CREEES offers up to $2,000 in support for research travel in the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe.
Featured Student Narrative
Dana Phelps, Anthropology PhD, Albania
With generous support from the CREEES Travel Grant, I was able to conclude the preliminary dissertation research phase for my PhD in Anthropology. In 2014, Albania became a candidate for EU membership and I seek to understand in which ways heritage (monuments,museums, and archaeological sites) is positioned for full EU accession. At the same time,Albania is significantly increasing its relations with Turkey. The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has been intensively active in Albania constructing mosques and restoring Ottoman heritage sites. This summer, through heritage site visits and interviews with government officials, NGOs, and local communities, I came to see the tensions that are present as Albania seeks to “Europeanize” on the one hand and “Islamicize” on the other. One of the goals of this summer’s research was to identify a singular field site where I could study these heritage trends, emerging tensions, and repercussions for Albanian religious identity in one critical setting. I pinpointed the UNESCO listed Ottoman-period city of Gjirokastra as my field site. EU and TIKA heritage projects are proliferating in this “museumcity” and the local community, which is made up of several religions and ethnicities, is likely to be impacted by these initiatives. My doctoral research, thus, will investigate these externally imposed heritage imperatives, the tensions emerging, its impacts upon the Albanian heritagescape, and its significance for Albanian religious identity. Thank you to CREEES for providing me the opportunity to travel to Albania to solidify the foundation of my PhD dissertation research project.
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