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.
During her time as CAS Fellow she will be working on a new project entitled From Holocaust Survivors to Soldiers: the Haganah Recruitment in Eastern Europe (1946-1949). The project traces the history of conscripts from Eastern Europe who were recruited to fight for Israel in 1948. More specifically, it investigates how Holocaust survivors were turned into soldiers: what motivations guided them and how their wartime trajectories affected their decision to enlist. The project also analyses the input from the various local, national and international actors, including the Yishuv, socialist states, relief agencies and others. From Holocaust Survivors to Soldiers will offer a new perspective on the people emerging from the Holocaust, while analysing the intertwining of military mobilization, community reconstruction and transnational networks revival.
This project seeks to examine the development of European Islam from the mid-nineteenth century through the First World War. It not only intends to fill a gap in the history of Europe’s encounter with Islam, but equally to elaborate a comparative context for the study of European Islam. In doing so, the project seeks to gain a more precise understanding of the ways in which Muslim enclaves developed in cities such as London, Paris and Vienna as well as the policies employed by governments to accommodate foreigners and the practice of Islam in the West. At the center of the study are three predominant nineteenth-century empires: France, Great Britain and the Habsburg Empire, states which pursued distinct models of integration and religious tolerance between 1850 and 1924 that continue to have implications for the issue of Islam in Europe to this day. Central to this investigation is the role the press and civic associations played in shaping trans-imperial networks that connected metropolitan societies to colonial peripheries in places such as North Africa, the Near East and Bosnia. As this study argues, examining these networks allows us to see the entangled histories that have shaped discourses of European Islam since the nineteenth century as well as provides a historical context in which to assess Muslim cultural politics in the public sphere.
This project aims to challenge the historiographic concept of mass conversion to Islam in the Nevrоkop region by transposing the historical analyses on the human-natural interconnection as a key feature of the Rhodope Mountains past during the Early Modern period. Combining a variety of written archival and natural records its multidisciplinary approach associate this research with the emerging field of Ottoman Environmental History. The focus of the study is centred on the process of overpopulation in the Early Modern mountains and how it defines the mutual relation of both social and environmental changes in a specific Balkan area of Nevrokop (mod. Gotse Delchev, Bulgaria). The dynamics of settlement network and the organization of rural economy is going to trace the sweeping ecological transformations during the human conquest of the studied highlands. Moreover the high quality quantitative and qualitative data will reveal the whole range of demographic adaptations to the harsh mountainous space such as migrations, birth control and mortality and how did they influence the conversion to Islam. Only such deep analyses of human-natural co-relation has the potential to provide an accurate explanation on the religious shift in the Rhodope Mountains, i.e. how from Christian Nevrokop area became a Muslim cultural space.
Look into thy heart and write, Sir Philip Sidney’s muse once said. But one of the things that Renaissance writers discovered when they looked there was violence. Violence was nothing new, of course (no more than the New World was actually new when it was discovered), but seeing it with fresh eyes was at once thrilling and discomfiting. Whether writing realistic stories about everyday life or fantastic stories about chivalric warriors, comic tales about degenerate monks or tragedies about the falls of princes, Renaissance writers repeatedly found violence at the heart of the world they were representing and very rarely as a phenomenon about which they thought one could be complacent. Violence appeared to be a motor force of history, of social life, of art. But the European Renaissance, from the time of Boccaccio to the time of Shakespeare (ca. 1350 – 1620) was in principle committed to a Christian view of the world, ruled by the Prince of Peace, aiming toward beating swords into ploughshares and committed to an ethic of turning the other cheek. How was violence to be represented and accounted for under such conditions? Why should it be represented at all? Those are the questions my project intends to answer. In effect, this study will place the literature of the Renaissance in the context of the history of violence itself.
This pioneering study will explore the emergence and development of LGBTQ activism in Bulgaria, making a crucial contribution to existing literature on the topic of social movements. More specifically, it will contribute to the understanding of the LGBTQ activism and the so called „anti LGBTQ movements” in a post-socialist Bulgarian context, investigating the emergence and collision of these forms of social collective actions, having in mind the a) socialist past in Bulgaria, (b) the enlargement of EU in 2007, and (c) global processes, the Internet and social media. Furthermore, challenging the Western concept of LGBTQ activism and identity politics, another main goal of this project will be to investigate to what extent the notion of “LGBTQ activism” is relevant in a Bulgarian context and what the similarities and differences are of the emerging activism to wider Eastern European and global context.
The interwar years, from the end of the ‘Greater War’ (that is, 1923, see Gerwarth, 2016) until the beginning of the Second World War throughout the Balkans (1941) are an ambiguous and still imperfectly understood time for Balkan paramilitarism. On the one-hand, the high-tide of the anti-imperial struggle and world war had receded by 1923, leading to an existential crisis on the part of many paramilitary veterans at the loss of their occupation, on the other hand, outstanding territorial disputes and the influx of new European ideologies of mass mobilization created new opportunities for mobilization. Was this, then, a twilight of the heroes of the Balkan revolutionary tradition - or the dawn of a new era? Through the study of so-called ‘ego-documents’ (published journals, pamphlets, memoirs, and other self-produced sources) and approaching paramilitarism as a transnational phenomenon, the project analyses how paramilitary actors in the Yugoslavia, Bulgaria/Macedonia, Albania/Kosovo, Greece, and Romania responded to the new regional and European environment in the interwar period. It addresses the psychological and physical impacts of combat, the problem of upholding or contesting regional borders, the generational shift (especially acute by 1930s), and responses to the new political programmes of mass mobilization: Wilsonian self-determination, revolutionary communism, fascism, and anti-fascism.
The research is part of a larger project currently in preparation: a book-length study of guerrilla warfare and paramilitary violence in the Balkan region from the Ottoman period until the present-day, provisionally titled Freedom or Death: A History of Guerrilla Warfare in the Balkans. The time spent at CAS will be used to research Bulgarian and Macedonian materials (both primary sources and literature) for the relevant sections of this manuscript and to make use of the Bulgarian-language training provided as part of the fellowship.
This project is based on political and historical anthropology. It aims at studying the ongoing production and diffusion of an “Alevi” confession on a transnational scale by non-state actors, between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. We formulate the hypothesis that the displacement of the focal point towards the predominantly Christian countries of the Balkans, less studied, makes it possible to better understand the ongoing processes of confessionalization of populations formerly linked to the Bektashi order of the Ottoman period, as well as their fragmentation between Turkish-speaking space and Albanian-speaking space. The project will focus on three different issues: the different practices of Islam, the transnational circulations between the Balkans and Anatolia, and the ongoing production of an “Alevi” confession from the ashes of the Bektashi brotherhood. The study will take as a starting point the so-called "Bektashi" community in Bulgaria, in order to ground the analysis in contemporary religious practices. It will aim at analyzing the process of confessionalization, as well as the resistances to this process. By considering the non-state actors circulating between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, it will investigate the recent re-construction of a post-Ottoman religious field.
The project is an attempt to problematize the political and scientific routes of one of the most prominent figures among the Bulgarian intelligentsia in the period of communist rule – Nikolai Genchev (1931-2000). The published commemorative volumes (2002, 2012), memoirs, documentaries (2011) as well as Iv. Znepolski research (2016) do not cancel the growing need to speak about N. Genchev's heritage critically and analytically, with the tools and horizons of modern historiographical analysis. That is why in this project I will try to answer many questions that were not answered in the mentioned publications, including some important issues that were just sketched in some previous studies. The first group of questions concerns Genchev’s political and intellectual formations in 1950s and 1960s. Special attention will be put to Genchev and his role for the legitimization of a sacred national narrative. One of the main focuses of the project will be the very specific and often self-restrained dissident thinking of Genchev. Special module of my project will be the analysis of highly debatable and contestable N. Genchev’s memoires. The Genchev’s break up with the Faculty of History and the journey to the Faculty of Philosophy will be the final step in my analysis.