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Stephanie Madden: 2008-09

Mission Statement

As the 2008-2009 Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow, I will be traveling to diverse countries throughout the world to explore what freedom means on an international, regional, country, community, and individual level. Throughout my year of travel, my approach to discovering what freedom means in an international context will involve independent travel and observation, interviewing and shadowing individuals in academic, non-profit, religious, journalistic, corporate, and governmental sectors, and working with organizations concerned with issues such as democracy, women’s rights, human rights, the environment, economics, international development, free press, and free speech. I will observe how factors such as rural and urban environments, socio-economic differences, immigration, gender, and occupation affect conceptions of freedom. I hope to learn how freedom is conceptualized, to learn how freedom is promoted and what pressing concerns about freedom exist around the globe.

Through a comparative analysis of international conceptions of freedom, I seek to expand my own perspective of what freedom means, as well as the perspectives of others who will be following my progress. My goal is not to spread American ideals of freedom to foreign lands, but to instead learn what different countries and cultures have to say about freedom, and by understanding what freedom means to different populations, finding pro-active ways to help those in developing nations to promote and obtain those freedoms.


  • June 13-20: Boston
  • June 20-23: New York
  • August 10-September 30: India
  • October 1-October 7: Singapore
  • October 7-November 4: Thailand
  • November 5-November 23: South Korea
  • November 23-December 4: Hong Kong
  • December 4-December 14: China
  • December 14-January 20: Germany
  • January 21-March 15: Uganda
  • March 15-April 27: South Africa
  • April 27-May 4: Lesotho
  • May 4-May 17: South Africa
  • May 17-June 5: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
  • June 9-18: Ireland
  • July 18-August: Washington D.C.