Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Ohio State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2001
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Florida
Between Two Motherlands: State Policies and Local Demands for Nationhood within Minority and Refugee Communities in Greece and Bulgaria, 1906-1949

My dissertation studies the Greek minority in Bulgaria and its repatriation in the period 1906- 1949. I focus on the national assimilation and social adaptation of the Greek refugees into their "recovered motherland," and detect the formation of a peculiar attitude toward integration among the "new citizens." Tensions existed between the official Greek policies that aimed at national unity and incorporation of the new population in the state structures and the needs of the refugees who prioritized secure adjustment to the new environment. As a result of local pressures and elite interests, frictions regarding access to the limited state resources emerged within the refugee communities. Conflicts between the "indigenous" inhabitants and the "newcomers" were also common. I explore the optionality of national identity in this situation of physical uncertainty, economic destitute, and social turmoil. The determination of some Greeks to retain their minority status in Bulgaria or even return after initial resettlement in Greece is indicative. I pay special attention to forms of "passive resistance" to the imposition of state-inspired national identity and argue that considerations other than national allegiances, such as local loyalties, social networks, shared cultural practices, or economic factors, could transcend ethnic rigidity.