Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Xoe Amer

Photo of Xoe Amer

Comparative History of Ideas with Departmental Honors


2015 Fellows

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Travel Locations: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan

Travel objectives: Xoe will be travelling through Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. She has never before been outside of the West Coast. As a barista, she is compelled by the global dynamics of the coffee trade, especially as it reifies histories of colonialism and migration. As a poet, she is compelled by the poetry, literature, and folk music of each region and their roots in community life. She hopes to find some insight into the pieces of art and culture from these regions that have been so significant in her own life so far from their places of origin, and consider how this kind of interconnectedness manifests in other places, in others’ lives.

Alumni Reflections

How did the Bonderman impact your life?

“I hadn’t been outside the west coast ever, or had a break from school and work since I was 14 years old. The experience of solo travel was empowering and paradigm-shifting in terms of what was possible for me, in my own life, which I believe lent itself to join socialist organizing efforts here in Seattle and taking more ownership of the place I live when I returned.”

What are you doing now?

“The aforementioned socialist organizing has been a big part of my life since traveling. I wish I had been more politicized before I left, but every experience builds on itself. I currently work as an admin in medical research and plan to apply to the UW’s MSW program.”