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Dilyana Ivanova, ABF Program Assistant obtained her Ph.D in Ethnology in December 2012

Dissertation: “Biographic Narratives of Everyday Life in a Socialist Town: A Case Study of Rousse, Bulgaria."

Dilyana Ivanova, ABF Program Assistant (Anthropology Department, The Field Museum) obtained her Ph.D. on December 19, 2012 in Sofia at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Dilyana's dissertation is entitled, “Biographic Narratives of Everyday Life in a Socialist Town: A Case Study of Rousse, Bulgaria." The work explores narratives containing memories of everyday life in Rousse during socialism, and it creates an oral history profile of the town during the same period. The text discusses the most common themes in the biographical stories through which the socialist past was described, and it also presents examples of diverse life experiences and assessments of the past. The analysis is focused not so much on the historical details about the town as on the anthropological categories through which Rousse is described in the oral narratives of the residents. The study of socialist everyday life in the Rousse narratives demonstrates the realization of postmodern disintegration, decentralization, and pluralism of the Great History (by Nora) of Bulgarian post-socialist society. It brings together different life experiences and assessments of the past and achieves a synthesis of the epoch, and it also challenges the poles of acceptance or rejection of the socialist past.