Theodora Dragostinova

Associate Professor

Theodora Dragostinova is an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University. Her work focuses on nation-building, refugee movements, and minority politics in eastern Europe, with a particular emphasis on the Balkans. She is the author of Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949 (Cornell University Press, 2011). Her book was shortlisted for the Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies of the Association for the Study of Nationalities; and the Edmund Keeley Book Prize of the Modern Greek Studies Association. The book was awarded the Past President Bronze Award from the Association for Borderlands Studies.

Expanding her work on nationalism, Professor Dragostinova co-edited the volume Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans (Central European University Press, 2016).

Professor Dragostinova is currently working on her second book project, “Communist Extravaganza: Bulgarian Cultural Diplomacy and the Global Cold War Order.” Based on research in Bulgaria, Hungary, Great Britain, Austria, Germany, France, and the United States, this book engages the global Cold War order through the experiences of a small state, Bulgaria, and its cultural engagements with the world. In connection to this project, in March 2016 Professor Dragostinova organized the workshop “Iron Curtain Crossings: Eastern Europe and the Global Cold War.”

Professor Dragostinova is actively involved in the work of the Race, Ethnicity, and Nation (REN) Constellation of the History Department, which explores these three concepts in a comparative, transnational perspective. She is also a part of the teams of eight faculty member who organized the first OSU Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, under the title “CrossRoads: Culture, Politics, and Belief in the Balkans and South Asia.”

She is also a team member of the newly funded Humanities & Arts Discovery Theme, “Movers and Migrants: Arts and Humanities Perspectives on Global Mobility,” which is launching The Global Mobility Project at Ohio State.

Dragostinova has received grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and American Historical Association. Her work has appeared in Nationalities Papers, Slavic Review, East European Politics and Societies, Journal of Genocide Research, and Journal of Contemporary History.

Professor Dragostinova teaches a variety of courses in Modern Europe, East and West. Some of her recent offerings include: “People on the Move: Migration in Modern Europe” (lecture), “Empires and Nations in Eastern Europe, 1500-Present” (lecture), “Modern European History” (lecture), “Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century” (lecture), “Displaced Persons in Eastern Europe” (seminar), “Communism in Eastern Europe” (seminar), “Nationalism in Eastern Europe” (graduate seminar), “Post-World War II Eastern Europe” (graduate seminar), and “Comparative State- and Nation-Building in Modern Europe” (graduate seminar). 

Listen to Professor Dragostinova discuss the 25th anniversary of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and read her piece on the Revolution of 1989 from 2009.

Listen to Professor Dragostinova discuss the current refugee crisis in Europe and read her article on the refugee crisis in historical perspective.

Areas of Expertise
  • European History; Modern European History
  • Russian and East European History
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Nation

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