Travel Report: Panagiotis Delis, History

November 22, 2018

Panagiotis Delis, a Master's student in History, received a Graduate International Research Travel Award (GIRTA) to further his research in Greece, Bulgaria and Austria. His report: 

I am grateful that I was the recipient of the 2017-2018 Graduate International Research Travel Award for a variety of reasons. Living in Vancouver is already too expensive. Working in a project that requires, at least, a long term trip in Europe for research, makes it even more difficult.

My project entitled: Notions of ethnic cleansing on the eve of the First World War. The Balkan Wars of 1912-13, in which I am looking the mechanisms of ethnic cleansing by using the Balkan Wars as a study case, requires archival research in five countries and four languages. In particular, Greece, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom were/are going to be my travel destinations.

Last summer, I visited Greece, Bulgaria and Austria thanks to this generous financial aid. So far, I have completed approximately 70% of my research and I am really satisfied that I managed to do that within the first two years of my PhD. This was only accomplished through the generous funding that I was awarded which gave me breathing space and time to focus on the writing part of my thesis.

During my stay in the above mentioned countries I visited several archives such as: the Army History Directorate in Athens which provided precious information for the Greek army, the Central State Archives in Sofia, and at the National Archives of Austria as well as libraries. I took photographs of more than 2,000 pages of material such as: consular reports, foreign correspondences, state and military archives, diaries, private collections, local and foreign press and memoirs.

Furthermore, I met and discussed with experts in my field about the potential of my project. These scholars recommended me to take a look at things that I had not considered before, and this definitely broadened my perspective.

Travelling in Europe for the purposes of my research was a really fascinating experience and essential for my thesis which I hope I am going to publish in the future in a book form.

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