Writer + Instructor 

 Community Arts Activist



MULTI-VERSES Seminar: Mapping Our Immigrant Origin Stories

Americans learn that Ellis Island represents the classic story of early twentieth century immigration. In the later part of that century however, immigration is characterized by the effects of, and resistance to, colonialism, imperialism and neoliberalism painting a different kind of American narrative and a more complicated story to tell. In this way, an immigrant story can defy the classic “universal” narrative and becomes a way to express shifting identities that transcend nationality, a sense of “becoming” while perhaps never fully arriving: a multidimensional, multiversal origin story.

In a special one-day workshop designed for the DVAN community, participants will explore the markers to the narrative map of their immigrant origin story. We’ll examine the concept of the ‘origin story’ as an inherited narrative of our ethnic and cultural origins, or as the inciting moments that carve our identity/identities.

This is an ideal seminar for artists of any genre or medium who identify as first- or second-generation immigrants; it is also open to anyone of a marginalized identity or interest in interrogating those stories that make us. Participants will come away with a narrative mapping of their origin stories to help deepen their artistic practice.

About the Instructor:

H’Rina DeTroy is a writer & educator in Brooklyn. She was a 2019 Emerging Writer Fellow at Aspen Word and her essay, The Vengeance of Elephants, was selected by Roxane Gay for the 2017 Curt Johnson Prose Award in Creative Nonfiction.

A dedicated instructor, she has taught fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction to undergraduates at Hunter College and New Jersey City University. Her writing focuses on cross-cultural memoir and personal essays, and attempts to capture the puzzling experience of growing up biracial and American, while having a mother from a remote central highlands tribe in Vietnam.


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