Dr. Joanna Hubbs, president and senior editor of www.Transitionsabroad.com,
has been helping select and edit copy for the website since 2007
after the passing of her late husband, Dr.
Clay Hubbs, the visionary founder and publisher of
Transitions Abroad magazine in 1977.
In 2006 she retired as professor of Russian cultural studies at Hampshire College where she had taught since 1971 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Washington. She received a prestigious Woodrow Wilson fellowship to pursue her doctoral studies.
Though offered teaching positions by many of the most prestigious
traditional institutions of higher learning upon completion of
her PhD in Russian Studies, Joanna was drawn to maverick Hampshire
College due to its very strong stated commitment to free
speech and social activism within the unique context of the
5-college consortium in Amherst, Massachusetts. Hubbs
was one of the first faculty members hired at the college to
help build a community of teachers and students—an
environment in which learning, discussion, and debate would
go on easily and continually, formally and informally, in the
classroom and out.
Hubbs has written on topics ranging from alchemy to Russian folklore and literature. Her book Mother Russia: The Feminine Myth in Russian Culture is an interpretive study of Russian history from prehistoric times to the present. For her work, Joanna received the 1989 Heldt Prize for Excellence from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies.
Joanna was married for 48 years to former Air Force jet pilot,
journalist, professor and
study abroad advisor Dr.
Clay Hubbs, who left Hampshire College to found,
publish, and edit Transitions Abroad magazine. The
couple lived and traveled all over the world, most often as
nomads, and their son, Gregory
Hubbs, continues to enhance and expand upon the award-winning www.TransitionsAbroad.com website—which
has been inspired by family and independent travel over the
course of more than 70 of her 75 years. Joanna grew
up in Europe, spent early years in England where she
met the Queen, 10 years in Switzerland, having such neighbors
as Charlie Chaplin in Vevez on the Lake of Geneva in her youth
(Note: she does
not know and would not wish her editor-in-chief son
to drop a fraction of the names of the many famous people she
knew and knows well, that her son regards her as the most intelligent
and widely educated human being he has ever met, nor what a
fabulous French/Italian cook she is!), and speaks and
reads five languages fluently. She has lived in Italy, France,
Switzerland, and England. She has traveled slowly and long-term
in countries and regions such as Russia, Central and Eastern
Europe, the Balkans, most every Mediterranean and Scandinavian
country, Africa and the Middle East—not including the
countless countries she has visited for shorter periods of
time during the course of cross-continental trips.
Hubbs has written two novels (including A
Russian Affair), and is working on
a third about the French visionary poet and adventurer Arthur
Rimbaud, about whom she has written a poem below.
Joanna has also published short stories in Europe. She plans
to continue her fiction writing, poetry, and autobiography
in retirement, in addition to continual travel, an insatiable
appetite for reading, learning, and discussion, as well as
other pursuits of interest such as fine cooking and dining.
Joanna will divide her time between Amherst, New York City,
she owns a very modest hilltop watchtower in a lovely Tuscan
village located between Siena and Florence, full of very hospitable
locals and expats.
Joanna is presently involved in selecting and editing articles and judging
writing contests for www.Transtionsabroad.com.
To contact her or for interviews, please email her at email@example.com.
His travels explode the confines of his mind
In the world of belles lettres he left behind
Infidele to that art like the boat he’d unmoored
He set sail to feel his senses ford
Sights and to pleasures so far beyond
What a poet might glimpse in one dreary day
In a Paris rebelling yet keen to betray
Still rigid with pomp and pretensions to spare.
For Rimbaud, repelled, there was no there there.
Through wide deserts he struggled amid painted tribes
Heavy gold he carried from commerce and bribes
Strange languages learned that new creeds reveal
Like Infidel poems but of substance more real
For a mind aflame which ever must bear
The pain of estrangement that burdens a seer
As the whirl of the universe churns to one will
Whose aim is unknown but whose form is too clear:
Macrocosm out there, microcosm here.
“Je est un autre.”