The platform includes the following fellowship programmes:
1) Independent Fellowship programme for Bulgarian Junior Scholars and Bulgarian Academic Diaspora (since 2019) is financed by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and provides support for young Bulgarian scientists and researchers from the Bulgarian diaspora. It envisages: a) 5 nine-month scholarships per year for young Bulgarian scholars (including one month in a foreign institution); b) 2 three-month scholarships per year for representatives of the Bulgarian academic diaspora working in foreign academic institutions.
2) Pforzheimer Fellowship Programme (2019–2022), supported by a donation of the American philanthropist and bibliophile Carl H. Pforzheimer III, provides for three 5-month scholarships per year to outstanding Bulgarian researchers and university professors.
3) Independent Fellowships for International Scholars (2011-2024) are granted to outstanding non-Bulgarian scholars (senior and junior) to pursue their individual research projects in residence in Sofia. The programme is supported by the Porticus Foundation.
4) Gerda-Henkel Fellowships (2016-2022) are aimed at scholars in the fields of the historical humanities and social sciences from the countries of the former Soviet Union and Turkey. The programme is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
5) Social Relevance of the Humanities (2020-2024) are guided by the belief that there is a considerable added value for humanities scholars across the academe, whatever their field, to be encouraged to rethink their topics in terms of their broader contemporary relevance (be it political, ethical, religious or academic), yet necessarily of significance for the world we are living in. The program addresses international scholars and is funded by the Porticus Foundation.
6) Landis and Gyr Artistic Fellowships (2017-2021): this programme is aimed at stimulating and promoting the creative work of artists from various fields – writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, actors, film directors, architects, etc. by integrating them in a community of human and social scholars and spurring interaction between theoretical research and the arts. The fellowship programme has been comported of the Landis & Gyr Foundation (Switzerland).
Calls for applications under the above programmes are announced each year in November on the CAS web-page.
Selection is carried out by the CAS Academic Advisory Council – a jury comprising internationally renowned scholars from different academic fields.
In my project I intend to focus on intellectual networks activating across the Iron Curtain in order to contribute to the reconstruction of the dynamic of Cold War cultural exchanges and to challenge the conceptual assumptions underpinning the anti-communist taxonomies.
My aim is not just to contrast networks of data gathering with the taxonomical processing of the data, but also to analyze the very process of inferring dichotomies and separating the truth from lies as an inter-discursive confrontational practice unfolding along (and not in spite of) informal trade-offs and ideological trespassing. I attempt therefore to enhance a meta-critical approach to the classifying and documenting of “resistances” as well as of “truthful” behaviors under Communism by investigating the practice of “observing”, “monitoring” and “commenting” on “deviances” by external and internal critical agencies during the Cold War (such as Radio Free Europe and the Security Police). The analysis of transnational cultural agents acting as informative collaborators will be confronted with the critical reading of the bureaucratic archival data belonging to the agencies feeding upon their very mobility. System theory and historical epistemology will provide the tools for the understanding of the paradoxical dynamic of the reproduction of classificatory schemes through the systemic and systematic trespassing of cultural, ethical and political borders within an information poor environment.
For the study of Ottoman society, the urban economic and social system and the activities of its main components (raya and askeri), are of prime importance. The level of urbanization in the 18th-century Ottoman Empire and the economic state of the urban population however seem to be almost entirely neglected topics in present-day research. The so-called classical period (15th - 17th c.c.) is much better studied from different points of views - administrative, economic, demographical, fiscal, etc. This is almost equally true about the Tanzimat period, partly due to the availability of numerous historical sources.
Because of the importance and interest in these two periods, stemming, among others, from political considerations, the immediate pre-Tanzimat era has been altogether neglected. As a result, little is known about the size of the population, the social and economic differentiation, the social and professional activities of the citizens, as well as the changes in these activities, the level of prices and the cost of living in the 18th-century Ottoman Empire.
The proposed project will focus on these issues through case-studies of the towns of Sofia, Ruschuk and Vidin which happened to play a significant role in Ottoman political and economic history. The case-studies of the social and economic history of these cities will contribute to delineate the economic model of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century.
Moreover, Ruschuk, Vidin and Sofia are interesting cases because of their significant role in the Ottoman political history in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Two of the cities (Vidin and Ruschuk) were governed by influential ayans like Ismail Trusteniklioglu, Bayraktar Mustafa Pasha and Osman Pazvantolu. On the other hand, Sofia was a strict supporter of the central authority in Istanbul throughout the 18th century. The city was the home of the Sultan's forces, which were summoned against Osman Pazvantoglu at the end of 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries.
The project's first goal is to examine the demographic potential of the cities, the ethnic, religious and professional composition of their population (i.e., Muslims and Christians, soldiers and artisans, etc.).
The second and main aim is to build up the professional and ownership profile of the population and to create a "portrait of property" for different social groups - the askeri (the Ottoman ruling class), the reaya (the tax-payers), the artisans, the women. I will also try to elucidate their role and importance in the city's economic and social life, their activities in agriculture and involvement in crafts respectively.