Elizabeth Palmberg is the daughter of one science fiction fan and one Presbyterian elder who is federally licensed to dispense medicinal marijuana (although she would like to point out that he, a glaucoma specialist, only prescribes it in the less than .1% of cases in which it works better than eyedrops). She grew up in St. Louis, MO and Miami, FL, with an older and younger sister, both of whom have waist-length hair.
Her long history of meddling with other people's writing began in her first weeks of college; she escalated from editing the papers of hapless friends to editing (as a tutor) the papers of people she didn't even know. Eventually, she went on to doctoral work in English at Cornell University, where the unsuspecting administration allowed her to teach a first-year writing seminar on "Scary Stories of the Nineteenth Century." While at Cornell, she dwelt in Flapdragon House, whose denizens enticed her into the shadowy underworld that is Lindy Hop. After seven years of "gradual school," she gained three letters to add to her name, and went off to teach for a year each at Kenyon College and Scripps College.
Although Victorian British literature is interesting, it turns out that social justice (particularly relating to economic globalization) is even more interesting. Ways in which people imagine economics kept winding their way into all her courses, including "Love Stories of the Nineteenth Century" and "The Clichés From Space: Gender and Science Fiction." In 2002, the Lord smote her upside of the head and instructed her to go seek a career working for a progressive Christian nonprofit.
She's found a home at Sojourners, first as an intern ("editorial assistant"), and now as an assistant editor. She's enthusiastic about (in descending order) Jesus, Sojourners' switch to monthly publication, and bittersweet chocolate.
Elizabeth Palmberg died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Washington, D.C., on the morning of June 23, 2014. Per her wishes, memorial donations in her name may be made to any of the following: Christ House (1717 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009); St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church (1525 Newton Street NW, Washington, DC 20010); Sojourners Internship Program (PO Box 70730, Washington, DC 20024-0730) .
Posts By This Author
In Praise of Dimples
Share Your Strength
Earth to G-20 Part 2: The Hidden Treasure of the IMF
Earth to G-20: 'The Developing World is too Big to Fail'
Interview with Charlotte Keys
Charlotte Keys, an evangelist, Columbia native, and founder of Jesus People Against Pollution, a group dedicated to environmental justice for the people of Columbia, spoke with Sojourners
A Toxic Battle for Justice
Evangelist Charlotte Keys and the 'Jesus People' she organized took on a global corporation to save a small town.
Two Ways to Constrain the Casino Economy
Milk, Honey, and Miter Saws
Trickle Up Economics
Giving Your Shirt for Justice
Downsize Wall Street
This World and the Next
Some—okay, a lot—of science fiction treats religion, and even spirituality, as pre-rational claptrap or dangerous authoritarianism. But jostling on the same shelves as the neo-imperialist space wars and the vampire-themed soft porn, there’s a universe of spiritually relevant good writing. Some examples from the last decade:
Eifelheim, by Michael Flynn
When a starship full of insectoid aliens crash-lands in a German village just before the advent of the Black Plague, the author gives credit and care to the parish priest’s training in logic, to Christian caritas, to the 14th-century European political and intellectual landscape, and to how they might interact with giant grasshoppers from space. (Tor, 2006)
Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler
In response to a near-future U.S. wracked by environmental and social breakdown, young Lauren Olamina starts her own religion, Earthseed, whose scriptures proclaim that “God is change” and that humanity’s destiny is to reach the stars. Her vision leads her into deep family complications, somewhat manipulative behavior, and multiple run-ins with the nasty Church of Christian America. (Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993; Seven Stories Press, 1998)
Spiritually-Inflected Science Fiction
Social Security is Not Broken
VP Debate's Blind Spots on Darfur
China Bars Olympian and Darfur Activist from Attending Summer Games
Looks like Joey Cheek -- a winter Olympics medalist who co-founded the organization Team Darfur to protest the genocide incited by the regime in Khartoum -- will not be going to Beijing in support of the Team Darfur athletes about to compete in the Olympics. China, which buys Sudan's oil and often runs interference for the Khartoum regime in the U.N. Security Council, has revoked Cheek's visa and told him to stay out.
But, to paraphrase Matthew 15, it's not what goes into [...]
A Justice Revival
A three-day event features prayer, worship, and a call to put faith into action.
The IMF Files: They Want to Believe
Andrew Berg, an International Monetary Fund African department policy adviser, is a nice man. I know this because he spent some time talking earnestly with me after an IMF press conference in which I'd asked a pretty confrontational question about Malawi, whose 2002 famine is often partly attributed to IMF (and World Bank) advice, and whose current bumper crops are attributed to ignoring it.
Berg looks a tiny bit like The X Files' Agent Skinner, but what this conversation [...]
Washing Down the Food Crisis with Corporate-Trade Kool-Aid
It's clear that one cause of the current food crisis is that poorer countries have been pressured into dismantling their food policies, leaving peasant farmers and eaters alike to bear all the risks of the extremely volatile world market. This has left corporations free to ship factory-farmed food to those countries, peasants free to migrate to urban slums, and corporately-dominated economic [...]