National Geographic Staff

Grace Fielder

Historian Grace Fielder is a National Geographic expert on the history, culture, and languages of the Dalmatian coast. She holds a PhD from University of California, Los Angeles and is a professor of Balkan and south Slavic linguistics at the University of Arizona. Grace taught at the the University of Virginia from 1983-1992, before moving to the University of Arizona in 1992. Since 2000 Grace has served on the National Policy Advisory Committee, Slavic and East European Language Resource Center at Duke University / University of North Carolina, and she has been the Chair of the Discipline Advisory Committee for the Fulbright Program. She has held grants from IREX and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for research in Bulgaria, as well as an ACLS postdoctoral grant.

Her courses on Balkan history focus on the emergence of distinct national identities following a century of ethnic and political conflict. Grace has studied the local lore, music, and cuisine of this region, and has even moonlighted as a lavender harvester on the island of Hvar. Her areas of research interest include Bulgarian and Balkan linguistics, discourse analysis, and grammaticalization.

Grace also acted as a translator for Bai Ganyo: Incredible Tales of a Modern Bulgarian, a comic classic of world literature by Aleko Konstantinov. The 1895 novel follows Bai Ganyo as he makes his way through refined society in Vienna, Dresden, and St. Petersburg.