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
A Human-Made Disaster
The dramatic rise in world food prices has pushed millions into poverty. Here's a look at 10 factors--from agrofuel production to rising meat and dairy consumption--that have contributed to this preventable crisis.
Khartoum Continues to Undermine Peace Efforts
In the past week, the blood-stained regime ruling Sudan has once again engaged in "open and transparent effort to overthrow a neighboring government," Chad, where for the past week Sudanese-backed rebels have been attacking towns. The attacks put at risk half a million [...]
Drive-by Diplomacy Doesn't Cut It in Darfur
We know that the government of Sudan responds to civil war by targeting innocent civilians-a strategy based on its weakness as well as its evil. This is the strategy the Khartoum regime used in southern Sudan until the international community pressured it into a 2005 peace accord. It's what the regime is [...]
In Praise of the Dishonest Manager
One of Jesus' most in-your-face stories, and a personal favorite of mine, is the Parable of the Dishonest Manager in Luke 16. I would loosely paraphrase its central insight as follows: "If you have the sense God gave a dog, you will realize that you can't hold onto money very long anyway, but you can keep the friends you make by giving it to those in need. You do the math." The passage [...]
A Time for Jubilee
The subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. has raised just outrage at the behavior of predatory lenders. It's wrong to push a mortgage which the lender knows the borrower won't be able to pay back, driving homeowners into foreclosure and bankruptcy.
But when poor nations have unpayable debt-often the result of Cold War favors to corrupt dictators-they can't declare bankruptcy. They have to just keep paying, even if all they can pay is the interest, never touching the principal. Even if [...]
Zimbabwe's Elections and beyond: Stay Tuned
Will Zimbabwe's parliamentary and presidential elections, coming up Saturday, be a complete sham, like their predecessors? The government of Zimbabwe, under Robert Mugabe, has left Zimbabwe's economy in ruins and permitted the HIV/AIDS crisis rise to catastrophic levels, prompting protests among [...]
Good News/Bad News for Uganda
First, the very good news: a deal appears to be in sight to demobilize the murderous LRA of Uganda, which has abducted tens of thousands of children and been responsible for killings and mutilations. There are
The Bush administration wants Congress to sign off on an administration-negotiated trade agreement with Colombia, alleging that to do otherwise is, as one analyst put it, to "turn our back on our friends." But with friends like this, Colombia really doesn't need enemies. Consider:
Shaming China's Genocide Games
Running interference for genocide is not an Olympic sport. And now Nobel laureates such as Shirin Ebadi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are joining with former Beijing 2008 Olympic Games artistic advisor Stephen [...]
Aiming at Headlines
Part Time Opposition to Genocide
Do the Math
A Genocide of Convenience
As I do more reading about Darfur, I've had to re-examine some of my assumptions about genocide. I'd tended to think about genocides on the model of the Holocaust, which involved a massive logistical undertaking by a ruthlessly evil state whose armies were strong enough to conquer multiple other nations.
The genocide in Darfur is intentionally caused by a ruthlessly evil state, but that's where the similarities end. Khartoum's strategies in Darfur - as in southern Sudan before the [...]
Darfur: Don't Take No for an Answer
Darfur: We Know What Works
Here's the good news about Darfur: we know it is doable to force the regime in Khartoum to back away from its genocidal divide-and-conquer strategies. We know this because the U.S. helped do it once already: it led international pressure that forced Khartoum to a peace accord and power-sharing agreement with southern Sudan in 2005. If we want to preserve the [...]
Iran's Lame Duck, Our Lame Political Script
Planting Justice for Farmers
Decoding the Lingo
There Are None So Blind...
• Write your members of Congress to demand that they not renew the president's "fast track" authority on trade agreements, which ties Congress's hands by allowing it only to approv