Development & Poverty

Requiems of the past: the lingering effects of American military actions in Southeast Asia

By Carl Taylor, B.A. program alumnus.

Insight from Southeast Asia.

When you travel, each city is a requiem of the past and present. In three months, I made my way from […]

February 7th, 2014|Categories: Southeast Asia|Tags: , , , |

Oxford: Home of lost causes or progressive ideas?

By Rebekah Kennel, B.A. program student.

Insight from Oxford, England.

I’ve been in the UK nearly three months now. I’ve settled in the city of Oxford where the dreaming spires exude the city’s haunting beauty, ancient intellectualism, and sacred atmosphere. It’s easy to think in these nostalgic narratives, Oxford is so beautiful. Though, reviews in the past have been mixed. Here are a couple opinions I find rather concerning:
“Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!” – Matthew Arnold
“The real Oxford is a close corporation of jolly, untidy, lazy, good-for-nothing humorous old men, who have been electing their own successors ever since the world began and who intend to go on with it.” – C.S. Lewis

November 6th, 2012|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , , |

Desarrollo a La Chilena, Quilpué

By Julian Fellerman, B.A. program alumnus.

Insight from Quilpué, Chile.

As the product of the Jackson School, which encourages its students to be “global citizens” and “critical thinkers” regarding issues on the world agenda, I have not been able to help but analyze my surroundings here in Chile with a corresponding mindset. Past academic courses touching on the familiar themes of economic growth, development, industrialization, protecting indigenous rights, among others, have all subtlety influenced the way I view my surroundings here in Chile. The main impetus to writing this piece was the desire to understand “development” from a variety of angles and viewpoints. Along these lines, by way of my current position teaching English in Chile, living with a host-family, casually conversing with people in my town regarding the quotidian matters impacting the lives of ordinary, every-day people, I have been afforded the unique opportunity to gain an on-the-ground perspective of development to contrast with my previous assumptions, the majority of which have been fostered through reading numerous articles and books on the subject.


October 5th, 2012|Categories: South America|Tags: , , , |

The City of Lights No More, Karachi

By Nabeeha Chaudhary, M.A. student.

Insight from Karachi, Pakistan.

I have been back home in Karachi for more than a month now–Ramazan passed, Pakistan’s Independence Day passed, Eid-ul-Fitr came and went, the weather got hotter and wedding season began. The only thing that remains constant every time I step out of the house is the amount of people shopping. High end malls keep opening up, people are packed into the shopping centers and buying as if they will never get the chance to do so again. Prices have soared but shops seem to have gotten fuller. A new mall is under construction in the very spot that Mid East Hospital stood a few years ago. I knew it was coming (the hospital was sold back in 2005) but it is still an unpleasant shock to see the building converted and plastered with images of shops and restaurants “coming soon.” How can you tear down a fully functioning hospital, especially in a city where there are already not enough, to build a mall? This a question I keep repeating to myself but have no answer for.


September 16th, 2012|Categories: South Asia|Tags: , , , |

The Cool Mountain Educational Fund, Yangjuan

By Stevan Harrell, Professor.

Insight from Yangjuan, China.

Previously on the Cool  Mountain Educational Fund blog as: We’re making a difference; Three future teachers; and 113,000 RMB in scholarships find grateful recipients.

Thus far in 2012, I have taken several trips to China as part of my work as head of the Cool Mountain Education Fund, a non-profit organization working to support education in Nuosu Yi communities in China.  The Cool Mountain Educational Fund works to increase enrollment of graduates from Yangjuan Primary School, way up in the Cool Mountains of southern Sichuan, in middle school, high school, college, and trade schools.  To do this, we provide scholarships to all qualifying students.

In April of this year, I was joined by Sichuan University Students and UW exchange members Zhang Yin and Huang Wenlan for a 3-1/2 hour bus ride through lush and drizzly Sichuan countryside, on a freeway so smooth I could write in my field notebooks on the ride, to Deng Xiaoping’s hometown of Guang’an, where we arrived around noon to find Yangjuan graduates Qubi Lisan, Ma Xiaoyang, and Li Musa waiting for us at the bus station; we hopped a city bus to the College, not far out of town, where we had lunch at a little restaurant outside the campus gate, and caught up with the students’ doings.


September 11th, 2012|Categories: East Asia|Tags: , , , , |

lady business: notes towards a methodology, Kagbere

By Julie Mendel, B.A. student.

Insight from Kagbere, Sierra Leone.

Previously: On Hunger & Loving Humans & Manifesto (For Clarke Speed)

I. Sell

Sento is twenty-seven years old, maybe twenty-eight. She’s got a figure, a voice, a hairdo, and an attitude that all say city instead of village, Los Angeles instead of rural Sierra Leone. Mostly, it’s her attitude. [1] Sento’s confidence is inexplicable, an anachronism; like many other things about the lives of women I know in Kagbere, it seems all but impossible. Keyword being but. Because Sento is there, on that porch, wearing a fitted t-shirt and enormous silver earrings, selling someone a packet of sugar or laughing with some man on a motorbike, radiating confidence the entire time. Impossible, but possible. […]

January 6th, 2012|Categories: West Africa|Tags: , , , |