You may call me Jeruviel Stardust. I am originally from the stars (somewhere out there…) but I came into this body that types these words thanks to the hard work and care of my mother and father and all of their ancestors. I was born in occupied Duwamish territory. To the best of my knowledge my ancestors arrived as invaders and all of my struggle in life so far has nonetheless benefited from the “trickle down” of White supremacist conquest and colonial occupation, whether I like it or not. While I come from a “poor” background and I love and appreciate the struggle and care of my ancestors in creating a way for me to exist and I also acknowledge that they were operating in response to often terrifying systemic pressures themselves, I also think it is very important to openly name the complicity of my lineage in continuing conquest and genocide of the original peoples of Turtle Island in our/their journey from Europe to the West Coast of Manifest Destiny. I also think it is important to call out to more ancient ancestors who lived in Europe prior to the conquest of those lands by the main modern empires there. Likewise, any ancestors who formed positive relationships across color lines of White Supremacy in the “frontier days” and who honored their original cultures before Whiteness are people I look to for guidance in these difficult times. I feel it is necessary to open with all of this in my introduction because simply stating something like “I’m from Seattle, WA” would be inaccurate and actually dishonest given the larger stories and trajectories of my story which I am aware of. It would be more convenient, but truth and reality are not usually the stuff of convenience.
I grew up playing a lot of video games, Dungeons and Dragons, tabletop roleplaying games I created myself or with friends, and generally finding games as the most interesting and rewarding space of refuge. School has always been a mixed space of refuge and prison for me. At UHM I am a second year PhD student in Political Science focusing on Alternative Futures and Indigenous Politics. I did my undergradute thesis (Comparative History of Ideas, UW Seattle) on abolishing education as a colonial institution and alternative and non-coercive forms of learning, creating and sharing knowledge. I eventually decided to go back to school after finding a likely home in my current program at UHM. My love/hate relationship with academia apparently wasn’t ready to end just yet. During my first semester I eventually arrived to Dr. Peter and LTEC after speaking with another LTEC faculty member who I found when looking for researchers at UHM interested in suicide and suicide prevention. My research interests are interdisciplinary to the core and I aim to do transformative and innovative scholarship while I am here. I prioritize intrinsically valuable scholarship and play/work, creating effective solutions to the present planetary crises, over careerist commitments to academia and degree any time there is actually a conflict between the two. That being said it is my current belief and hope that I can happen to get a degree (or two if I end up adding a concurrent MA in LTEC as I have been pondering) as a byproduct of doing the valuable work that I feel is my life’s purpose, namely creating radically transformational technologies for learning/living in harmony with the cosmic wisdom of “Earth.”
I look forward to delving deeper into all-the-worlds that abound when worlds upon worlds collide in our virtual encounters this semester and beyond.