Slavka Karakusheva holds a BA degree in Cultural Studies (2008), an MA degree in Cultural Anthropology (2010), and a PhD degree in Cultural Anthropology from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridksi (2021). She has specialised at the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2020, 2021), and has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz (2019), the Department of New Media, Kadir Has University (2016), and the Cultural Politics and Management Research Centre, Istanbul Bilgi University (2014-2015). She is interested in nation-building politics, migration processes and identification practices related to Bulgaria’s Turkish and Muslim communities, in minorities’ cultural memory and heritage.
Period of affiliation:
2022 - 2023
Population Politics and Nation Building: Migrations of Turkish and Muslim Populations from Bulgaria to Turkey (1925–1939)
The project aims to analyse the migrations of Turkish and Muslim communities from Bulgaria to Turkey during the interwar period interpreted through the prism of population politics and state- and nation-building processes. Employing the approaches of entangled histories and transnational history, the study will investigate comparatively how Bulgaria and Turkey developed specific strategies to homogenise the previously demographically heterogeneous territories along ethnic, religious, and cultural lines. The project will trace how migration flows and border crossings were affected by the redefinition of citizenship boundaries, identity categories, acceptance frameworks, and social hierarchies. By examining the historical dynamics of the Turkish and Muslim resettlements, the research will situate population movements and displacements within the larger framework of the two nation states’ policies and practices of ethnic and demographic engineering. The focus is on the construction, negotiation, and transformation of nationhood and the different government strategies towards “desired” and “undesired” nationals, categorised within the frameworks of majority and minorities. The study will further trace the ways in which these categories were instrumentalised in different visions of national integrity.