Re-packaging identities: history textbooks, European travel and the untarnished Bulgarian 'Europeanness'

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Date: Winter 2006
From: East European Quarterly(Vol. 40, Issue 4)
Publisher: University of Colorado at Boulder
Document Type: Article
Length: 5,058 words
Lexile Measure: 1710L

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In the recent decades history textbooks attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. The pioneers in the field began in 1949 at Georg Eckert Institute in Germany by amassing a huge library collection, establishing wide international collaboration, and stimulating research on national and European identities. (1) The blooming interest towards the ideological power of history textbooks evokes Gellner's concept of education as self-reproducible "common conceptual currency." (2) Many factors contributed to this shift in the scholarly attention. First, the advanced processes of European integration prompted more awareness to education, re-examination of common historical past, collective and historical memory in promoting intercultural understanding and democratic citizenship. Second, the 1989 revolutions brought up additional reasons for re-evaluating the history textbooks: in Eastern Europe this was motivated by the urgent need for re-examination of the communist monochromatic interpretation of the past and justification of the new geopolitical re-orientation as return to the European home. In addition, the wealth of research on nationalism, postcolonial studies, and social constructivism in the last three decades attracted the attention to the school textbooks as means of control over the shared past, memory constructions and their multiple interpretations. (3)

Within this broad framework the Bulgarian historians became involved in the actual re-writing the textbooks after 1989, but the research on the history schoolbooks lagged. It is in the mid and late 1990s that two research projects on history textbooks began: the idea of the "Other" in the Balkans and the initiative undertaken by the "Southeast European Joint History Project" supported by the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe. (4) However, in both cases attention is primarily paid to the ethnocentric representation of national history, biased interpretation of the Balkan past and ambiguous treatment of the European history.

This paper will focus on history textbooks, written in the post-1989 period, as one of the modes for re-shaping the Bulgarian national identity as return to the natural home--Europe. The period of Ottoman domination is the foil against which the "Europeanness" of Bulgaria is being constructed. (5) The fifth centuries of foreign rule are conceptualized to attest the "kidnapping" of the Bulgarians from their natural development and belonging but at the same time the relationships with Europe (Western Europe) were kept alive and inherent Bulgarian "Europeanness" remained untarnished. More specifically, the paper will analyze the usage of European travel accounts as primary sources and will examine the selectivity of quotes from the travelogues that provide vivid narrative of coherent relationship with Europe. The paper will ask how and why foreigners' points of views are incorporated into the official narrative of national identity. I will argue that there is continuity in the search for European validation in constructing the national identity, which began in the 19th century by nationalist elites and some old rhetorical strategies are revived in the post-1989 textbooks. The paper will first provide a brief survey of the 19th century strategies; next it will analyze selected themes in the post-1989 textbooks that highlighted external (Western European) perspective and used extensively travel excerpts to prove uninterrupted European interest, and finally, it will examine some of the expected and unintended outcomes of these ideological operations for the fashioning of national self-image.

History of the History Textbooks

For the period between 1830s up to the Bulgaria's liberation 12 (8 new) textbooks on Bulgarian and 14 (10 new and multiple editions) translations on general history were published. (6) This ratio is interesting from various perspectives. It reveals almost equal interest among the Bulgarians in both national and general past. The modest share of original production can also be explained by the lack of tradition in national education, dispersed intelligentsia, slow process of negotiation for a national language, and gradual increase of literacy. In the 1860s appears a model that exists uninterrupted until present, namely, the practice of synchronized narrative of general and Bulgarian history. (7) Recent research on the 19th-century Bulgarian identity constructions, paying special attention to history textbooks, attracted attention to the strategies chosen by the national elites for compensating the perceived civilizational deficit of the 19th-century Bulgarian culture; one of them is loosely fixed boundaries between the own and the foreign history and culture, which creates a porous hybrid identity (8) and that might explain the equilibrium of the above mentioned textbooks publications. That strategy is more easily achievable in the above-mentioned format of blending national and general history. Thus, the culture perpetuates itself to a great extent through external resources, deriving from foreign contexts, by using European sources, personalization of the historical narrative from Alexander the Great to Columbus to Napoleon in an attempt to re-configure Bulgarian peripheral status. Another illustration of this operation offers the translators' intervention by adding expressions/ assertions such as "we, the Europeans" (9) or a chapter about the Bulgarians in the general histories. That core concept and similar practices of reshaping Bulgarian "Europeanness" the post-1989 textbooks continued to follow eagerly by extensive use of European travelers' inclusion of Bulgarians into the European Christian brethren and diachronical usage of illustrations. (10) The 19th-century textbooks privileged ideologies that refer to progress, evolution and integration based on the authority of the contemporary European/Slavic scholarship such as Gibon, Schlotzer, Venelin, Shafarik, Fallmerayer. (11) A tradition, which in post-1989, continues and is reinforced by copious employment of European travelers as representatives of the European public and scholarship; however, the usage of Slavic authoritative voices diminishes.

During the socialist and post-1989 period the textbooks on the Ottoman period are taught in 5th, 9th, and 11th grades. (12) Usually, the material is divided into two sections: 15-17th and 18-19th century called the National Revival. In the 1945-1989 the system of education was very centralized and for each grade the Ministry of Education approved only one textbook. The grip of control was loosed after 1989 by the adoption of alternative textbooks for each grade. However, the same binary division of the Ottoman period remained unchallenged until recently. (13) For example, one of the textbooks written during the period of personality cult in the early 1950s follows very closely the Marxist historical periodization: "Bulgarian people under Turkish feudal power" and "The transition towards bourgeois-capitalist mode." (14) In the mid-1980s the hold of Marxist doctrines became softer and the formational approach was not highlighted. However, the principles of narration of the post-1989 textbooks do not witness radical change in methodology and some authors claim that in the 1990s Marxism still survived under the guise of 'soft' Marxism. (15) The theory remains more or less within the framework of "classical" historicism combined with an underlined drive for de-ideologisation. As a whole, the texts follow the tradition of the classic positivistic view of history with influences from "Les Annales" school and historical demography, ethnography and cultural anthropology. (16)

The importance of history in the Bulgarian education is reflected in the Law on the education, published in 1999. (17) There is an appreciation of the role of history for shaping "the Bulgarian national identity, respect for the other, social engagement and civil responsibility." An important change was introduced: the history subject became "History and Civilization" and in addition it is "charged" with more interdisciplinarity and focus on social groups, economy, culture, everyday-life practices. A similar trend is reported in regard to the Greek history textbooks, in which "the objectivity and modern historical approach" is expressed with less focus on political narration and more on economy, social groups and culture. (18) Thus following these officially adopted trends most textbooks are based on a combination of national, regional, and world history. (19) The emphasis of the Bulgarian European identity is highlighted in the School Program for the 5th grade: "Examined in the context of the past, the various contacts of the Bulgarians with the other peoples confirm the self-image of the Bulgarian cultural identity as traditionally European." (20) The metaphor of the bridge (including the idea of sacrifice and victimization), which permeated the 1990s discourse, entered the pages of the history textbooks as well. (21)

The Scenes of the Narrative Construction

The themes, which invoke usage of European witnessing, and validation, are organized in the following paragraph as scenes that provide cohesive narration of the Bulgarian identity as traditionally European. The topoi that stand out are: the Ottoman invasion and imposition of alien foreign power, the constant resistance against the discrimination and exploitation, the national characteristics and virtues that bond together the population within the medieval Bulgarian borders, and the gradual overcoming of backward economic development that prepared the ground for the ensuing modernization in the restored Bulgarian state in 1878.

The theme of the Ottoman invasion and loss of sovereignty is crucial for its dramatic consequences and traumatic emotional weight onto the national memory. The invasion is conceptualized as a process with many subtle aspects of the narration. For example, the courageous resistance, the union of the Balkan peoples with the Christians from the West are important in maintaining the theme of support and collaboration. The evidence of the French knight and traveler Bertrandon de la Broquiere (1432) about the insurrection led by the Bulgarian royal heirs Konstantin and Fruzhin in 1404-1413 conveys this idea. (22) Another related sub-theme, which calls for an explanation, is the conversion of part of the political elite and particularly the behavior of the heirs of the last king. For example, Hans Schiltberger's evidence is quoted in detail about the fate of the last Bulgarian king Ivan Shishman and his son who converted to Islam but instead received Samsum in Asia from sultan Bayezit. (23) Thus the idea of the prolongation of the ruling dynasty is confirmed by an European traveler and brings less pessimistic perception of the end of state sovereignty. The sensitivity to the relation between the national and religious identity is a central matter for the other Balkan countries as well and refers to today's debates about the identification of "Europeanness" with Christianity.

Another sub-theme--the consequent emigration of the Bulgarian elites--is conceptualized as a proof for the Bulgarian intellectual contribution to the European cultural production. For example, an excerpt from Valerian de Vavren of 1445 illustrates the mass migration of Bulgarians into Walachia. (24) Although all early European sources reveal Christian perspectives and fears, many travelers being participants in the Crusades, the textbooks do not invite the students to critically evaluate the bias of their information. Here is convenient to quote Efi Avdela on a similar pedagogical practice in Greece: "The "sources" constitute a complementary historical narrative parallel to the main text which consolidates the "message" of the text on an emotional level." (25)

Another theme that the external Christian point of view is brought about is the structure of the Ottoman government and the unlimited power of the sultan. It is worth mentioning that the institutions of the janissaries, special categories population, and slavery attracted a lot of European's attention and the travelers' quotes support the idea of imposing foreign non-European power structures. (26) Thus many evidences are used in the textbooks to illustrate the religious discrimination and conversions, curtailment of rights and everyday-life humiliations, and exploitation. For example, the economic justification for conversions is mentioned by the French knight B. de la Broquiere (1432), the Swedish emissary Jacob Hiltebrandt (1657-1658), and the English traveler Henry Blount (1634); Felix Kanitz vividly illustrates the forceful conversions. (27) Another early French traveler (Pierre Lescalopier, 1579) comments on the deprivations and humiliations inflicted upon the Christians and their beliefs by not being allowed to use church bells. (28) Hans Derschwam, "a German, scholar and humanist, participant in a legation sent by the Austrian emperor in Constantinople in 1553," describes the bans imposed on the Bulgarians to wear bright colors, arms, and heavy taxes. (29) It is striking that the textbooks not only do not stimulate critical evaluation of the travelogues as sources, but on the contrary, trust wholeheartedly to otherwise very subjective type of historical source: "A lot more richer and more authentic evidences for the Balkans and Anatolia, for the life and sufferings of the Christians exist in the European travelogues from XV-XVIII centuries." (30)

The theme of resistance against the Ottomans persists as a common thread in all the textbooks. The accent on political history from the previous textbooks still can be seen in the emphasis on the armed resistance. For example, the revolt in Chiprovtzi from 1688 was brutally smashed and that is confirmed by "an evidence from a western chronicler of 17th century." (31) Again, the insurrections in the middle of the 19th century in the northwestern parts of the present-day Bulgaria and the atrocities done by the Ottoman army are illustrated by two foreign sources that are quoted in all the textbooks (32): Jerome Blanqui (1841) and Cyprien Robert (1850); the latter's scholarly authority is highlighted: "a professor in Slavic philology in Paris who studied the mentality, language, and the culture of south Slavs." (33) More interesting is the usage of Blanqui's observations, which were published in 1843 and the title of his book is Voyage en Bulgarie. Since the Bulgarian sovereign state at that time did not exist, the front page becomes quite significant and is placed not in the lesson describing the revolt but in a lesson "Bulgaria and the European World in the XV-XIXth centuries." (34) That operation can be seen as re-signification and hyperbolization of French political interests of the 1840s into a general concern of Western Europe for the Bulgarians. Hence the 19th-century textbooks tradition is kept, but reversed. Instead of a chapter on Bulgaria in the general histories, there is a lesson on Europe and the Bulgarians.

The theme of the economic development has two major aspects: the agrarian economy and its backwardness noticed by all of the travelers. For example, Hans Derschwam and the French A. Poulet give vivid illustrations and impressions of poverty and low hygiene. (35) In the textbooks, their observations are selected to support the thesis that the Bulgarian agriculture is very backward technologically and forcefully separated from "its natural historical-geographical area--the European world." (36)

A massive deployment of travelers' information is quoted in the section about the economic development in the 18th century, which is a crucial factor for the emergence of Bulgarian bourgeoisie and national movement. The argument goes that the dominant population not only put obstacles to the natural development of the Bulgarians, but also stayed away from economic change, which, after all provides new prosperous horizons for the Bulgarian entrepreneurs. (37) Thus, evidences from the European travelers fit well to portray the picture. For example, William Hunter (1792) and Guillom Antoine Olivier' excerpts discuss the corruption among the Muslims and their inability to participate in the economic modernization. (38) Ami Boue, who visited a couple of times the Bulgarian lands in the 1830-1870s, mentioned the obstacles Bulgarians faced to accumulate and invest capitals in industry. (39)

A theme that follows the Bulgarian Ministry of Education requirements is the Bulgarian presence in the European culture. The titles of these new lessons varied slightly; for example, in a paragraph "the Bulgarians in the European cultural memory" the travel narratives are counted and their number is used as an evidence for "the real interest of Europe in the Bulgarians: 2375 foreigners who directly or indirectly have been related to Bulgaria. From them above 700 are Russians, 330 are French, 170 are English, 142 are Germans and so on." Even more, there is an emphasis on their impact in Europe by listing that the majority of them were "politicians, writers, painters and scholars." (40) Those contacts helped to preserve the relationship with the Christian Europe and prevented from the "complete detachment from the European civilization." In another lesson entitled "The Bulgarian Culture and the European World" there is a paragraph on "The Contacts with Central and Western Europe." (41) It is worth commenting on the division of Europe into Central and Western, which also follows the political realities of the early and mid-1990s. (42) The paragraph, however, does not touch at all upon the two entities as promised in its title and exemplifies one of the significant ruptures from the 19th-century tradition (43)--less emphasis on the Slavic unity and direct relationship to the European (Western) civilization in most of the post-1989 editions.

National virtues are also seen and constructed from outside. For example, the French poet, diplomat, and politician Alfonse de Lamartine visited the Ottoman Empire in 1832-1833. One quote, selected from his travelogue in a textbook, contrasts the Bulgarians to the Turks in very general manner: "They despise and hate the Turks; they are completely mature for their independence and together with the Serbs, their neighbors, will put the foundations of the future states of the European Turkey." (44) On the other hand, in the same travelogue, there are other generalizations about the Balkan people that do not appear in the textbooks. For example, when he entered Serbia his comparative travel notes continue: "The Bulgarian is good and simple-minded but one can feel that he is ready to liberate himself. He still bears remnants from the slavery; there is something in the position of his head, in the accent of his language, in the subjugated resignation in his look--a memory and a fear from the Turk; he reminds the Savoyard, this good and excellent people of the Alps whose only lack is a dignity in the facial expression and a language, which ennobles all the other virtues." (45) Going back to the quote in the textbook, it is worth mentioning that there is no even a hint of critiquing Lamartine's Eurocentric, paternalistic opinion, on the contrary, students are asked: "What characteristics of the Bulgarian national identification give a reason to Lamartine to add them to the European Christian civilization?"

An important theme that utilizes evidences from travel narration is also a post-1989 innovation into the history textbooks; namely, the modernization of the 19th-century society. For example, the Lazarov's book even uses a telling paragraph's title "Europeanization and Modernization. The novelties of the Century." Some proofs for these processes come from the French traveler Ferrieres de Sauveboeuf (1788): "Amongst the square is seen a clock tour with a bell, which counts the hours, something that is common to the Christian world because the Turks do not accept this in their religion." (46) The signs of modernization, seen trough the travelers' eyes, and often accompanied by very superficial comments, are widely replicated in the textbooks. On the other hand, the Tanzimat or, the period of Ottoman Modernization/Westernization does not occupy an import place; in most of the textbooks it is mentioned, but in very few editions there is a separate paragraph or lesson.

Intended and Unexpected Outcomes

Writing national history textbooks is a very different endeavor from other historical research because "the relatively open-ended scholarly inquiry collides with the vigilant censor of national self-interest and the group pressure of celebratory self-fashioning." (47) The Bulgarian textbooks do not make an exception and in the main flow of the textbooks history is narrated in a way that one voice is privileged and the travelogues and other sources are used mostly to prove the validity and not to offer alternative positions to the official narrative. Even more, often the interpretation of the historical evidence is concealed and presented as objective truth. (48)

The study of travel account's usage in the post-1989 history textbooks is instructive since the travelogues are non-official sources, which most textbooks try to present as more significant and legitimate source for the re-centering of the Bulgarian peripheral position on the European map during the Ottoman and present period. Within these parameters the lack of Russian or other Slavic travel accounts (and other primary sources in general) in all the textbooks is not striking; the Balkan perspectives are also minimal. The religious, ethnic, and political biases of the travelers are not discussed in the textbooks. The ethnographic descriptions made them quite appealing as a source for confirming typical Bulgarian virtues as industriousness, hospitality, modesty, which reinforces the national self-identifications and self-characterizations. In addition, the ethnographic materials are especially important for the interpretation/justification of the contested Balkan territories and borders. Thus again the European authority is employed to suggest to the students that Europe recognizes the Bulgarian borders. (49) This template leads to a self-centered and reductive approach and creates an introverted, ethnocentric view of history. The increased usage and selection of travel excerpts in the post-1989 textbooks presents a distorted picture of Bulgarian lands as the primary destination of the European travelers. Another negative consequence is that this type of constructing the Bulgarian "Europeanness" reinforces the impression of Bulgarians' passivity--as if Bulgarians existed for the curious gaze of the travelers who collected experiences of difference or, as D. MacCannell puts it "a pseudo-reconstruction of 'authentic otherness'." (50)


In conclusion, the rewriting of history textbooks drew legitimation from the wider socio-political context in the 1990s. In general, all the travel selections try to validate an approval from Europe (Western); there is no one negative quote from the travel narratives or critique of travel observations in the textbooks. The process of rewriting national past after 1989 is re-interpreted according to the planning of the future, i.e. the Bulgarian return to European home and its membership in the EU.

The examination of the history textbooks demonstrates that the textbooks play a significant role in re-conceptualization of smooth and natural homecoming after five centuries of "kidnapping" (with Milan Kundera) and denial of Bulgarian natural development. The increased European travel account' usage in the post-1989 history textbooks is analyzed as a case study and an eloquent evidence of the gradual reorientation of Bulgarian culture in general towards the European home. Textbooks provide historical proofs of uninterrupted relationships, common experiences, and shared cultural values. The European traveler voices are presented in the textbooks as traces of those organic connections and justification for return to the European home, a conceptualization that began in the 19th century, on which the post-1989 textbooks firmly stepped and evolved.


(1.) See the publications of The Georg-Eckert Institute (Braunschweig, Germany) and especially Internationale Schulbuchforschung. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], 11 (1987): 219-224.

(2.) Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (New York: Cornell University Press, 1994), 34.

(3.) There is a voluminous amount of publications on Nationalism. For a recent survey see Umut Ozkirimli, Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2000).

(4.) See Nadia Danova, Vesela Dimova, Mariia Kalitsin, eds., Predstavata za 'Drugiia' na Balkanite, Sofia: Akademichno izdatelstvo Marin Drinov, 1995; Compare publications on the same theme in the 1994 issues of Etudes balkaniques; Christina Koulouri, ed., Teaching History of Southeastern Europe (Thessaloniki, 2001); Christina Koulouri, ed., Clio in the Balkans. The Politics of History Education, (Thessaloniki, 2002), another project supported by UNESCO also published its findings in Improvement of Balkan History Textbooks Project Report (UNESCO, 2001). See also Andrei Bundjulov et al., Prenapisvaniata na novata bulgarska istoria v uchebnitzite za gimnaziata (Sofia: n. p., 1995).

(5.) It is worth mentioning some early publications here: E. Manasieva, "Uchebnitzite po Bulgarska istoriia prez Vazrazhdaneto," Istoricheski pregled 6 (1971): 92-101; 1300 godini Bulgariia i Bulgarsko obrazovanie (Sofia, 1983); Maria Radeva, "Uchebnitzite po bulgarska istoriia i vazpitavaneto na natzionalni chuvstva i natzionalno saznanie," Godishnik na Sofiiskia Universitet--Istoriko-Filosofski Fakultet, 75 (1982): 88-123; Angel Dimitrov, Uchilishteto, progresat i natzionalnata revolyutzia, Sofia: Akademichno izdatelstvo na BAN, 1987; Rumiana Kusheva, "Ucbebnitzite po istoriia--sravnitelen pogled," Istoriia 2 (1992): 16-20.

(6.) Rumiana Kusheva, Metodika na obuchenieto po istoria (Sofia: Paradigma, 2000), 10-14.

(7.) Kusheva, 28.

(8.) Desislava Lilova, Vazrozhdenskite znachenia na natzionalnoto ime (Sofia: Prosveta, 2003), 45-46. See also Maria Todorova on self-appellation, Imagining the Balkans, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 38-62; Alexander Kiosev on self-colonization Alexander Kiosev, "Spisatzi na otsastvuvashtoto" in Bulgarskiiat kanon? Krizata na literaturnoto nasledstvo, ed. Alexander Kiosev (Sofia: Alexander Panov, 1998), 5-49.

(9.) Lilova, 180.

(10.) For example, a diachronical usage of late 19th-century illustrations for previous centuries is a common practice for the history textbooks; the most telling example being Felix Kanitz. Out of 80 illustrations used in the Lazarov's textbook for the Ottoman period 13 of them belong to Kanitz, moreover, only 4 are used for illustrating 19th century, the time when he visited the Balkan peninsula. Ivan Lazarov, Ivan Tyutyundzhiev, Rumiana Mikhneva et al., Istoriia i tzivilizatzia. 11. Klas (Veliko Tarnovo: Slovo, 2005).

(11.) Dimitar Tzanev, Bulgarskata istoricheska knizhnina prez Vazrazhdaneto. XVIII--parvata polovina na XIX vek (Sofia: Nauka i Izkustvo, 1989), 24-26; Lilova, 180-185, 231-232.

(12.) The textbooks published after 1989 and examined in this paper are the following: Al. Burmov, B. Bozhikov, and F. Lambrev. Balgarska istoria. Uchebnik za XI klas na obshtoobrazovatelnite uchilishta (Sofia: Narodna Prosveta, 1952); V. Guzelev, K. Kosev and G. Georgiev. Istoria na Balgaria za 9 klas na edinnite sredni politekhnicheski uchilishta (Sofia: Narodna Prosveta, 1984), Elena Grozdanova and Nikolai Zhechev, Istoria za 5 klas na srednite obshtoobrazovatelni uchilishta (Sofia: Anubis, 1999), Ivan Lazarov et al., Istoriia i Tzivilizatzia, 11. Klas (Veliko Tamovo: Slovo, 2005), P. Delev et al., Istoria na Balgariia za 11 klas (Sofia: Planeta 3, 1999), V. Guzelev, K. Kosev, M. Lalkov et al., Istoria 11. Klas na SOU (Sofia: Prosveta, 1998), V. Mutafchieva et al., Istoria i Tzivilizatzia 11. Klas, Profilirana podgotovka (Sofia: Anubis, 2001), Svetlana Ivanova et al., Istoria na Bulgaria za peti klas na obshtoobrazovatelnite uchilishta (Sofia: Bulvest, 2000), Vasil Guzelev, Raina Gavrilova et al., Istoria i Tzivilizatzia za 11 klas (Sofia: Narodna Prosveta, 2005).

(13.) The New School Program for History and Civilization for 5th and 6th grades introduces a shift, which re-contextualizes the Ottoman period that will be taught in two different grades: Minaloto na Bulgarite (ot parvite svedeniia za zhivot po nashite zemi do kraiia na XVII vek) in the 5th grade and Istoriia na bulgarskiia narod i darzhava XVIII-XX vek in the 6th grade. See Natzionalna programa za razvitie na uchilishnoto obrazovanie i preduchilishnoto vazpitanie i podgotovka, 2006-2015, which is submitted to the National Assembly for discussion,

Visited on May 3, 2006.

(14.) Burmov, 74-145.

(15.) Valeri Kolev, Michael Gruev and Kostadin Grozev, "National Report Bulgaria" in Improvement of Balkan History Textbooks, 18.

(16.) Alexei Kalionski, "Ottoman Macedonia in Bulgarian History Textbooks for Secondary School," in Clio in the Balkans, 277.

(17.) "Zakon za stepenta na obrazovanie, obshtobrazovatelnia minimum i uchebnia plan," Darzhaven vestnik 67, June 27, 1999. For all the subsequent changes see the official web site of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education quoted above.

(18.) Thalia Dragonas and Anna Frangoudaki, "The Persistence of Ethnocentric History," in Teaching History of Southeastern Europe, 39.

(19.) A concern about the regional history has been expressed recently. The homecoming of many Balkan countries was at the expense of their own common historical past. Each national Balkan history was directly connected to the West European history, without any regional stages in between. Moreover, many Balkan states embarked on an extraordinary competition as to their degree of 'Europeanness' and their consequent cultural prestige, a trend that evokes the notion of "Nesting Orientalisms' conceptualized by Milica Bakic-Hayden. For example, the Croatian history textbooks were phasing out the Southeast European history slowly and constructed direct parallel developments in their own country and in Western Europe. Both Croatian and Serbian textbooks implicitly accepted a "normal case" of European development, defined primarily in a Western European context. Christina Koulouri, "Introduction" in Clio it, the Balkans, 18. Heike Karge, "Between Euphoria, Sober Realization and Isolation. "Europe" in History Textbooks of Former Yugoslavian Countries," in Clio in the Balkans, 208; Milica Bakic-Hayden, "Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia," Slavic Review 54, No. 4 (Winter, 1995): 918.

(20.) left_menu/documents/ Visited on May, 3, 2006,

(21.) See the Balkans' transitionary status in Todorova, Imagining, 15-16.

(22.) Grozdanova, 9-11.

(23.) Lazarov et al., 105.

(24.) Delev et al., 155.

(25.) Efi Avdela, "The Teaching of History in Greece," Journal of Modern Greek Studies 18 (2000), 246.

(26.) Grozdanova, 17-23

(27.) Lazarov et al., 107-109.

(28.) Delev et al., 160.

(29.) Guzelev, K. Kosev, M. Lalkov, 156.

(30.) Mutafchieva et al., 35.

(31.) Lazarov et al., 134; Guzelev, K. Kosev, 137-139, Grozdanova, 111-112.

(32.) Compare Delev et al., 224-225; Mutafchieva et al, 49; Lazarov et al., 179, Guzelev, R. Gavrilova, 142.

(33.) Guzelev, K. Kosev, M. Lalkov, 225

(34.) Delev et al., p. 269.

(35.) See the discussion on hygiene as a criterion in assessing levels of civilization in Bozidar Jezemik, Wild Europe. The Balkans in the Gaze of Western Travellers (London: SAQI in Association with The Bosnian Institute, 2004), 44-45.

(36.) Delev et al., 164.

(37.) This is quite an old thesis in the Bulgarian Historiography. Compare Evguenia Davidova, "A Centre in the Periphery: Merchants during the Ottoman Period in Modern Bulgarian Historiography: The Journal of European Economic History 31, no. 3 (Winter 2002): 663-685. More recent overview of 19th-century Bulgarian historiography in Roumen Daskalov, Kak se misli Bulgarskoto vazrazhdane (Sofia: LIK, 2002).

(38.) Delev et al., 197.

(39.) Guzelev, K. Kosev, M. Lalkov, 196.

(40.) Delev et al., 269.

(41.) Guzelev, Raina Gavrilova, 112.

(42.) Todorova, Imagining, 140-161; See also Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994).

(43.) D. Tzanev mentions that one of the main concepts in the development of the Bulgarian historical and political idea is "common historical fate with the Slavic world." Compare Tzanev, Bulgarskata istoricheska, 184.

(44.) Guzelev, K. Kosev, M. Lalkov et al., 188.

(45.) Bistra Cvetkova, ed., Frenski patepisis za Balkanite XIX v (Sofia: Izdatelstvo Nauka i izkustvo, 1981), 231.

(46.) Lazarov et al., 160. The same quote is used by the same author in an article who comments that clocks are signs of the "new time" and can be found in almost all of the European travelogues such as Robert Walsh, B. Barker, and W. Leak. Roumiana Mihneva, "Notre Europe et "l'autre" Europe ou "Europeisation" contre evolution et certains problemes du "temps" transitoire dans les Balkans," Etudes balkaniques 3 (1994): 13.

(47.) Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth About History (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994), 156.

(48.) Avdela, "The Teaching," 241; Kolev, "National Report Bulgaria," 32.

(49.) Ivanova et al., 28; Charles Jelavich, "Serbian Textbooks: Toward Greater Serbia or Yugoslavia?" Slavic Review 42, No. 4 (Winter, 1983): 601-619; idem, South Slav Nationalisms--Textbooks and Yugoslav Union before 1914 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1990).

(50.) Dean MacCannell, The Tourist. A New Theory of the Leisure Class (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), XXI.

Evguenia Davidova

Portland State University

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A157268152