Fellowship for Winter International Travel 2017
The Fellowship for Winter International Travel offers the chance to pursue a passion, a professional development experience, or a service opportunity - complementing Reed's rigorous academic offerings with the opportunity to develop new skills and expand beyond Reed, beyond the U.S. and into the world!
The program awards fellowships of up to $3000 to students to travel for approximately three weeks over winter break. Students have proposed projects to pursue that will expand their perspectives, foster multi-cultural competence, and involve a personal development component.
2017 and 2016 and project summaries
Kammy Chiu: Microfinance meets Venture Capital - Karachi, Pakistan
This winter, I will be joining Ahyan Panjwani ‘16 in Karachi, Pakistan to take our first step in establishing our long-term non-profit joint venture. Through our joint venture, Ahyan and I hope to create a financing infrastructure that empowers entrepreneurs to pursue innovative small business ideas that go beyond conventional business models typically financed by microfinance. During my trip to Karachi, I will i) assess entrepreneurial quality across generations, especially among female entrepreneurs, ii) identify regional-specific barriers to entry for small business entrepreneurs, iii) evaluate the feasibility of varied financial products proposed in the Economics literature aimed at easing credit constraints. With Ahyan’s expertise in economics and my recent experience in venture capital and private equity, we believe that we can initiate this passion project while improving the lives of others in a developing country. This micro-financing non-profit venture reflects my personal goals as an aspiring financier: advocacy for responsible investing.
Kate Ehrenberg: Transposing Tradition -The Mechanisms for Assigning Meaning to Organ Music in Paris, France
I aim to collect the stories of organs and the people who love them. The city of Paris is home to 249 organs, some of which date back to the 16th century. I plan to spend approximately three weeks Paris attending concerts, services, and masses, visiting various cathedrals, and researching the history organs in churches. I will collect a series of images, recordings, historical accounts, scholarly articles, written observations, and harmonic analyses of the pieces I hear. The organ is such a massively and expensive instrument that private individuals rarely own them, and thus they exist almost exclusively in public contexts, particularly non-secular contexts. Organ music is thus related metonymically to religion, carrying with it connotations of marriage and death, tradition, spectacle, and grandeur. I want to unwind these connotations and assess both their origins and how they have changed over time. Finally, I would like to follow up the project in Portland, interviewing Portland-based organists about their relationship to the instrument and their mechanisms for assigning value to it, to further assess how these connotations manifest across the boundaries of language and cultural context.
Alexandra Gomez-Lacayo: Spiritual Tourism in Diriomo, Nicaragua
There are many towns in Nicaragua that are known for their folk healers and spiritual advisers, colloquially known as “los pueblo de los brujos”. However, its most famous city is Diriomo, a small town populated with many brujos, hechiceros, adivinadores, and curanderos. These spiritual advisors can heal many aspects of a person’s life; money, health, love, and tensions between the natural and the supernatural. I plan to consult with multiple spiritual advisors to understand differing ontological orientations of the body, the body’s relationship to nature and outside energies. I am also interested in the performance of ‘witchcraft’, and how these practices have affected and been affected by historical, political, and socio-economic processes, such as the Sandinista revolution. Overall, I plan to compare and contrast inside and outside perspectives, and how brujeria has served as a possible veneer for colonial resistance, a vehicle for cultural preservation, as an alternative to Western medical practices, and currently as a commodity.
Felicia Jing: Propaganda in Beijing and Shanghai - Exploring Alternative Histories in State Museums in China
My parents fled to the United States in 1989 after the Tiananmen Student Massacre. Nearly thirty years later, information concerning the incident is still censored across China and limited by the Great Firewall. Public knowledge is constrained to official statements, state-issued textbooks and state-sponsored history museums. China scholars and students increasingly display a keen distrust of this official propaganda. However, distrust and dismissal risks obfuscating a key part of modern China. I will research the official “alternative” histories of China through state-sponsored museums in Beijing and Shanghai as well as their current reception by the Chinese public. I will be motivated by the following questions: How does China go about educating its citizenry on particularly sensitive events such as the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen? What is the public’s reception of these materials? My project will involve interviewing students about their confidence in official historical narratives as well as the relationship between Chinese institutions and truth. I will synthesize the insights I gain from this trip into a creative auditory presentation, in the form of a podcast, and share this with the Reed community.
Mayaki Kimba: Colonialism in Curaçaoan Memory - Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean
The history of slavery and colonization is far removed from the Dutch imagination. Growing up in the Netherlands, I mostly associated Curaçao—an island about 40 miles off the Venezuelan coast—with sunny vacations. Now, having recognized the role of the Netherlands in the Middle Passage and the subsequent subjugation of Black and Brown people, I am eager to explore the ways in which Dutch colonial history is remembered on what used to be a major slave trading post. Unlike the Netherlands, Curaçao contains physical manifestations of slavery in the form of plantations. I intend to visit these plantations—referred to as “landhuizen”—which now function as beach resorts, art galleries, restaurants and—in one case—a shopping mall. In visiting these “landhuizen,” I intend to explore how their contemporary use recognizes or obscures their traumatic histories. I also plan to visit museums and to compare how they preserve Afro-Curaçaoan heritage. By exploring the intersection of European, Caribbean, Latin American, Sephardic and African identities on Curaçao, I hope to better understand my identity as an African Dutchman, and to continue working with the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) to broaden the conversation about race at Reed with international perspectives.
Thomas Maude-Griffin: Writing in the Archive - Paris, France
I will travel to the Canary Islands to undertake intensive surfing training. The small archipelago off the coast of Western Africa is one of the few destinations that provide for an excellent opportunity to surf in December, due to its semi-tropical latitude and advantageous position as the recipient of waves churned up by storms raging farther north. During that time, I will also take a crash course in Spanish and Canarian culture, while hopefully not doing too much crashing on the reefs surrounding Fuerteventura. My project is all about learning to think on my feet, whether those feet are on a surfboard or navigating the market streets of a strange town in a foreign culture.
Rubi Vergara-Grindell: Violence and Shelter at the Mexico/Guatemala Border
I will volunteer for one month at La 72, a migrant shelter in Tenosique, Mexico, along the border of Mexico and Guatemala, which provides shelter, food, legal and medical aid to primarily Central American migrants heading to the United States. As a volunteer, I will be helping migrants settle into the shelter, conducting intake interviews, helping provide food and hygiene services, and participating in recreational activities. Throughout my stay, I will be looking at the connections between U.S. immigration policy and Mexican immigration enforcement, transnational border politics, and the legal negotiations of providing humanitarian aid to undocumented migrants. I hope to bring the insights I gain back to Reed in order to deepen conversations around immigration policy and enforcement that connect U.S. policy to continental processes and Portland immigration justice to transnational activism.
Shelby Williams: The Musical Comparative from Louisiana to Catalonia - Barcelona, Spain
My plan is to explore the connection between the music produced in Louisiana and the music produced in Barcelona. Both places were French colonies and their overlapping musical history is one that has rarely been explored by scholars. I will use my background in music to guide my evaluation of the two scenes. I will be comparing and contrasting several genres that prove themselves to be integral to the respective music scenes. I will also interview musicians to further understand their relationship to their craft and how their relationships might mirror each others'.
I will spend three weeks in Paris investigating three different forms of archives: the library, the museum, and the experiential. Inspired by Walter’s Benjamin’s Arcades Project, the goal of my project is to produce a set of written fragments as a form of research capable of accommodating the disparate phenomena particular to each ‘archive’. Above all, I want to learn how to practice non-traditional modes of research, following Benjamin’s idiosyncratic conception of ‘study’, which would entail questions of what ‘resources’ can be drawn upon in one’s thinking, and how identity/meaning can be derived despite (or because of) the inherent lacunae present in any archive. I see this project as a kind of dwelling-in of the necessarily fragmentary experience of travel, and in particular, an inhabitation of travel as displacement. First, I will visit Georges Bataille’s extensive archives in the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris’s archive of the city itself. Second, I will go to artistic, anthropological, and historic museums as a material basis for thinking through anachronism. Finally, I will explore the popular parts of the city itself (especially the Passage Choiseul as a point of contact with Benjamin) as an ever-changing experiential archive.
Lillyanne Pham: Communications, Journalism, and New Media in Prague, Czech Republic
I was raised by refugees who faced communication barriers in every aspect of their lives. My past has taught me the importance of concise and accessible information for marginalized groups to realize their potential and abilities. I hope to become an international news reporter, so I can work for people in areas without the freedom of speech, or press. This fellowship offers me the opportunity to take courses that focus on the impact of free-flow information on public opinion and social interactions in foreign countries. For three weeks, the CIEE Communications, New Media, and Journalism program will introduce multiple lenses of examining media on the streets of Prague. Their community has tackled the challenge of producing post-communist media. Hence, I will be exposed to a society whose public attitudes and policies were drastically affected by media. I need to develop my understanding of the practice of journalism to advocate and provide people with the resources to claim their human rights. The program would grant me the toolkit and an exceptional experience with major media companies at one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, allowing me to develop a stronger awareness of ethnic and religious sensitivities in Central-European context.
Jenna Routenberg: Surfing the Canary Islands
Thanh Chu: DIY and play-based education in Pune, India
My winter project is centered on “learning by doing” education, set in the context of the rural village Pabal in Pune, India. Vigyan Ashram, where I will volunteer, is an education center focused on teaching local villagers technical skills while engaging them in creating technologies that may solve their every day problems. I have always wanted to promote hands-on learning in my own home country, Vietnam, and will learn from this center how that ethos may be practiced in reality. The maker movement, combining the spirit of the old shop class with modern tech in local Do-It-Yourself spaces, has spread all over the world as fabrication technologies became highly accessible. This movement has proved to be relevant not only for engineering industries, but also for education. One learns to work independently, to be more self-sufficient, curious and creative, to embrace mistakes and to be more willing to take risks. Having worked at Free Geek and OMSI, and having used fabrication tools at the machine shop, I have had some basic maker skills necessary for this engagement. This experience can instill the autodidact ethos further into my own practice, and more importantly, allow me to learn how it applies to other people’s learning.
Cristopher Creech: Studying Soviet and Contemporary Russian Satire in Moscow, Russia
Over winter break I will travel to Moscow, Russia to develop my understanding of Russian culture, particularly concerning Russian literature. With this aim, I will focus specifically on the reverberations caused by Mikhail Bulgakov’s satirical epic The Master and Margarita. This novel was written at the height of the Great Terror (though published in 1967), and I plan to use it as a source of comparison to the current literary climate in Russia to gain a better understanding of how Bulgakov’s satire has set the baseline for modern Russian satire. To this end I will delve into the various resources on hand in Moscow; particularly the Bulgakov Museum and Mikhail Bulgakov Theatre (and participate in the various cultural excursions offered by these institutions). I also plan to visit other notable landmarks and cultural centers that pertain to Russian literary culture to ground my analysis in a broader context, for instance the Pushkin Museum, the Institute of Russian Realist Art, the Kremlin and Red Square.
Ashlee Fox: The meaning of food Buenos Aires, Argentina
Growing up, my dad often worked out of town. When we reunited after months apart, even though we had missed out on many aspects of each other’s lives, food was how we reconnected. We shared a passion for trying new cuisines and we joyfully bonded through food. I plan to combine my personal experiences and interests in the ways that other communities understand food, and travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina for twenty days in January to write a food blog. I will visit four restaurants recommended to me by a culinary student in Argentina, Siga la Vaca, La Cabrera, Tegui, and Elena. I will spend the rest of the trip experiencing cuisine as I encounter it at food stands, markets, and restaurants.
In my Cherokee community, our traditional foods are ignored by mainstream society. Because of this, I am interested in the way food culture can both ignore the foods of marginalized communities, yet also exploit them. My food blog will reflect on the tremendous cuisine of Buenos Aires, and also consider the economic, social, and cultural implications of food on various communities within the city, including traditionally marginalized groups.
Annelise Hill: Scuba Diving and Marine Conservation in Honduras
Coral reef ecosystems are fragile and are being threatened and damaged around the globe by climate change, ocean acidification, and human practices. While the decline of the Great Barrier Reef is well known, the health of the second largest barrier reef is less publicized. For my project, I would travel to Roatan, Honduras to learn to scuba dive and work on reef conservation on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The Roatan Marine Park is an organization that aims to promote a sustainable reef that is ecologically healthy as well as supportive of the livelihoods of those who rely on it. The group manages the Sandy Bay - West End Marine Reserve, a marine protected area, and implements a range of environmental conservation, education, and infrastructure projects. I will get experience in non-profit work as well as environmental work and exposure to an array of environmental projects. I will spend my days assisting on a coral gardening project as well as environmental education. This project will allow me to develop a new skill, get experience working with an environmental non-profit, and give back to the environment.
Savannah Hugueley: Broken Hands Play Guitars - Exploring Human Rights in Chile through Music
With the democratic election of Salvador Allende, the Nueva Canción—or Chilean New Song—Movement emerged, mixing Andean music styles with socially conscious, and politically driven, lyrics. The 1973 Chilean coup, which introduced the military dictatorship of General Pinochet, forced the whole musical movement to go underground by banning many traditional Andean instruments and killing musicians of the movement, namely Víctor Jara. To stop him from being able to play guitar, a soldier broke Víctor’s hands; however, the sound of Nueva Canción only spread further throughout Latin America, becoming a platform for political protest. As information continues to emerge about the human rights violations of Pinochet’s dictatorship, Nueva Canción has persisted and new politically driven styles of music have emerged and grown under the re-birth of democracy in 1989. For my project, I plan to travel to Valaparaíso and Santiago, Chile to visit museums and historic sites dedicated to the lives lost in human rights abuses of the rightist military regime. Through a combination of recordings and small interviews, I will experience the re-emerging music scene of Chile, and the ways in which it continues to incorporate the style and hope of Nueva Canción.
Kristina Kutateli: History, Memory, and Identity in the Republic of Georgia
There are few places in the world where history and memory are as politicized as they are in Georgia—in 2009, a WWII memorial in Kutaisi was destroyed by the government and replaced with a parliamentary building. Meant to be a reclamation of national history from the old Soviet framework, the destruction was met by hundreds of protesters. The project went on regardless, and while the destruction indeed represented for many the turning of a new, more democratic era, this instance is emblematic of the complicated nature of memory in Georgia. For my project, I will attempt to capture this complexity through photography and a series of essays. I will explore the ways in which identity manifests in places of memory across Georgia—from state-sanctioned monuments and national museums; to thousand-year-old cathedrals and monasteries; to the ritual of supra and toast-making; to family mantels, collections, and photo-albums. How do concepts of history, memory, and identity shift across these different contexts, cities, and generations? I will visit four cities in all—Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital; Kutaisi, Georgia’s legislative capital; Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin; and Kaspi, the birthplace of my father.
Annabelle McCall: Exploring Artist Books through Time, London, England
I will spend two weeks in London researching the history and current state of artist books. Artist books are exciting because they can be high-craft illustrated manuscripts, avant-garde publications that function outside of the art world, unreadable sculptural objects, or anything in-between. I begin my research at William Morris' estate, Red House, and in the British Library's Special Collections. Then, I will travel across London visiting a variety of contemporary cultural spaces including alternative makers spaces, galleries, independent publishing presses, bookshops, and pop ups. I will gather a wealth of information about artist books from the Industrial Era and its backlash in the Art and Crafts Movement all the way up to Contemporary Practices.
Sarah Racz: Buckling Instabilities in Barred Galaxies, Lancashire, England
I propose to work at the University of Central Lancashire with Professor Victor Debattista to continue research I have already been involved in with Professor Johnny Powell here at Reed. N-body simulations allow us to model large-scale structures of the universe and develop theories about them. Using data from N-body simulations I will look at buckling instabilities in barred galaxies, to try to determine more about their structure. Bars are found in 2/3 of all spiral galaxies, our own Milky Way is itself a barred spiral. More interestingly only 20% of old spiral galaxies have bars, while 70% of new ones do, so it is certainly something that peaks interest. It has been previously determined through simulations done by Prof. Victor Debattista that boxy-peanut-shaped bulges in galaxies are correlated with asymmetries that reflect these instabilities. I hope to add to a theory that will explain the relationship between this kind of bulge and the asymmetry that gives evidence for the buckling instability.
Noah Radetsky: Neuroscience in Barcelona, Spain
As a student fascinated by both neuroscience and Spanish, my interests don't often intersect. This fellowship offers an unprecedented opportunity to combine my passions and exponentially increase my proficiency and knowledge in both areas. The Barcelona Brain Lab, a cognitive research group associated with the University of Barcelona, is a small group of highly accomplished neuroscientists who investigate the mysteries of the brain using the latest technology. My dream is to be a researcher of the brain--grappling with complex questions and using sophisticated equipment to find the answers. As a first-generation college student and a gender minority in the STEM fields, this opportunity to observe and study in a real neuroscience lab would provide me with the knowledge, experience, and role models I need to succeed. I would have the rare experience of learning about the brain in an entirely different context--in a different culture, a different language, and in a completely different region of the world. I will travel to Barcelona and serve as an intern/undergraduate researcher alongside Carlos Escera, the leader of the group, for three weeks, all while being immersed in the Spanish language and interacting everyday with incredibly learned neuroscientists from around the world.
Mical Yohannes: Learning Arabic and Exploring Refugee Integration Efforts in Morocco
As an Eritrean refugee, I hope to pursue a career in healthcare to tackle disparities in health faced by refugee communities. As of February 2016, the Moroccan Red Crescent reported that Morocco has more than 100,000 refugees, so I will travel through northwestern Morocco to get a better understanding of how Morocco is managing the influx of refugees. I will participate in a two week intensive Modern Standard Arabic language program at the Qalam wa’ L Center in Rabat, Morocco. I will also be attending two excursions per week to historic sites, cultural lessons after class, and living with a Moroccan host family, all of which are offered by the Qalam wa’L Center. I will spend the rest of my time traveling from Rabat to Taroudant, Morocco, to interview volunteers at the Moroccan Children’s Trust, a non-profit organization that operates a street outreach program that provides a school program, access to healthcare, leadership opportunities, and recreational activities for children and families, including refugee families, living on the streets. This experience will supplement my interest and experience in biomedical research with a more holistic perspective for understanding the health and wellbeing of refugee communities.