The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Fellowship for Winter International Travel Awardees

The Fellowship for Winter International Travel offers the chance to pursue a passion, a professional development experience, or a service opportunitycomplementing 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.  

2019 Project Summaries

Alisa Chen: Accessible Hiking, Community Building, and Language Learning in Taiwan and Hong Kong

I went hiking for the first time over the weekend of my 16th birthday and have since worked on trail crews in Alaska and Vermont; to me, there’s a certain beauty in the specific types of collaboration that happen in the outdoors. During my weeks in Taiwan and Hong Kong, I will go on daily group hikes through various hiking clubs, meeting locals and exploring trails across the islands. I plan to better understand why hiking, especially volunteer-organized group hiking, is so prominent in these places. As I hike, I will listen to others’ stories about how they engage with wilderness, while also investigating how both the culture around hiking and the physical trail are more or less accessible than outdoors spaces I’ve enjoyed and worked on in the US.

Through this experience, I will build relationships and further my studies in Mandarin and Cantonese, while focusing on what exactly makes collaborative hiking so successful in Taiwan and HK.

Anna Volz: Quiet Transformations—Empowering Marginalized Communities Through Health Partnerships

My project will center on England’s National Health Service, and the Sustainability and Transformation Partners (STPs) they interface with, in order to better understand the interactions between the institutional body, the community health partner, and the individual. When organizational systems fail to sufficiently support those they serve, communities rise up to fill the gap. This is especially evident in mental healthcare, where chronically underserved populations are often responsible for developing strategies to meet their needs. To explore this idea, I will travel to London to gain a sense of how the treatment of eating disorders is being accomplished on the community level by STPs. I will use the insights gained in this analysis to provide recommendations to student-led mental health groups at Reed that, like the community partners in England, are functioning within institutional constraints to serve vulnerable populations.

Ashley San Miguel: Generational and Institutional Memory after Peru's 20 Year Conflict

The armed conflict between Sendero Luminoso and the Peruvian State has always been a part of Peruvian history and my family history that I didn’t understand. I have only recently begun to understand why my family and other Peruvians around me refuse to speak about it. My project is to travel to Peru and visit two museums that commemorate the deaths and disappearances that resulted from the 20-year conflict between Sendero Luminoso and the Peruvian state. Furthermore, this project allows me to reconnect with my family and my roots by listening to them and visiting Ayacucho, the place of violence and the home of my great grandparents. With this project, I will be examining the creation of institutional memory and politics behind claiming trauma, tragedy, and violence. As a first-generation Peruvian-American, I hope that this project will deepen my understanding of my identity and family history as well as inform my work as a researcher for the Reed History Project and as a political science major.

Ben Read: El Duende—Poetry and Dance in Southern Spain

This winter, I will travel to Spain to learn about the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and el duende. Lorca describes el duende as a creative power, a personal struggle which most often appears in music, dance, and poetry. I am a poet and a dancer interested in the intersection of the academic and artistic, so I want to both study and experience el duende. To think about the “theory” of el duende, I will travel to Lorca’s hometown, Granada, visiting the archive at the Centro Federico Garcia Lorca and translating his writing. To engage in the “play” or practice of duende, I will attend flamenco performances and tango milongas in Granada, Málaga, and Valencia. In each step of this project, I will bring together this theory and play into my own creative practice of dancing and writing, incorporating the regional and cultural specificity of flamenco and the wild spirit of el duende into both the practice and the product of my poetry. Expanding both the linguistic and stylistic borders of my writing, I will write a short collection of my own poetry in both Spanish and English inspired by Lorca’s work and the “dark sounds” of the music and dance.

David Kerry: Tiocfaidh ár lá (Our Day Will Come)—Following the Dream of an Independent Ireland

My winter travel project is centered around exploring the history of republicanism and armed resistance in Ireland, particularly in the 20th century. I would like to start in Dublin, visiting the major sites of the Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence. Almost all of the locations have either historical markers or museums/local organizations that I will visit to gain an understanding of popular consciousness surrounding these events. From Dublin I will travel to Northern Ireland, visiting the major sites of the Troubles in Belfast and Derry and speaking with former combatants. While traveling, I will be reading major works, such as Richard English's “Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA”, to understand the background for the Irish reckoning with English colonial dominance.
I am mixed race and have focused almost exclusively on studying the effects of American colonialism on half of my ancestors, Native Americans, and this project is an attempt to extend that same kind of understanding to my Irish ancestors, who also fought against a form of colonial oppression, often with brutal, violent reprisals.

Isabelle Sinclair: And Not Under the Cover of a Foreign Sky… Akhmatova’s Requiem and the Memory of Imprisonment in St. Petersburg

As a person who is dedicated to exploring Russian culture, I want to step into the life of Anna Akhmatova, a Russian poet who bore witness to several of Russia’s most enduring hardships of the 20th century. Last year I fell in love with her poetic language and started translating her monumental work Requiem on my own. I will travel to St. Petersburg, where I can work with the leading professors in literature and poetry at Reed’s sister college, Smolny, to refine my translation and my skill as a translator. As a Russian major who has never yet travelled to Russia, this is an opportunity for me to fully understand what I’ve learned here at Reed, and to see the first poem I fell in love with become my first professional translation.

Beyond learning in the academic setting, I will learn in immersion—language and culture together can be a transformational experience. I will create a short, dual-language anthology which will be composed of dialogues between myself and others I meet, centered around the theme of memory. I will attend live poetry readings, visit memorials and historical sites, socialize and explore the cultural development of modern-day St. Petersburg.

Jules Oh: Flavor of the Land—A Culinary Exploration of Rural Korea

One way to say a food is delicious in Korean is to say that it has son mat: literally, “hand flavor”. Traditional Korean cuisine is a labor of love, with a rich history and a surprising diversity for such a small country; a reflection of South Korea’s six provinces, each with their own agricultural roots and distinct regional ingredients and dishes. As Korea becomes increasingly modernized and urban, however, Korea’s farming communities and the foods they eat are now increasingly hard to find. As a second-generation Korean in diaspora and a professional cook, trying to resuscitate the foods and flavors from my childhood in my own kitchen has become a pet project, but the hyper-local nature of Korean regional cuisines means that there are countless dishes I can’t find or learn to cook here in the US.

In order to experience these foods firsthand, I will travel to South Korea and spend time in each of Korea’s six provinces, experiencing rural food in the spaces that farming life happens: the local restaurant, the marketplace, and the Buddhist temple. With special attention to regional ingredients, I will learn to cook a dish from each region, and develop a recipe that can be followed by others. Upon my return, I will host a communal meal highlighting some of the unique ingredients and dishes I encountered in my travels, for the Reed community to enjoy.

Linda Johnson: Filling Blank Spaces—Where Does Blackness Belong in Brazil?

Growing up attending predominately white schools, my parents taught me the importance of supplementing my education with a variety of perspectives. As a black student, I quickly learned how many voices are left out of mainstream education. Although the quality of my education has dramatically increased over time, I continue to independently aggregate information. Recently, my studies have been focused on the changing landscape of blackness in Brazil. I have found that engaging with theories on anti-black racism in the region has aided me in investigating questions of my own belonging in the United States. With my WITF, I hope to do the important work of connecting theory with emotion, and present the product to the Reed community. I will travel to São Paulo to compose an autoethnography documenting the treatment black people can face in majority white environments. This autoethnography will allow me to formally examine how black people are made to feel unwelcome in these spaces. I will produce a work that examines the feelings that can stem from racial discrimination. By relating feelings to scholarship, I will add my voice to my studies and challenge my readers to consider the personal effects of racism.

Maria Wilkerson: Relearning Storytelling Through Sicilian Puppet Theater

Òpira dî pupi, or opera of the puppets, is a traditional style of marionette puppetry that is performed by theater troupes throughout Sicily. The performances often retell Frankish poems and Italian cantàri centered around Medieval historical and religious figures, and also feature both a storyteller who speaks and a soloist who sings along. For my project, I will be traveling to the cities of Catania, Syracuse and Palermo, where the most prominent òpira dî pupi troupes are located, to learn about the history of puppetry in Sicily and to develop an acting workshop based on their movement and storytelling. Through learning about this Sicilian cultural practice, I will find new ways of telling stories in theater that don’t revolve around text or script-based acting.

Max Teaford: Discovering, Speaking, Situating Mixtec

Over 100,000 Mexican immigrants to the U.S. are native speakers of Mixtec—not Spanish—and many of them do not speak Spanish at all. Thus a significant number of Mexican immigrants to Oregon are discluded from broad assistance and activism efforts.

I will travel to Oaxaca, Mexico—the homeland of Mixtec—where I will take classes in the Mixtec language and develop a holistic understanding of the region. I will travel around the state to understand its histories and settings that force so many people northwards. I aim to situate Mixtec within its complex and multilingual native social fabric, and then to compare this with the present situation in Oregon.

Upon return to the U.S., I will volunteer with Piñeros Y Campesinos del Noroeste (PCUN) in Woodburn, Oregon—a farmworkers' advocacy group whose services support Oregon’s Mixtec-speaking population. Through working with PCUN, I will apply what I’ll have learned in Oaxaca and gain an understanding of the situation of Mixtec immigrants in Oregon. Comparison between both situations will ultimately shed light on the relationships between language, identity, and migration.

Patrick Park: Post-Fukushima Nuclear Safety in Korea

I will be working at Seoul National University with Professor Youho Lee. I am investigating how the 2011 Fukushima incident affected nuclear safety research in Korea, which only has two research reactors to experimentally validate new predictions. In comparison, there are 31 research reactors in the United States (including Reed!). However, surprisingly, South Korea is a leading producer of modern reactor designs. In 2018, Korea’s flagship APR-1400 reactor became the newest model approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for American construction. The APR-1400 is an ironic development in a country largely gripped by fear of nuclear power after Fukushima. With only two research reactors, a disproportionate amount of Korean nuclear research focuses on using theoretical modeling programs to produce commercial designs. So, Prof. Lee’s Nuclear Fuel Design and Safety Lab members will be interviewed and their research methods documented. What kind of programs do they utilize? How do they ensure their theoretical models can produce safe reactors? How has Fukushima changed their research direction? I hope to spend two weeks obtaining first-hand accounts from Korean research staff on how their lab approaches post-Fukushima nuclear safety via detailed modeling, and another week consolidating the media for presentation at Reed.