Ina Merdjanova, born in Silistra, Bulgaria, in 1964. Ph.D. from Sofia University. Director of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Conflict Prevention at the Scientific Research Department, Sofia University, Bulgaria.
Visiting Grant Scholar (Spring 2006)
NATION STATES AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES: MUSLIMS IN THE BALKANS
My research project focused on Muslim communities in Southeast Europe and the complicated transformations they have had to deal with since the collapse of communism. I made a considerable progress with my book project, specifying and developing the initial ideas. I will present my findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Washington, DC, 18-20 November 2006, in a paper entitled Muslim Identities in Southeast Europe between Nationalism and Transnationalism.
While at NIAS, I was invited by the Institute for Intercultural Theology at Utrecht University to deliver a two-hour expert seminar entitled Muslim Communities in the Balkans: A Comparative Perspective (22 June 2006). The seminar was attended by around twenty university professors and post-graduate students. The Visiting Grant Fellowship gave me the opportunity to concentrate on my research in an international academic setting of high standing and to profit from the stimulating environment and the exchange of ideas with the NIAS Fellows. In addition, I had access to library resources unavailable in Bulgaria and indispensable for my work. I would like to thank most cordially to the NIAS staff for making my visit both productive and unforgettable.