Professor Elena Marushiakova

Curriculum Vitae

Elena Marushiakova works at Balkan Ethnology Department at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She was Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of St. Andrews, UK, in 2015; Fellow at IGK "Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History", at Humboldt University at Berlin in 2013-2014; holder of 2009 Fulbright New Century Scholars Award; in 2006-2007 she led the research program Dynamics of National Identity and Transnational Identities in the Process of European Integration under Jean Monnet Action CER 2006-051. In 2001-2004 she worked in the Complex Research Program (SFB 586) Difference and integration of the Universities of Leipzig and Halle. After 1989 she co-founded the Minority Studies Society Studii Romani and was involved in numerous national and international research projects.

Research project at the Kolleg

The main aim of the research project "Towards Modernity: Roma Organisations in the Interwar Period" is to reveal the reasons of arising, strategic visions and set of specific aims of Roma organisations in the countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe occurred in the period between the two world wars. The departing point of the research is the circumstance that Roma are not a hermetically isolated social and cultural system. They exist in two dimensions, both as separate ethnic communities and as a part of the macro-society in which they live within the respective nation-states and admittedly the processes of modernization of their societies exert significant influence also on them. Together with members of the macro-society they experienced breakdowns of old Empires and the establishment of national states. On the vast territories of that what would became the Soviet Union they were included in the building of a new political system. While researching the activities of the main Roma organisations and lives and writings of their activists in 20th century, through their controversial and multidimensional ideas about ways of development of their own people, the project in fact discusses the breakthrough and the negotiation of political modernity by the Roma and the notions embodied in their different national projects in cross-European perspective. Diachronic analysis of different visions will show where different national projects were interacting, thus the project is looking at Roma as an inseparable part of the mainstream history and Roma socio-political visions as part of the history of modern political thought in Europe.

Main areas of research

  • Romani studies
  • Transnational and spatial history
  • Global studies
  • Ethnic and minority studies
  • Nation building
  • Ethnography of Eastern Europe
  • Oral history studies
  • Slavic studies

Positions and memberships 

  • President of the Gypsy Lore Society (founded in Great Britain in 1888)
  • Founding and Academic Committee Member of European Academic Network on Romani Studies
  • Member of International Committee for Museums Ethnography at International Council of Museums at UNESCO
  • Member of Study Group Music and Minorities at International Council for Traditional Music
  • Member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society
  • Member of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences Member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists
  • Member of editorial boards of journals and book series: Romani Studies; Studia Romologica; Bulletin Muzea romské kultury; International Journal of Romani Language and Culture; Journal of Gypsy studies, Научное обозрение, Серия 2 Гуманитарные науки; Peter Lang Book Series 'Nationalisms Across the Globe'.