With the support of Porticus and the Robert Bosch Foundation
The TEACHING EUROPE (TE) programme introduces a new and innovative Fellowship module at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS), Sofia, and the New Europe College (NEC), Bucharest. Beyond the promotion of outstanding individual researchers, as is the mission of these Institutes for Advanced Study, they both position TEACHING EUROPE programme at the intersection of fundamental research and higher education. The joint initiative seeks to identify and bring together bright and motivated young and established university professors from South-eastern Europe to dedicate themselves for a certain amount of time to research work oriented toward a specific goal: to lend the state-of-the-art theories and methodologies in the humanities and social sciences a pan-European and/or global dimension and to apply these findings in higher education and the transmission of knowledge to wider audiences.
On the level of research, this implies bringing transdisciplinary and transnational perspectives to bear on the way today’s humanities and social sciences frame their fields of enquiry. The compartmentalized structure of university teaching and education remains inimical to the institutionalization of forms of epistemic interaction and cross-fertilization, despite abstract commendations of the benefits of interdisciplinarity. Internationalization of research, on the other hand, rarely goes beyond the comparison of a limited number of cases, ignoring or downplaying the inherent relational, entangled, and dialectical transnational dimensions of social phenomena. To conduct an alternative kind of research aimed at questioning the way these disciplines conceptualize their proper area of expertise by deploying up-to-date transdisciplinary and transnational approaches, the Institutes for Advanced Study, such as those based in Sofia and Bucharest, seem to be the ideal sites.
The goal of the proposed program is to use this knowledge to improve the quality of higher education in the humanities and social sciences and to endorse its public relevance. A tangible output will be the conceptualization of a series of new courses or, ultimately and ideally, the development of innovative curricula for the universities of the participating scholars.
FORMAT AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES:
The awarded Fellows are offered support to pursue their research and to use the knowledge thereby gained to create didactic units (teaching course, curriculim, textbook, documentariues, or other forms used in higher education and public communication) under the following framework:
- 7-months in-residence (both at CAS and NEC) fellowship spanning over a period of three years (750 Euro per month);
- Accommodation in Sofia and Bucharest, comprising living quarters and working space. The Fellows will also have free access to the CAS and NEC’s libraries and electronic resources/databases;
- Travel allowance (up to 3 international travels ~ 1500 Euro);
- Research expenses (100 Euro per month);
- Fully covered participation in “Teaching Europe” workshops (two per year).
By running this program, CAS and NEC wish to build a bridge between excellent research and excellent teaching, especially in fields where parochialism still largely prevails. It should sharpen awareness of questions of dissemination and convertibility of knowledge among young scholars by fostering the creation of state-of-the-art teaching materials for diverse subject matters. We see the program as a way of “exporting” the two institutes’ experience in rearing innovative and high-standard research to the broader community of university teachers and students. The TE-Fellows’ tangible output will be freely accessible for future generations of teachers and lecturers; the “didactic library” is a minor but sustainable component that may be used in reaching out to future students.
This is a project that will help for the development of a new course at the MA program of "Interpretative Anthropology" at the Faculty of Slavic Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The aim of the course is to initiate reflection in the MA students on Bulgarian culture of the 19th c. from the perspective of history of emotions. It will be an obligatory course, held in Bulgarian every fall semester of the academic year, starting from 2017/2018. Its design and goals are in accordance with the conceptual framework of the whole MA program to provide multidisciplinary methodological keys for interpretation of anthropological phenomena.
The project proposes to develop an educational board game for teaching higher order thinking skills (critical, metacognitive and creative thinking) and social skills (effective communication, confidence, leadership, teamwork) through the close reading of literary texts. The game will not be limited to one particular literary work, genre or approach – it will provide an expandable toolkit of analytical instruments, applicable to any literary text. Moreover, the game will not be limited to one particular level of instruction – the target audience of the project are university students, but it will also be possible to use with secondary school students and people outside the educational system.
The project is based on two major premises. First, traditional passive, content-based, teacher-dominated, individualistic forms of learning need to be counterbalanced by active, inquiry-based, student-centred, collaborative forms of learning. Second, the sense of freedom and enjoyment associated with play and games holds an enormous potential for enhancing learning and student engagement, which remains unused in higher levels of education.
Within the framework of the project the game will be created, tested in the classroom, its pedagogical effects will be measured and discussed in a research publication, and a model for assessing student participation will be proposed.
Against the background of the already long crisis of both the welfare state and neoliberalism, the social has been proclaimed as either dead, or as undergoing some kind of renaissance through social economy, civil society projects, and community (re)building and development. I propose, in this course, as a way of creating a meaningful "history of the present", a history of the social, focused on Central and Eastern Europe, but part of a larger European comparative and transnational approach. The social I plan to explore is not an essence, present whenever individuals gather and miraculously subsisting in their absence, but a project, instituted in various ways, with different tonalities, shapes, and histories.
In Central and Eastern Europe, a number of inter-mingled modern entities – nation, state, science, and the “social” – emerged, in new configurations, at the end of the nineteenth century. These modern looking beings travelled through various transnational networks: as discourses; political, financial, and scientific elites; diplomas and certificates; technologies, practices, habits, and fashions. All these fragments were reassembled in local contexts by elites anxious to solve their local problems but also to retain enough resemblance with how these entities were deemed to look in their original places of origin.
Leading – the largest, most profitable, innovative, and sustainable – companies, that is big business, have been in the focus of business history since the emergence of the field. However, concerning the industrial period, these studies have been based on data mostly from North America and Western Europe. My previous research demonstrated that the largest firms in the pre-World War I Russian Empire were large also by international standards, compared to the contemporary British, German, and French companies. Consequently, our understanding of global big business, its development and operation is distorted by the limited geographical scope of the data. In my proposed project, I intend to create a basis for a more comprehensive analysis of global big business before WWI by combining the already existing data from all over the world and including the largest Eastern European and Russian firms as well. The outcome will be an open-access dataset and an on-line interactive map of the world’s leading companies before WWI, as well as a research paper analyzing how the new information from Eastern Europe changes the global picture of big business. The online database and map are effective means to communicate the findings towards the international scholarship of the emergence of modern business enterprise. By this, the project aims to contribute to the integration of Eastern Europe into the study of a global history of business leadership and excellence in the past andpresent. Based on the research, I will prepare teaching materials for the course "History of Business in Eastern Europe and Russia in a Global Context."
The goal of the current project is to analyze the procedures related to the construction of communist ‘heritage’ in Eastern Europe, from the perspectives of the public debates surrounding its interpretation and valorization, and in the context of recent trends of teaching twentieth-century history in the European Union. Taking as a launching point the double-bound meanings of heritage as ‘legacy’ and ‘patrimony’ (that is, as ‘something given that has inevitably been received from the past,’ or as a ‘value that has to be transmitted to the future’), the project would explore the challenges in interpreting the artifacts of the communist period as ‘heritage’ and the ways in which these challenges are met in the different countries of Eastern Europe. Methodologically, the project will seek to juxtapose the fields of heritage studies and European studies and will utilize their potential in understanding the meanings of the communist pasts in present-day European context. Adhering to a wide comparative framework with different states of East Central and Southeastern Europe, the project will analyze diverse cases related to the construction of ‘heritage’ from the communist epoch and will reflect on the involvement of such cases in teaching materials of twentieth-century European history.
The radically transformative character of World War I cannot be overstated. The scale and character of the violence unleashed in 1914 was unprecedented not only in terms of military operations, but also in the social and political sphere. Recent historiography has increasingly turned to the Eastern European dimension of the war, highlighting the topics of imperial collapse, widespread social disruption, radical population politics and de-colonization as the major consequences of the conflict. The project focuses on these processes of (geo)political, social, ethno-national, and cultural transformation in order to provide a synthetic view on the history of the East European borderlands in wartime. The main goal of this project is to apply and transfer these trends in recent historiography to the case of the Russian-Romanian borderlands, from a comparative, regional and European perspective. The methodology of the project is indebted to the fields of empire studies, comparative and entangled history, discourse analysis, and symbolic geography, coupled with an explicit emphasis on the link between modernity, mass mobilization and violence that defined the transition from the imperial to the post-imperial order. The intended outcome of this project will be a PhD-level university course, to be taught within my home university’s doctoral program.