Scientific Conference „Europe and the Orient“. Past Encounters, Heritage, Present-Day Interactions

Conference Programme

The Programme on the Conference website

Day One

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

2 PM – 6 PM

Partners meeting

3 PM – 6 PM

Pre-conference – Welcome tour of Sofia – a capital on the crossroad between Europe and the Orient (Meeting point Hotel reception desk)

Day Two

Thursday, September 27, 2018

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Registration for the sessions

Please note that all attendees must register too.

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Opening of the conference and welcome addresses

Mr. Raphael Remiche, Tempora S.A., Brussels, Belgium – The Long Road between Europe and the Orient: the Challenges and Rewards from a Multi-country Project

Dr. Nikolai Vukov, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IEFSEM-BAS) – Dreaming the Orient

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Session 1: 

Europe and the Orient: Cultural Undercurrents, Shared Legacies and Modes of Differentiation

Chair: Dr. Olga Bush, Bard College, USA

Dr. Simeon Evstatiev, Professor, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria – The Meaning of Differences: Some Notes on Religion and Boundaries in the Classical Islamic Scholarly Tradition  (Keynote speech)

Dr. Tsvete Lazova, Associate Professor, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria – Consuming Classical Antiquity in Bulgaria: Ideological Constructions of National Imagination

Dr. Galina Lozanova, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IEFSEM-BAS) – The Giant Audj Ibn Anak in Oral Muslim Tradition

Dr. Yuri Stoyanov, Senior Fellow/Research Associate, Albright Instituite, Jerusalem, Israel/ SOAS, University of London, UK – The Holy Sites and Spaces of the Orient in Europe: Translations and , Symbolic Constructions

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Coffee break

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

Session 2:

Historical Legacies and Traditional Culture: Southeast European Perspectives

Chair: Dr. Dimitar Atanassov, IEFSEM-BAS, Bulgaria

Dr. Stefan Dechev, Associate Professor, Southwestern University “Neofit Rilski” – Food and Foodways in Ottoman Bulgaria – Europe-Orient Entanglements (Keynote Speech)

Dr. Dobrinka Parusheva, Associate Professor, Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” – Consuming Europe in the Balkans, Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

Dr. Iva Kyurkchieva, Assistant Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IEFSEM-BAS) – Cultural Heritage, Memory and Identity – an Example from Eastern Bulgaria (Ruen Municipality)


12:30 PM – 1:30 PM


1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Session 3: 

Religion and Secularity from the East – West Perspectives

Chair:  Dr. Maurizio Massaiu, University of Córdoba, Spain

Dr. Mike Carr, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK – Religion and Trade in the Medieval Mediterranean (Keynote Speech)

Dr. Galina Evstatieva, Associate Professor, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” – Religion and Identity in the Post-Communist Balkans: Veiling of Muslim Women in Bulgaria

Dr. Evgenia Troeva-Grigorova, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IEFSEM-BAS) – Tendencies in the Religious Life of Bulgarian Muslims after 1989


2:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Session 4: 

The Tourist Gaze and the Construction of Otherness

Chair:  Dr. Fabio Carbone, Coventry University, UK

Dr. Michael Di Giovine, Associate Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania and University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA – The Seduction or Creation of Otherness? Tourism, the Orient, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Program (Keynote speech)

Dr. Rossitza Ohridska-Olson, University of Library Sciences and Information Technologies (ULSIT), Bulgaria – Communicating the Religious “Otherness” in Tourism: the Tangible and Intangible Dimensions of Branding Practices in Europe and the Orient

Dr. Georgetta Nazarska, Professor, University of Library Sciences and Information Technologies (ULSIT), Bulgaria – Traveling to the Orient: Tourism, Trips, and Pilgrimages of Bulgarians in the Middle East in the First Half of the 20th Century


4:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Coffee break

4:30 PM – 17:45 PM

Session 5:

Imagining, Communicating and (Re)Creating the Europe-Orient Connections

Chair: Dr. Rossitza Ohridska-Olson, ULSIT, Bulgaria

Dr. Eli Avraham, Professor, Haifa University, Israel – Nation Branding and Marketing Strategies for Combatting Stereotypes towards Developing Countries (Keynote speech)

Dr. Fabio Carbone, Lecturer, Coventry University, UK – A New Era of Responsibility. Cultural Heritage Management in the Age of Migrations

Dr. Dimitar Atanassov, Assistant Professor, IEFSEM-BAS – Two Opera Representations of the Conflict between Bayazit and Tamerlano, or How Stereotypes were (Non) Functional


8:00 PM


Day Three

Friday, September 28, 2018

9:00 AM – 10:30 PM

Session 6:

Sciences, Arts and Exchanges across the Mediterranean

Chair: Dr. Mike Carr, University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Maurizio Massaiu, Associate Researcher, Near East Research Unit of the University of Cordoba, Spain – Artistic Interrelations and Exchanges between the East and the West in the Medieval Mediterranean. (Keynote Speech)

Dr. Sami L. De Giosa, Research Associate, Oxford University, UK – Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik and the Manyal Palace: a Scholarly Prince and his Palace-Museum between Europe and the Middle East

Dr. Jorge Angel Carbonell Pallarés, Professor, Universitat Rovira I Virigili, Spain – The Construction of the Image of a Nearby Orient: Morocco in Spanish Painting of the 19th Century

 Dr. Azucena Hernández Pérez, Honorary Researcher, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain – Art and Science in the Medieval Mediterranean. Astrolabes in al-Andalus and the Middle East: Cross-References and Exchanges


10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Coffee break

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Session 7:

Discourses of Tradition and Modernity

Chair: Dr. Sami L. De Giosa, Oxford University, UK

Dr. Andrew Arsan, Senior Lecturer, St John’s College, Cambridge University, UK – The Influence of the Middle East on Ideas of Humanitarian Intervention in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Keynote speech)

Dr. Yura Konstantinova, Associate Professor, Institute of Balkan Studies and Center of Thracology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences – The Health Care and Hygiene in the Late Ottoman Salonica: from a Bulgarian Perspective

Dr. Yelena Muzykina, Assistant Professor, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan – The Ethical Dimension in West-Orient Relations in Modern Times


12:00PM – 1:30 PM


1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Session 8:

The World of Goods: Artefacts and Collections, Exchanges and Representations

Chair: Dr. Jorge Angel Carbonell Pallarés, Universitat Rovira I Virigili, Spain

Dr. Antonia Gatward Cevizli, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, UK – Italian–Ottoman Exchange in the 15th Century: Objects, People, Skills (Keynote speech)

Ms .Qaisra Khan, Independent Curator, UK –The British Museum and British Muslims: ‘Hajj- Journey to the Heart of Islam“, a case study

Ms. Ekaterina Volkova, Director, State Museum of History of Religions, Russian Federation – Interpretation and Presentation of Islamic Collections in Permanent and Temporary Exhibitions. Case Study: The State Museum of the History of Religion

Mr. Michal Dziewulski, Department Curator, The National Museum in Krakow, Poland – From War-Booty to National Symbol. Perception of 17th-18th Century Ottoman Luxury Goods in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Its Role in Shaping Polish Self-consciousness


3:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Coffee break

3:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Session 9:

Layers of Cultural Heritage from the Orient: Tangible and Intangible Dimensions

Chair: Dr. Michael Di Giovine, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Olga Bush, Visiting Associate Professor, Bard College, USA – Neo-Islamic Architecture and the Sense of Place: the Early 20th c. Train Station in Toledo (Keynote speech)

Dr. Petar Petrov, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IEFSEM-BAS) – Oil Wrestling: a Game with Multifarious Cultural Connections

Mavis Hooi, Researcher, Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), Linköping University – Oriental(ist) Fantasy: Western Imaginations of an Eastern Dance and the Orient


4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Concluding remarks and discussion – Assoc. Prof. Nikolai Vukov

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