hagia (2)

At the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Allow me to introduce myself:

Welcome to Tomorrow’s Historian! My name is Rachel Rettaliata and I am currently a Fulbright Research Scholar in Chisinau, Moldova for the 2016-2017 academic year. As a Fulbright grant recipient in the field of history, I will be spending the next nine months in Moldova conducting research for my independent project, “A Monument’s Message: Commemoration and the Evolution of National Identity Construction in the Republic of Moldova.” By exploring public monuments in Moldova through on-site and archival research, I seek to assess if and how they represent the evolution of Moldovan national identity construction throughout the pre-Soviet, Soviet, and post-Soviet/independence periods.  I am extremely excited about this project as it incorporates the fields in which I am most fascinated: Historic Preservation, Russian and Eastern European history, the studies of nationalism, memory and commemoration, digital history, and Russian and Romanian languages.

The U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and a large component of this academic and cultural exchange program is community engagement. As a cultural ambassador, I look forward to spending the year conducting various English-language programming, volunteering to teach private English lessons, and leading various English conversation clubs, including a history-themed club and a cross-cultural book club. Most importantly, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Moldova and experience the history, culture, people, and landscape that make Moldova a unique place and such a significant location for my research.

My goal is that the data collected for this project will culminate in a Story Map, a digital source of information on the history of commemoration in Moldova accessible to the public. Upon the completion of the Fulbright grant period, I will return to the United States as a graduate student in Historic Preservation. Interpreting the histories of places, people, and events is essential to understanding cultural differences and international relationships, as well as the importance of the physical representations of history within our communities. For these reasons, I hope to develop a career in preserving the best of our cultural heritage, both domestically and internationally.

In the meantime, join me on this website as I document my progress researching Moldova’s commemorative landscape, blog about my experiences living and travelling abroad, and feel free to explore my past adventures in digital history, my inquiry into the difficult history of slavery, and my “monumental” experiences studying in Romania. And of course, questions, comments, advice, and constructive criticism are always appreciated!

Tomorrow’s Historian is not an official U.S. Department of State site. The views expressed on this site are entirely those of its author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program, or any of its partner organizations.