Professor Daniela Koleva

Curriculum Vitae

Daniela Koleva is Associate Professor at the Department of History and Theory of Culture, Sofia University, Vice Dean (2002-2007) of the Faculty of Philosophy at the same university. She has been awarded research grants at ZRC (Research Centre) of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts (2008 and 2010), ECASS University of Essex (2009), GWZO-Leipzig (2008), Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004), EHESS Paris (2003), MSH Paris (2002). Daniela was a guest-professor at the University of Fribourg (2006, 2009) and guest lecturer at the universities in Regensburg, Tübingen, Lund, Olomouc and others.

Research project at the Kolleg

The Exodus of the Bulgarian Jews after WWII and its Aftermath: Transnational and Transgenerational Remembering The project sets to approach the mass emigration of Bulgarian Jews to Israel (1948-1949) and its aftermath primarily from the point of view of the actors' experiences. How were decisions made? What were the motivations of those who emigrated to leave Bulgaria? What were the arguments of those who stayed not to take this step? How did they feel about it? How did relatives maintain connections between the two countries during the Cold War? What memories and what stories were handed down to the next generation? These questions prioritise subjectivity, agency and experience, attitudes and dispositions, rather than institutional arrangements, ideologies and policies. This is why the project is based mainly on 35 life-story interviews with elderly Jews residing in Bulgaria and Israel. From ist specific perspective, it aims to fill in a gap in the research on the Bulgarian Jews in the 20th century. While their fate during WWII has been not only a topic of research but also an important question of memory politics, it has screened off the topic of the Jewish exodus in the wake of the war. This phenomenon remains under-researched and its consequences for the Jews remaining in the country and their emigrant kinsfolk - even more so.

Main areas of research

  • Oral history
  • Memory studies
  • Anthropology of socialism and postsocialism
  • Gender
  • Cultural heritage
  • Social constructionism

Positions and memberships

  • Member of the Academic board of New Europe College, Bucharest
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Institute for Study of the Recent Past, Sofia
  • Academic associate, Centre for Advanced Study, Sofia
  • Member of the steering committee of the Regional Research Promotion Programme Western Balkans, Fribourg University/ Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Founding member of the Cultural Literacy in Europe (CLE) network
  • Member of the International Association of Southeast European Anthropology
  • Vice-Chair of the Domain Committee Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health, COST programme (2011-2014)
  • National representative of Bulgaria in the Programme Committee on Priority 7, FP6 and the Programme Committee on Priority 8 (Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities), FP7 (2005-2013)
  • Member of the Board of Geschichtswerkstatt Europa, Leipzig University /Viadrina University/ Stiftung "Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft" (2008-2013)
  • EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARDS: Bulgarska Etnologia, Seminar-bg; Oral History Journal, Martor Anthropology Review, Region, L'Homme. Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft