Home / Events / Fellow seminar: The Unmaking of…
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Fellow seminar: The Unmaking of the Intellectual. A Social and Cultural History of Postsocialism in Bulgaria

11 January @ 16:30 - 18:30

Veneta Ivanova (Diaspora MON Fellow, Nov ‘23 – Jan ‘24) is presenting on:

The Unmaking of the Intellectual: A Social and Cultural History of Postsocialism in Bulgaria

on 11 January 2024 (Thursday) at 16:30 h.

Moderated by Victor Petrov

Abstract: “The Unmaking of the Intellectual” explores how Bulgarian intellectuals – writers, poets, artists, philosophers, academics, theater and film directors – experienced first the liberal-intellectual, and then the social revolution engendered by the transition from state socialism to neoliberal capitalism. It traces the shifting roles of the intelligentsia from the mid-1980s to the first decade of the 21st century, with a particular focus on the early years of the transition when emblematic public intellectuals entered politics and assumed key positions of power (such as head of state, vice president, members of parliament, and leaders of political parties).

Paradoxically, while intellectuals were instrumental to the demise of communism and main protagonists of the transition, by the beginning of the twenty-first century, they became culturally and socially marginalized. My project explores the conditions – local, regional and global – that led to this marginalization, together with its outcomes.

I will weave an economic analysis of the impact of the new market economy on intellectual and artistic production, together with a cultural analysis of intellectual and artistic reactions to the social, cultural and political transformations of the 1990s. Based on diaries, memoirs, publications in the press and oral interviews, this project seeks to understand how the marginalization of the intelligentsia has affected not only post-1989 cultural and intellectual life, but also social and political mobilization. Capturing the particular experiences of Bulgarian socialist intelligentsia under post-socialism, I seek to make broader theoretical arguments about the entanglement between cultural producers, social engagement and political impact in the twenty-first century.


11 January
16:30 - 18:30


Centre for Advanced Study Sofia


Centre for Advanced Study Sofia
7B Stefan Karadzha St, entr. 3
Sofia,‎ ‎1000‎ ‎Bulgaria
+ Google Map