As an Albanian immigrant in Italy, I have grown a strong understanding of the importance of building bridges between different cultures and the powerful impact that a correct comprehension of historical events has on the world today. This personal experience was enhanced by my permanence over the course of six months as an international civil servant at the orphanage Kituo cha Watoto Tumaini in Ilunda, Tanzania. I have a strong belief that these elements of my life have led me to the decision of dedicating my intellectual endeavours to enlighten the historical event that I consider essential for better understanding many of the challenges that we need to address today regarding cultural confrontation and religious tolerance, i.e. the encounter between Europeans and the Native Americans in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. The goal of my PhD programme consists in investigating this event - the greatest encounter in the history of mankind - and analysing the questions it prompts concerning topics such as human rights and cultural and religious confrontation. Along with the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Award, I have been awarded also a Gates Scholarship, thus allowing me to conduct my research project under the supervision of Professor Annabel Brett, and I could not be more grateful to both the funding bodies for giving me such an extraordinary opportunity.