The first chair of Albanology in the history of American universities in Chicago

 With the start of the new academic year in September, a new department will start working at DePaul University in Chicago - Albanological Studies, the first of its kind in US universities. This marks an important moment in the history of Albanian studies, says the director of the department, Dr. Gazmend Kapllani in an interview to VOA

The inauguration of the Chair of Albanology at DePaul University in Chicago is expected in May.

This is the first time in the history of American universities that Albanian studies reach this level.

“We are working to create the platform and from the moment of the creation within this year every student will be able to reach out to us and register. Will be a member of the degree, let's say, that we will give, because we want to give diplomas to our students. And he will learn on the one hand Albanian language and on the other hand what we call content subjects, that is, Albanian and English language subjects on different topics and topics of Albanology,” Kapllani said.

The fields of study, Mr. Kapllani says will be inclusive, so he expects great interest from international students as well.

“We will have all the disciplines of language, literature, history, archeology, philosophy. And we want to create the most up-to-date curriculum because Albanology has tremendous potential, especially when it comes to issues that are at the heart of global discussion today, whether for diaspora literature, history, geostrategy, or religion. So we will try to create a contemporary curriculum that will not only speak to the Albanian-American students who are our center and mainstream audience but speak to every student of all backgrounds or ethnic backgrounds.”

The establishment of the chair was made possible by a donation from an Albanian-American philanthropist.

"His name is Hidai Eddie Bregu and I have the honor of being the first director of the department and will do whatever I can to serve and honor his name and vision. He was a man of extraordinary vision. A patriot,  open-minded and connected to the most contemporary and various communities in America. So for me, he is a model of a contemporary patriot.”

Mr. Kapllani invites the Albanian-American community to take an example from the work of the philanthropist Hidai Eddie Bregu so that projects like this one do not end just in Chicago.

"A department cannot change the history within a year or in two years, but what can do is to become a nucleus and an example. The first in spreading ideas, secondly in giving as much as possible, highlighting Albanian-Americans in the first place and Albanology which has been almost non-existent in the United States of America and the third one we hope to inspire other people to open other programs at other American universities. Imagine if we had two more programs. Perhaps it is difficult for those who are not in the academic world to understand how important this is for the status of the Albanians themselves, but also for the development of Albanological studies, which means studies related to our culture, language and history.", said Mr. Kapllani.

Founded in 1898, DePaul University in Chicago is the largest Catholic university in the United States.
The first chair of Albanology in the history of American universities in Chicago The first chair of Albanology in the history of American universities in Chicago Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Rating: 5
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