Travel Talk

Each month in the fall and spring the World Affairs Council Tacoma presents Travel Talk, a series featuring provocative speakers, fascinating countries, and important issues from around the globe.

Both members and the public are invited to attend Travel Talk free of charge. All talks are hosted by Annie Wright Schools in Tacoma unless otherwise noted. Click here for directions to Annie Wright Schools.

Each presentation will begin at 7:00 PM and run until roughly 8:30 PM. Click show details on the events below to learn more about our upcoming events!

Upcoming Talks

    • Wednesday, October 18, 2017
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • The Great Hall, Annie Wright Schools, Tacoma WA 98403

    Saint Basil's Cathederal

    Jeff first traveled to Russia in 2010 with a fellow Saint Martin's professor and a group of students before returning in 2013 as a Fulbright Scholar. He lived and taught at Petrozavodsk State University (an overnight train ride northeast from St. Petersburg). He met no politicians on his travels (well, a couple of mayors), but did meet and work with everyday Russians. He will show slides from his trip, including a side trip to Chernobyl and Ukraine at the start of the civil unrest, and discuss his experiences in this often misunderstood country.

    Jeff Birkenstein is a professor in and previous chair of the Department of English at Saint Martin's University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2003; he has a second MA in TESOL/EFL, also from Kentucky. His major interests lie in American and world short stories; food; and, cultural criticism, especially post-9/11 narratives.

    • Wednesday, November 15, 2017
    • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    • CHANGED LOCATION: Tacoma Community College, Bldg #16, 6501 S 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466

    Please note the location for this Travel Talk has changed to Tacoma Community College! Scroll down for further information.Taiwanese Marketplace

    Prof. Will McGuire visited Taiwan in the summer of 2017 as part of an academic delegation organized by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before his trip, he had always viewed Taiwan through the lens of international disputes about China’s claim over the island. This trip showed him how Taiwanese people see themselves and their nation. Prof. McGuire will share his experiences visiting major tourist sites and meeting government officials and politicians from both major parties. Most importantly, he will share his new perspective on Taiwan: a small island that has built a vibrant democracy and its own national identity in the shadow of China’s rise to a world power.

    Will McGuire is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Prof. McGuire joined the faculty at UWT after completing his graduate work at the Ohio State University. His specialty is the Chinese economy, but he has also worked on environmental sustainability and local governance in the South Puget Sound.

    You can view directions to TCC and a campus map here.

    You can park in any unmarked stall - please do not park in staff parking!

    • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • The Great Hall, Annie Wright Schools, Tacoma WA 98403

    Colorful photo of a temple in Myanmar at sunset

    This was a trip back in time at a moment when Myanmar was pivoting on change. It was eleven months before the 2015 election, an auspicious time for the country where little had changed for the ordinary person.

    Because she couldn't travel during her career, Paula Varner started traveling immediately on retirement. She sees no need to stop or slow down. She takes a plethora of photographs and puts them into books and DVD video files chronicling her trips. "That way," she says, "when I'm in my dotage and can no longer go, I can go again in my books and videos!" Her travel is for fun and learning and she especially enjoys meeting people, learning about how they live and capturing the memory of the privilege of having been there. Words to live by: "Travel is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer!"

Past events

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Travel Talk: From There to Here: International Students Journey to the United States
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 Travel Talk: The Adventures and Wisdom from a Gap Year Student
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Travel Talk: Travel with Restriction: Iran
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 Travel Talk: Travel With Purpose
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 Travel Talk: Here, There and Back Again
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Travel Talk: Antarctica: Cleaning Up After Science
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Travel Talk: Morocco: The Muslim Kingdom by the Sea
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Travel Talk: Indian Ocean: Scientific Expedition
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Travel Talk: Slovakia: Little Tiger of Europe
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 Travel Talk: Nepal Service and Study Tour
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Travel Talk: “Inside Cuba: An In-depth Island Journey"
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Travel Talk: “Finland: A Personal Reflection"
Thursday, January 21, 2016 Travel Talk: “The Lost World of Venezuela"
Wednesday, December 09, 2015 Travel Talk: "Elves to Equality: A Journey Through Iceland"
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Travel Talk: Orphans Africa: Tacoma to Tanzania
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Travel Talk: Nicaragua: An Appreciative Inquiry Perspective
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 Travel Talk: Diplomacy 101: Running In China
Thursday, May 21, 2015 Travel Talk: Traveling to Save the World
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Travel Talk: My Life as an Older Peace Corps Volunteer
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Travel Talk: Maternal Care in India
Thursday, January 22, 2015 Travel Talk: My Travels Through Museums Around the World
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Travel Talk: Around the Table: Supporting Women In Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Travel Talk: Working from Anywhere in the World
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 Travel Talk: The Penguin Glow

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