About this site:
Are you struggling with Ellis-Island sized boatloads of white guilt?
Do you like confronting yourself (and others) about how to become better at talking about race, gender, sexuality, and all that other scary stuff that despite our best efforts, still comes up at Thanksgiving dinner every year? There's nothing like explaining to your parents over cranberry sauce and casseroles why the Philly gay community calls us "bottomdelphia."
Or, maybe you just want to see how this whole process of white people trying to be woke pans out, and be there to tell me when I'm dead wrong. I'll do my best not to run away because I'm so non-confrontational that I legit wrote a negative Yelp review under an anonymous name for fear of retribution (true story).
This site was originally created as a platform for promoting my fiction projects, as well as sharing more information about refugee issues featured in my work.
It has evolved into a place for anyone interested in discussing issues related to social justice and how we confront them in everyday life, with an emphasis on the international populations I've worked most closely with over the years.
tl; dr: I think about robots, refugees, and robot refugees quite a lot. And then I write about it.
The long version:
Let's get one thing out of the way: I love naming things, but I'm not always that great at it.
Exhibit A: Elisabeth Elle Sur is not my real name, and I am most definitely not in any way Latinx as the name suggests. I just really like anagrams, and well, domain names are hard, and I thought it was catchy, ok?
Exhibit B: I live with two cats. One's an asshole with a really bougie name, Chadwick. He bites everyone except people with beards and ladybeards. The other kitty is named Trinity (the Matrix kind, not the Holy kind). She's the least graceful cat I've ever seen due to her excessively pear-shaped body, so that name might have also been a mistake.
Exhibit C: I've also named several cacti and they have all, despite having epic names, died. Even Leonidas, who I'm pretty sure threw the other cacti off my window ledge to die in a more dramatic way than from my neglect.
Anyway, welcome to my little rantspace. Now for some serious shit.
My family, as a friend once put it, "is pretty Polish." I grew up on stories of my maternal grandfather being imprisoned by communists and fighting with the Polish Underground all while my grandmother force-fed me wafer chocolate, glasses of milk, and lots of borscht, usually in that order. Luckily, my grandfather doesn't have to be alive to know this, but I also love the game Secret Hitler, and I'm really not sure how to reconcile those two things yet.
Now for some professional-sounding stuff. My writing and teaching interests first intersected when I taught at a refugee center in Utica, New York. I taught my first ESL class with colored markers and a couple blank sheets of paper. For real. Since then, I have worked with asylees and refugees, immigrants, and international university students.
Here's some stuff I'm interested in:
the future (aliens, driverless cars, the AI takeover--give me all of it);
what that possible future will mean for uprooted and disenfranchised people;
and how that future will shape the way we view borders, boundaries, and national and linguistic identities.
Side plug-in: I own the domain name TindPurr, and unless someone offers me a bajillion dollars, I am never, ever going to sell it, because some day there's going to be a cat dating site and it's going to be the bomb.