Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949

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Dragostinova is currently working on a book-length manuscript entitled The Cold War from the Margins: Bulgarian Culture and the Global s.

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This is a transnational study of the years of late socialism in Bulgaria through an examination of cultural politics and national commemorations. Based on research in Bulgaria, Hungary, Great Britain, Austria, Germany, France, and the United States, this book engages the global Cold War order through the experiences of a small state, Bulgaria, and its cultural engagements with the world.

The book claims that viewed from a global perspective, those international cultural practices became the basis of contemporary cultural globalization as we know it today.

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Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949

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Returning user. Request Username Can't sign in? In this deeply researched and thought-provoking book, Theodora Dragostinova uses the case of the Greeks of Bulgaria during the first half of the twentieth century to shed new light on the agency of ordinary people in shaping notions of national identity while negotiating their way under the pressure of elite-led nationalization projects.

Based largely on documents mined in fifteen central and provincial archives in Greece and Bulgaria, this book represents a significant contribution to the field of nationalism studies by vividly highlighting the fluidness and ambiguity of nationness. Moreover, Dragostinova challenges traditional conceptions about the supposed primordial and antagonistic nature of "nations" in the Balkans by highlighting the ways in which people adopt, modify, and reject the idiota of nationhood at certain times according to their personal needs.

Dragostinova's study has a dual objective: to analyze how both states and people dealt with the problem of belonging to a single nation during the final transition from empire to nation-states in the Balkans.


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Her study begins with an analysis of the development of Greek and Bulgarian national ideas, explaining how murky linguistic and religious conceptions of community gradually transformed into notions of distinct nationhood among elites during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This top-down part of her study does not diverge much in methodology from earlier studies of nationhood in Eastern Europe and Balkans, which make the ideologies of nationalist intellectuals and political elites the central focus.