For the fourth consecutive year, the American Research Center in Sofia participated in the Annual Meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) with different activities and paper presentations. The meeting typically takes place during the second half of November. This year the convention was held in Washington, DC, between November 17 and November 21.
On the final day of the conference, ARCS staff members, alumni, research associates, and friends presented academic papers on the topic of communism and post-communism in Bulgaria. One of the presentations was dedicated on the theme of the Virtual Museum of the Bulgarians in North America, an online project of the American Research Center in Sofia.
This presentation was part of a panel sponsored by ARCS and its’ title was “Globalization of Memory and Heritage Production in Post-Socialist Bulgaria and Bulgarian Diaspora in North America.” Its panelists, Prof. Nikolay Nenov, Assoc. Prof. Ana Luleva and Dr. Dilyana Ivanova presented three case studies on memory and heritage production in post-socialist Bulgaria, which demonstrated the close relationship between the local and the global and discussed the current local developments occurring in the European, America, and global contexts. The papers by Prof. Nenov and Assoc. Prof. Luleva, who were unable to attend the conference, were read by Julian Chehirian, ARCS research fellow and alum, and Dr. Lilia Topuzova, ARCS alum. Mr. Chehirian and Dr. Topuzova presented their academic papers to another panel, but they agreed to assist ARCS in conducting its Bulgarian panel by reading the papers of their colleagues. ARCS is very grateful to them for helping out at the conference!
More specifically, in regards to the Virtual Museum, Dr. Dilyana Ivanova presented
The Virtual Museum of the Bulgarian in North America as a tool for intercultural communication in the contemporary global society. She discussed the online museum as the first-of-its-kind virtual museum of the Bulgarian migrants in North America (www.immigrant.bg). She points out the role of the online museum as an instrument in the contemporary global conversation. Dr. Ivanova explained how the virtual museum, entitled “The Immigrant’s Suitcase,” is based on the idea of the suitcase as a metaphor for everything that an individual brings during migration, including belongings, cultural identity, and memories. Her paper summarized the collected materials for the virtual museum project and the exhibited content on the website. Finally, the presentation examined how the first digital museum of Bulgarian immigration responds to the new social necessity for advanced intercultural connections in contemporary global society, where individuals and groups relocate more intensively, and when “migration” more often becomes “mobility.”