Dessislava Lilova


Associate Professor of Cultural History, Sofia University, Bulgaria

Visiting Fellow
(July – December 2015)


The Homeland as Terra Incognita: Geography and Early Bulgarian Nationalism (1830s–1870s)

The project investigates the political uses of geography in early Bulgarian nationalism – from the 1830s to the emergence of a sovereign Bulgarian state in 1878. The analysis is focused on four major trends: 1) the early development and the priority place of geography in the school curriculum; 2) the resistance against the idea of historical boundaries; 3) the choice of ethno-statistics as a main resource to map the national territory; 4) the presentation of the homeland as a terra incognita that needed to be discovered by its own inhabitants rather than by foreign European explorers.