I regularly write longform features that explore unknown stories at the intersection of history, identity, politics and culture. I try to bring a depth of research and appreciation of history to every story I write. Here are some of my past features that I'm most proud of. 

Amid a changing climate and a wave of demographic transformation in Italy, this existential look at the history of Italian food and its iconic "gastronativism" asks the question: do you really have a national cuisine if your ingredients are stolen from abroad? Selected for Best American Food Writing 2023.

(Noema Magazine)

Despite its rich coffee and cafe culture, Italy does not produce its own coffee beans. One man is trying to change that, against all odds.

(Proof from America's Test Kitchen)

A feature report for National Geographic gathering the voices of Indigenous trappers from across northern Canada, complicating the picture of anti-fur advocacy by exploring who it impacts most.

(National Geographic)

Following the election of Giorgia Meloni's far-right Fratelli d'Italia, I take a look at their intellectual lineage, tracing obscure extremist philosophies from the pre-war work of Julius Evola through to today.

Listen to my interview on CBC's Tapestry about this story.

(The Revealer)

A historical examination of monarcho-socialism, answering the question: is it possible to be a good socialist and a monarchist at the same time?

(Noema Magazine)

Funded by the Pulitzer Center, an in-depth report into Finland's increasingly charged debate over who should be considered Indigenous, and its impacts on the country's tiny Sámi minority.

(Mongabay Magazine)

A long, deep historical look at the human obsession with the smell of God, and our many failed attempts to capture it. Finalist for SoCal Journalism Award.

Listen to my interview with ABC's Counterpoint on this story.

(Noema Magazine)

Newly relevant (and heavily cited) in light of Giorgia Meloni's rise to power in Italy, this article explored a lesser-known episode in the history of the European far-right, and its attempts to co-opt Tolkien's fantasy world for their own ends. 

Listen to my interview on CBC's Tapestry about this story.

(Atlas Obscura)

Co-produced as a multimedia feature and TV documentary with Inuit broadcaster Sarah Leonardis, this piece records Inuktitut oral histories of a lost landmark for the first time, telling the story of an Arctic Indigenous community's transformation by Christianity and colonialism.

(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Amid a panicked rush to revive civil defense infrastructure following the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, I explored what happened to Europe's once-formidable networks of Cold War-era defenses.

(Foreign Policy)

An exploration of the little-known rituals of medieval veterinarians, and the logic of the magic that powered them.

(Smithsonian Magazine)

An oral account of the rise and fall of a local landmark in one of Canada's smallest cities records a never-before-told microhistory that reflects the story of urban shopping across the country.

(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Following the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, I connected with Sámi Indigenous advocates on either side of the Russia-Finnish border to explore how they were impacted by the sudden interruption of relations that had only recently been renewed.

(Foreign Policy)

A four-part investigative series that dived into the heart of one of Canada's most powerful monopolies: Northview REIT, which controls as much as 4 in every 5 rental units in Northern Canada. Co-reported with Sidney Cohen.

(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)  

Produced for the centenary of Canada's last numbered treaty, this online feature dives into the complicated legacy of a treaty born through deception and double-dealing.

(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Complicating the narrative of heroic volunteerism and public spiritedness, this misanthropic feature exposed how anonymous tip-lines and public health reporting led thousands of northerners to make false and inflated accusations of vulnerable residents, close friends, and even family.

(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

As the town of Charlottesville, Virginia, reckoned with the fallout of a high-profile 2017 white supremacist rally that occurred in its centre, I wrote this feature to expose a blind-spot in the community's anti-racism — its absolute ignorance of Indigenous people and their issues.

(C-VILLE Weekly)

 A radio documentary and accompanying feature to launch a special six-part series on education for NPR, taking the long, long view of the development of the American education system. 

(With Good Reason / National Public Radio)

One of my first features, reported while still a student journalist in Istanbul, Turkey, during the historic Gezi Park Protests. Featuring original photography of the protests.

Contact me at john.last@gmail.com