Magdalena Elchinova, born in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, in 1962. Ph.D. from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Folklore, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.
At NIAS I was offered excellent conditions and opportunities to accomplish my individual programme. My primary aim was to have contact and discussions with colleagues from different countries, which I was able to do during the TRIS lecture sessions, NIAS seminars, and other activities. In addition, my stay in the Netherlands enabled me to meet Dutch colleagues from various academic institutions, working on similar research subjects. I finished an article on ethnic discourse in modern Bulgarian society. Another article is in process, focussed on the problem of our day-to-day understanding of religion. I also translated a paper by a NIAS Fellow, for an issue of the journal Bulgarian Folklore editing this issue was another part of my work here. I also systematised some highlights for further development of a lecture course I started teaching a year ago. Getting acquainted with the latest publications, as well as with academic programmes in anthropology and ethnic studies, was also a useful outcome of my fellowship. The most important effect on my career was the opportunity to set up professional contacts which will benefit future co-operation. I believe that the informal discussions and the sense of community at NIAS stimulated the willingness to co-operate.