Los Gallos, the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos
Los Gallos, the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos
Courtyard of the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos
The shaded courtyard of the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos
The Rio Grand Gorge west of Taos, New Mexico
Bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge west of Taos
St. Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
St. Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

"Willa Cather and the Counterculture"

An Immersive Weekend in Taos, New Mexico
Special Events

Mabel Dodge Luhan House
240 Morada Lane
Taos, NM 87571
United States

We hope you'll join us in Taos, New Mexico, for a 3-day, 3-night excursion, November 9–12, 2023! We’ll explore the beautiful mountain town and the best of its historic and arts offerings, while learning about Cather’s time in New Mexico. We’ll discuss and share from Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop and The Professor’s House, as well as a host of selected outside readings, in addition to touring the Father Martinez Hacienda and Taos Pueblo, the Fechin House and the Millicent Rogers museum and more. Our time together will be hosted by the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, where Cather herself was a guest. 

Taos has long been considered a nexus of countercultural thought, even before the term was coined in the 1960s. When Mabel Dodge settled in Taos and began to invite her friends and artists from the East in 1918, she did so with the idea of establishing not just an artists’ colony but a completely different lifestyle. Later, her house would be purchased by Dennis Hopper, who had his own vision of the counterculture lifestyle. “Willa Cather and the Counterculture” explores Cather’s relationship with Taos and its resident artists—both good and bad—alongside the artists’ relationship with the Taos area itself.

We recommend you visit the Mabel Dodge Luhan House website for more information about their rooms; we will likely be utilizing the main house and the Juniper House. Our staff will make room assignments based, as much as possible, on accessibility needs and preference of those enrolled. It's important to note that, as at many historic sites, there are steps in and around the shared spaces and uneven walking surfaces; if you have concerns about accessibility, please contact Tracy Tucker at the address below prior to registering. If you plan to arrive early or leave late and want to book an extra night, you will book with MDLH directly and we will do all we can to make sure you don't need to change rooms.

As a retreat-style historic property, MDLH has no televisions, telephones, or Wi-Fi in individual rooms. Wi-Fi can be accessed from the lobby and dining room of the Main House. For more information about the house, please consult the Mabel Dodge Luhan House website.

For questions about the program, please contact education director Tracy Tucker at

What's Included

Guests may choose from the following registration options:

Guests may choose from a Private or a Shared Room; rates shown are per person

Your registration includes Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the MDLH, breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. All admissions and fees to museums and sites are included, as are tips and gratuities for tour guides and housekeeping. We encourage participants to organize dinners at local Taos establishments and explore the excellent local food scene, but dinner is not included in the registration cost. We are happy to provide a list of places that we love!

Because most guests will need a car to reach Taos, we will not have group transportation available but instead will caravan or carpool to sites.


The itinerary below is current as of August 2, 2023. Some adjustments to the itinerary may yet occur. 

Day 1 — Thursday, November 9
3:00 p.m. - Check-in to rooms, time to freshen up and grab coffee
3:30 p.m. - Session 1 : Intro to Taos, Mabel Dodge & the Counter Culture (all sessions will be in the classroom in the Juniper House)
5:00 p.m. -  Dismiss for dinner on your own in Taos! 

Day 2 — Friday, November 10
8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - Field trip 1: Taos Pueblo
11:30 a.m. - Session 2: Cather in the Southwest
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:30 p.m. - Millicent Rogers Museum
3:30 p.m. - Session 3: Cather & Native Cultures
5:00 p.m. - Dismiss for dinner on your own in Taos! 

Day 3 — Saturday, November 11
8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - Session 4: Cather and the Catholic Church
10:00 a.m. - Field trip 3: Father Martinez Hacienda
11:30 a.m. - Field trip 3.5: Blumenschein House
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
2:00 p.m. - Field trip 4: Fechin House, Taos Art Museum,
                   with time to visit the Plaza or the Kit Carson park/cemetery
5:00 p.m. - Dismiss for dinner on your own in Taos! 

Day 4 — Sunday, November 12
8:00 a.m. - Farewell breakfast: Putting It All Together - Cather and Taos
10:00 a.m. -- Check-out

Reading List

We're looking forward to seeing you all in Taos, and to discussing these broad readings (and videos!) by and about Cather and many important cultural and countercultural figures around Taos. 

Ideally, everyone would have time to read everything on this list, in its entirety, but I realize that may not be possible. What I’ve done, then, is to create a list of everything that I’ve been reading and would like to bring to our discussion with a bold, italicized notation of the most important portion in case you don’t get to everything. I hope you’ll find the readings enlightening as you visit Taos and as you read (or re-read) Cather’s work that is set in the Southwest.

If you come across other readings that you feel are relevant and would like to share with the group, please let me know and I’d be happy to add readings to this list. 

Happy reading!

Shuttle and Transportation Information

Current as of August 5, 2022

The Mabel Dodge Luhan House provides the following information for your reference. Please note that COVID impacted many Taos businesses, so if you plan to shuttle, please contact the business well in advance for availability.

Taos Rides
575-613-3256 – Shuttle service with van that seats 6-12

Taos Limo
575-741-6262 – “Black car service” with rate listed by car not per person

ABQ Express
505-764-5990 – Custom shuttle service

505-424-3367 – Private ride (24 hours a day) and group charter service with no individual shuttle service offered.