk about what's behind my current writing and activity: 'I've committed myself to doing what I can for openness, inclusion and diversity in the face of the threats that these now face. That is a worldwide struggle, but its European theatre is the one I'm most aware of, and feel most deeply about.'


Essay-review, New Scientist  2 November 2016

Language is human; language is political. That's a challenge for scientists such as the ones who argue that bilingualism is good for the brain.

choosing europe, choosing hope

This is a text written from the heart about how to vote Remain with your heart, not just your head, in Britain's referendum on whether to remain in the European Union.

facts and values

Book review: Race Rerun Trends in Ecology and Evolution November 2015

Writing this book review provided an interesting opportunity to reflect upon writing about race and science twenty years after my book The Race Gallery came out. New claims, new critiques; same angst about what must and must not be said.

the near abroad

Latvia has a lot to tell the rest of Europe, and the wider world, about language choices, politics and history. I went there in 2015, and tell the story in my book Four Words for Friend.

Some of the images I brought back feature in this talk:

'My lingo, my train'. The free movement of languages and people
Fabrica Understanding Territoriality conference 26 May 2015 (YouTube video).

On May 9, Russians commemorate Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War - the Soviet World War 2. For Latvia's Russian speakers, it is an affirmation of national and family history. For ethnic Latvians, it is a glorification of the army that occupied their country.

Singers from a folk choir take refreshment at a replica field kitchen. Period uniforms, as worn by the men behind the jeep, are popular - especially with young people.

In the 'Immortals March', people carry images of family members who served during the war.

The centre of the Riga commemorations is the Victory Monument in Victory Park.