Born in Zuerich, Switzerland and raised in Kingston, Canada, he completed his Ph.D. in English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He is co-editor of The Edward Said Reader and has published academic essays in Transition,Interventions, The Yale Journal of Criticism, Amerasia, Arab Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Asian American Studies, and other places. His writings have also appeared in The Nation, The London Review of Books, and The Village Voice. His essay "Disco Inferno", originally published in The Nation, was included in the collection Best Music Writing 2006. From 2003 to 2006, he served on the National Council of the American Studies Association, and he is currently an editor for Middle East Report. He is also an occasional columnist for the Progressive Media Project, an initiative of the Progressive magazine, through which his op-eds appear in newspapers across the United States. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Salon.com and on National Public Radio. He lives in Brooklyn.