I’m Dr. Trenia Walker, an Associate Professor in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education at Texas Tech University. I received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award 2013-2014 and in September I will be headed back to Kosovo for the first time in ten years.
Fulbright Orientation in Washington DC July 21-23, 2013
The University of Prishtina will be my host institution, housed in the Faculty of Education.
In 2002, while a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, I worked with colleagues to write and develop a project titled Balkan Educational Partnerships Program (financed from a grant from the U.S. State Department). From 2002-2004 I was able to collaborate with the Ministry of Education, the newly formed Faculty of Education at the University of Prishtina, curriculum experts, and classroom teachers and administrators on a new civic education curriculum. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Kosovo several times and we were also able to bring our colleagues from Pristina to Pittsburgh.
I have not been to Kosovo since December 31, 2003 . Many things have happened in the past ten years – both to me and the country. I am excited to see the changes that have occurred in the last decade. I also hope that I will be able to meet with some old friends and colleagues. I am also anxious to compare those previous experiences with the new realities.
Welcome to my blog.
The blog currently has 7 sections:
About me, Fulbright, and Kosovo
B. Researching (Note: I realized that this is going to be difficult or impossible to keep current. I am collecting data from schools, teachers, and teacher educators. Some of this will be used in longitudinal and comparative studies. I am involved in some collaborative work with colleagues.)
I will eventually add another page that depicts friends and colleagues that I have been meeting in my journey.
Once the reality sunk in that I would have the chance to return to Kosovo after 10 years, I wondered how different it would be. I wanted to document my first impressions. How had 10 years, nation-hood, increased interaction with the U.S. and the EU affected Pristina?
1. No visible military presence. My first time in Prishtina (2003), we left the airport through a Russian military-controlled checkpoint. Military personnel patrolled streets such as Nena Tereze (Mother Teresa) with weapons.
2. The names may be the same, but still no chain retail stores or restaurants (not complaining). Now there are ATMs connected to the outside world. It is a relief not to have to bring a big pile of cash and carry it around 24/7 in a money belt.
Hard Rock Cafe & KFC – 2003
3. Foreign investment is evident. New construction is everywhere. This is my street.
Neighborhood: Lagjia e Spitalit (hospital district) Str. Muharrem Fejza — 2013
I also will be documenting my teaching and research related experiences, as well as extra-curricular travel opportunities and memorable food episodes. See the tabs for each of these.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Neither this site (Lost In Simulacra: Trenia Walker’s Travels in Kosovo – Past & Present), nor the Facebook and Twitter sites listed above are official Fulbright Program sites. The views expressed on this site and the other two are entirely those of the author (Trenia Walker) and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.
Random Pictures from Prishtina Kosova 2003