Alumni & Parents
May 5-20, 2012 (rescheduled from January)
The Reed alumni office and Russian department are happy to announce our next Russia tour, scheduled for May 5-20, 2012.
This year, in addition to our usual thorough coverage of Russia's extraordinary museums, performance halls, and historical sites, we will give special attention to its rich literary legacy, visiting Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy's estate south of Moscow, as well as his home in Moscow and the museum apartments in Moscow and Petersburg of other important figures, including Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Anna Akhmatova. We will also make an overnight excursion from Petersburg to Novgorod the Great, Russia's oldest city and the home of some of its most beautiful medieval architecture.
Besides a carefully designed itinerary of exceptional richness, the program will include lectures on Russian history and culture by the tour leader, former Reed Russian professor Judson Rosengrant, and local experts. The tour requires no knowledge of the Russian language and is open to anyone interested in learning directly about Russia, its complex history and culture, and its place in the modern world.
For complete information, contact Dr. Rosengrant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503/880-9521.
October 29-November 3, 2011
This trip is full; let us know if you'd be interested in future excursions!
Join our local tequila expert and Mexico guide, Clayton Szczech '00, as he serves up a series of distinctive experiences created with Reedies in mind. A fun, edifying trip that will interest history and culture buffs, lovers of fine spirits, foodies, and amateur or recovering anthropologists. The weather will be fantastic.
This trip will explore the Tequila region of central Jalisco during the Day of the Dead holiday. We will explore beautiful colonial Guadalajara, the picturesque blue agave landscape, the quaint village of Tequila (founded 1530) and its historic distilleries. The itinerary includes two UNESCO World Heritage sites and will feature presentations by experts from the University of Guadalajara, the Tequila Regulatory Council, and master distillers and craftspeople. (These people loved the exclusive access on a previous trip!)
The region is quintessential Mexico, steeped in tradition, ritual, and hospitality. Guadalajara (the "Pearl of the West" and Portland's sister city) is home to the masterworks of José Clemente Orozco (the "Mexican Michelangelo"), the architecturally anomalous Metropolitan Cathedral, a genuine Catholic relic, the largest public market in the Western Hemisphere, and skilled artisans making textiles, ceramics, glass and more.
Tequila is an essential element of modern Mexican identity, a physical representation of the mestizo culture, fusing the indigenous cult of the agave with Hispano-Moorish distilling technology. The eponymous village is charming, laid-back, and incredibly welcoming. We will be honored guests at four distilleries, from the oldest in the Americas to recent start-ups, from industrial giants to a fifth-generation distiller making tequila the same way his great-great grandfather did in the late 19th century. The latter gentleman will also host us and other guests at an incredible costume party at his family estate, and at the tomb of his ancestors on the holiday itself. We will visit several historic cemeteries as Day of the Dead is celebrated.
Day of the Dead is a pre-Hispanic holiday with roots going back millennia. As in Catholic-conquered regions the word over, the indigenous Mexicans synthesized the teachings, holidays, and demigods of the Church with their own. The modern incarnation of Día de los Muertos is unmistakably both Catholic and indigenous. Celebrants express the distinctive Mexican attitude towards death with elaborate altars to the departed, ubiquitous representations of skulls and La Catrina, masses, parties, and theater.
For more information, send email to Clayton at email@example.com or call 503/841-1739 by Monday, August 1!