Thursday, January 13, 2011

University of Texas, El Paso

From Lisa Napoli, the author of the upcoming book Radio Shangri-La, this video takes a quick look at the odd, long-standing connection between the Kingdom of Bhutan and the University of Texas, El Paso.

About Lisa Napoli:
I'm a journalist (my last job was with the public radio show, Marketplace) who got a chance to go to Bhutan in 2007 to help with the start of a radio station there. I fell in love with the place, as many people do. After my first six-week trip there, I was back home in Los Angeles, and I heard about the UTEP-Bhutan connection from Kurt and Pamela Meyer, who collected the photos of John Claude White in a book several years ago---photos that inspired UTEP's unusual architectural lineage. Later, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival of 2008, which celebrated both Bhutan and Texas, I had the pleasure of meeting many "Miners," and then visiting the school myself.

I write about this whole fascinating connection in my new book, Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth , which will be published by Crown in less than a month! If anyone out there knows more about Kathleen Worrell, the woman who convinced her husband 100 years ago into making the school in El Paso look Bhutanese, I'd be so grateful to hear from them.

NOTE: Texas Architect published an article on UTEP's campus in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of the magazine. Click here to read that article.

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