Modern and contemporary bulgarian literature

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New Readings in Modern and Contemporary Bulgarian Literature.

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Svilen Karolev, PhD.

The project focuses on modern and contemporary Bulgarian literature - a period comprising the most extensive and richest part of Bulgarian literature, as well as various ideological and aesthetic problems. Taught at different levels in the Bulgarian educational system, it has a wide readership and is crucial for our national and cultural identity. The main objective of the project is to research and analyze authors, phenomena and processes from the Liberation to the present day from a contemporary perspective and with contemporary methods. An important part of the project is the celebration of anniversaries and the organization of scientific forums - colloquiums with Bulgarian and international participants, round tables and discussions as well as the publication of academic journals containing new scientific research.

Periodicals and Literature.

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Penka Vatova, PhD

The 10-volume series "Periodicals and Literature" comprises the Bulgarian literary and periodical press from the Liberation up to the end of World War II (1878-1944). All periodical publications with literary subjects are systematically described and analyzed for first time. Each volume includes a large bibliography and a nominal index. A number of unknown facts are exposed about the works of our well-known writers and about the relations between different aesthetic circles, thus improving the reader’s comprehension of the literary process. The results of the work on this project will enable scientists, students and teachers to obtain a complete conception of literary periodicals.

Bulgarian Modernism: Outlook and Aesthetics, Discourse and Summing-Up. Digitization and Conceptualization of the Literary Heritage of Bulgarian Modernism.

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Elka Dimitrova, PhD.

"Digitization and conceptualization of the literary heritage of Bulgarian modernism" is the first project to document and explore Bulgarian literary modernism in its fullness, by presenting it through its own literary and critical texts and photo documents, by analytical interpretations and reference books in electronic form on the portal bgmodernism. com. The project consists in collection,digitization and preservation of literary periodicals of Bulgarian modernism by creating a digital database. Other areas of work are collection and digitization of selected critical interpretations of Bulgarian literary modernism in a virtual library, conceptualization through new researches and promotion of Bulgarian literary modernism as an important field of culture and learning by facilitating access to its texts. The portal presents analytically print stands of Bulgarian literary modernism, featured are comprehensive biographical and biobibliografical data, dictionary of authors and analytical articles for periodicals, аs also historiographical studies of literary circles. The portal represents the dynamic development of our literary modernism in stages, the relationship between modernist lines, their connections with the tradition and the modern (Bulgarian and European) context, the socio-cultural significance of the phenomena, systematized and analyzed through the critical and reader reception of modernism. Access to information is facilitated by the presence of annotations and metadata that enable effective consumer search, databases and location of information (springs, photos, comments, etc.), bibliographic catalogs, photo archive. The project organizes scientific and educational forums and workshops with students, graduate students, researchers and teachers, provides the publication of materials from the forums.

Bulgarian Literature for Children and Adolescents - national and universal values.

Rositza Chernokozheva

The project fills the blanks in knowledge of national and universal values of literature for children and adolescents. Literature for children and adolescents is seen as distinct but inseparable part of the nationwide literary process. The separation of "high" literature and literature for children is inappropriate and premised. It is symptomatic that literature for children is absent from national literary histories today. It should not be unduly neglected and absent from modern historiographical and critical literature research.

The project is developed in the following innovative aspects: literary studies of Bulgarian periodicals for children, studies of philosophical, psychological and psychoanalytic foundations of children's literature, religious, ideological and ethnic themes in this literature. Emigrant children's literature, literature of the Bulgarian communities abroad are priorities of the project. Problems such as the reception of children's literature, creativity in children and teaching of this literature in secondary schools and universities are developed jointly with related programs and projects of Sliven Municipality and Ministry of Culture. The project includes also studies of the teenage romance, fantasy literature, comics for children. Priority is the creation of reference books, such as "Dictionary of Bulgarian writers for children and adolescents”, thematic bibliographies and anthologies. The project is designed for three years.

Bulgarian Literature Created by Women - history, status, trends.

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Lyudmila Malinova, PhD.

The project aims to highlight women’s creative presence in Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage and contemporary literary life. The project is connected to one of the key directions of work of contemporary literature: national identity problem, the problem of the Other, gender studies, etc. The project foresees the completion of the study "Bulgarian poets XIX - XX century. Anthology ", which will be provided with detailed biobibliographical set and literary commentary for each of the included poets. The project envisages the preparation of monographs, published documents and archives, compilation of various types of collections and reference books that will explore the creative presence of a number of Bulgarian writers and poets - both known and yet remained in the shadow of history: Anna Kamenova, Kalina Malina, Fani Popova – Mutafova, Jana Yazova, Sanda Yovcheva, Magda Petkanova, Stanka Pencheva, Blaga Dimitrova and others.

Literature and Geography.

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Plamen Antov, PhD

The project will provide various opportunities for the study of literary phenomena and processes in their relation to different "places of literature" - in the most diverse and different relations, as the concept has different aspects and levels of content. The angles are: a study of literary relationship in strictly empirical aspects such as Bulgarian writer’s diasporas in foreign literary spaces (Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia, Russia, etc.); preparation of anthology collections and individual works; review of the problems in a strictly theoretical perspective (eg, Africa, or America, or any single part of the world, which has typical cultural potentialities, which has become a cultural symbol in Bulgarian literature); design of geographical issues on the symbolic presence of certain places in Bulgarian literature (eg. Strandja Mountains, Dobrudja, the Balkans, Thrace, certain themes as “The Sea as a Theme in Bulgarian Literature” or “The South and the Mediterranean Sensitivity”); view of geographical places beyond geographical specificity - as abstract cultural symbols (eg, the desert, the mountain or the river as literary characters); study of city- symbols (from Nessebar, Sozopol, Tarnovo and Plovdiv to Venice, Lisbon, St. Petersburg or New York).

European Values in the Works of Bulgarian and Macedonian Literary Artists of the XXth Century

(with Macedonian universities and MANU)

Directors of studies:

  • Assoc. Prof. Alexander Yordanov, PhD (Republic of Bulgaria)
  • Prof. Dr. Milan Gyurchinov (Republic of Macedonia)

The project "European values in the works of Bulgarian and Macedonian literary artists of the twentieth century" aims to uncover and document the wealth of humanitarian messages in the literature produced by writers and poets of Bulgaria and Macedonia. The project explores and takes down messages and suggestions that create the ideological stereotypes of perception of "Bulgarian" and "Macedonian". The project envisages studies on the reception of European literary currents and trends in Bulgarian and Macedonian cultures, survey problems of reception of styles, themes and ideas in the context of modernism, avant-garde, realism, the trend towards "native art" and others. Important is to emphasize artists’ appurtenance to the phenomena and processes in European literature of the twentieth century. And when within these trends the richness of humanitarian values is revealed, it will give an adequate response to the so-called "Balkan isolation” and non – constructiveness.

Identity and assimilation. "Revival Process" in the 70s and 80s of XX century literature of Muslim Communities

(joint project with the Faculty of Humanitarian Studies at the University of Ankara).

Directors of studies:

Aim of the project is to explore and put into scientific circulation literature of Muslim communities against their forced assimilation by communist regime in Bulgaria in the 70s and 80s of the twentieth century. Structure-determining is the problem of the specific cultural identity, the particular multi-ethnic, multicultural character of this exile literature of traumatic experience. The project includes the study of consciousness, the identity of this literature not only as a literature historical subject, but as essential for Bulgaria and the Balkans psychological, sociometric, ethno psychological problem.

Literature in the Paradigm of Bulgaria – Russia Cultural Dialogue

(joint project with the Institute for Russian Literature "Pushkin House”, St. Petersburg)

Directors of studies:

Partners: "Culture of Memory" Scientific Centre at the State University for Library Studies and Information Technologies (SVUBIT ) and "D.S. Likhachev" International Charity Fund

Aim of the project is to integrate the research efforts in various literary aspects of the Bulgarian and Russian academic science search, the archiving and interpretation of texts and artifacts to trace the literary mechanisms and stereotypes that form the right cultural dialogue between the two countries, to outline the diversity of cultural, historical and literary influences and contacts between Bulgarian and Russian literature from the period of the Middle Ages through the nineteenth and twentieth century, to analyze problems in the field of medieval studies, Bulgarian National Revival period, modernism and the so-called “socialist realism” literature, to break down established stereotypes in the reception and interpretation of the Other, to monitor various aspects of literary and historical, ideological, national psychological and mental existence of cultural dialogue between the two countries.

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Modern Bulgarian Literature

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Vihren Chernokozhev, PhD.

The project is intended to create a fundamental reference edition, presenting the wealth and va-riety of our literary heritage from the liberation from Ottoman rule to the present day. The clas-sics of Bulgarian literature as well as several generations of authors from contemporary literary life - translators, publishers, emigrant writers, outstanding representatives of minority literatures and specialists in Bulgarian Studies from abroad - are included. The dictionary presents the ma-jor literary trends, periodical publications, literary collections and anthologies, writers' and translators' organizations and publishing houses. A short (one-volume) dictionary "Bulgarian Writers 1878 - 2000", containing over 420 names, is being prepared.

100th Anniversary of Assen Hristoforov

(joint project with the National Literary Museum, Centre for Liberal Strategies, National Library "St. St. Cyril and Methodius", Central State Archive, Bulgarian National Bank)

Director of Studies:
Prof. Nikolay Aretov, DSc

Participants from Institute for literature: Prof. Nikolay Aretov, Prof. Svetozar Igov, Ch. Assist. Nicoletta Patova. Other participants: Roumen Avramov (CLS), Ivan Zvancharov (National Literary Museum), R. Koycheva, Assos. Prof. Nicholay Papuchiev (Sofia University), Prof. Kristina Petkova, DSc (Institute for Sociology) and others.

The project is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the writer and the scientist - Prof. Assen Hristoforov (1910-1970). So far, there are no serious researches on his heritage, and critical texts are inadequately insufficient. Economic writings of Hristoforov have sunk into oblivion and his archive stores his unpublished memoirs and literary works. The project aims to seek the place of Assen Hristoforov in Bulgarian literature and presents his works to contemporary readers. The project includes a conference and an exhibition, publication of materials from both events, as well as issuing "Economic papers and documents" by Assen Hristoforov.

II. Finalized projects

Literature and Politics

Director of studies:
Assoc. Prof. Vihren Chernokozhev, PhD.

The project deals with finding still unknown archivist sources by and about persecuted, banned and forgotten Bulgarian writers in order to reveal the mechanisms of interaction be-tween literature, on the one hand, and politics, institutions and political processes on the other. The research focuses on finding, preserving and analyzing the Bulgarian fiction and non-fiction which was outside the canon of socialist realism as well as outside our national literary history. The project tackles new areas of research and rehabilitates names, ignored until 1989. Four books have been published in its framework so far.

Bulgarian writer as a social, psychological and creative phenomenon

Director of studies:
Prof. Ivan Sarandev, DSc.

This was a long-term project consisting of interviews with Bulgarian writers and artists (Emiliyan Stanev, Valeri Petrov, Dora Gabe, Hristo Radevski, Leda Mileva, Iliya Volen and others). Forty interviews had been published (the first one is from 1977). The literary interviews contain rich psychological, biographical, literary and historical material, giving opportunities for interdisciplinary research in the field of psychology, social anthropology and sociology.

Methods of conceptualization in semiotics, pragmatism and communication

(with the Finnish Academy of Sciences)

Director of studies: Prof. Ivan Mladenov, DSc.

The project aimed to explore the process of conceptualization, basic for any theory, on experimental material basis. The project included the training of students, lectures, seminars, using tools and terminology of several humanitarian fields: semiotics, pragmatism, communication theories. Term aim of the project was to explore how the knowledge of conceptualization facilitated the study of symbols and signs of external reality, to help learning, classification and control of the interaction between people and the world. Looking ahead, the project will contribute the achievement of the primary objective of humanitarian research: learning and control of the elements of thought processes.

Boyan Penev - personality, literary critic and historian.

Director of studies:
Prof. Ivan Sarandev (2001-2004)

Project comprehended the literary heritage of Boyan Penev from a modern point of view, based on the study and publication of part of his archive. A scientific conference with international participation was held (2002) and a compendium "Boyan Penev 120. New Research" (2004) was published. Within the project the books "Boyan Penev. Diary.Memories" (2003), "Beethoven"(2003) and "Boyan Penev. Biobibliografiya" (2003) have been issued.


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Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
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