Professor Roumen Daskalov

Curriculum Vitae

Roumen Daskalov is professor of modern history at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia and recurrent visiting professor at the Central European University in Budapest. He earned his MA and PhD from St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. He has held various fellowships: Jean-Monnet fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, fellowship at St. John's College, Oxford University, Mellon fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., Fulbright fellowship at the University of Maryland - College Park, Humboldt fellowship at Freie Universität - Berlin, fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), most recently, an Advanced grant of the European Research Council. He is the author of ten books and more than fifty chapters in volumes and articles.

Research project at the Kolleg

Grand Narratives of the Bulgarian Middle Ages

The objective of this research is to study the Bulgarian grand (or master) narrative (Meistererzählung, grand récit) especially of the medieval and the Ottoman past. The national narrative under study encompasses the two medieval Bulgarian kingdoms and the period of Byzantine domination between them as well as the period under Ottoman rule up to the modern epoch. The first building blocks were laid down in the so-called "Romantic" histories of amateur historians during the (national) Revival epoch under the Ottomans. The master narrative was basically elaborated by the new critical "scientific" historiography of the "bourgeois" epoch and it was finally shaped by the increasingly nationalist historiography of the communist period. For a time during the 1950s it was challenged by the counter-narrative (Gegen-Erzählung) of the militant Stalinist historiography with its "socio-economic formations", classes and class struggles, etc., but even then it remained firmly within the national framework and with nationalistic overtones. The dominance of the grand national narrative continued after communism yet not unchallenged by new approaches, more critical of nationalist projections and modernizations, and more reflexive.

Main areas of research

  • Modernization
  • Modern social history
  • Historiography of Bulgaria and the Balkans
  • The entangled and connected history of the Balkans
  • The sociology of Max Weber

Positions and memberships


  • 2002-2005 - "Contemporary European History". Cambridge University Press
  • 1994-1999 - "Studia Culturologica", published in Bulgaria
  • 1991-1992 - "Izbor", published in Bulgaria 


  • Academia Europaea (since 2013)
  • The Balkan Anthropological Association (1998-1999)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) in 2000-2002


  • Institute for the Study of the Recent Past (Sofia)


  • evaluator for the European Commission for projects in FP 6 and FP 7