About BSA

The Bul­gari­an Stud­ies As­so­ci­ation (BSA) is a non-profit schol­arly or­gan­iz­a­tion promoting the study of and ex­change of know­ledge about all as­pects of Bul­garia, Bulgarian Lands and Bul­gari­ans: lan­guage, lit­er­at­ure, cul­ture, his­tory, archaeology, polit­ics, eco­nom­ics and in­ter­na­tion­al re­la­tions. BSA is an affiliate organization of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES).


Newsletter 2023:1

Letter from the President By Dilyana Ivanova Zieske Dear Readers, The new BSA leadership was elected by the members almost a year ago. It has been an exciting year for Daria, Traci and me and we are happy to report th...
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In Memoriam: Martha Forsyth

October 10, 1940 – September 24, 2023 Martha Forsyth, a dedicated and faithful officer of the Bulgarian Studies Association, passed away in the early morning of September 24, 2023. Martha was the archivist and h...
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In 2023 the Bulgarian Studies Association (BSA) offers two travel grants up to $700 to subsidize the travel of BSA members – faculty and research specialists who permanently reside in Bulgaria to present their p...
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2023 Call for BSA Newsletter Contributions (for BSA Current Members)

Please consider sending your contributions to the BSA Newsletter. The Bulgarian Studies Association Newsletter is issued annually in PDF format and carries news of the association and topics related to Bulgarian studi...
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Open Letter: May 24 Greeting

Скъпи съграждани в България и по света, Честит 24 май! От името на Българската Научна Асоциация (Bulgarian Studies Association) в САЩ ви поздравяваме с най-хубавия и светъл празник на българската писменост, просвета и...
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About BSA

Compiled by Martha Forsyth

The Bulgarian Studies Association was started under the name of Bulgarian Studies Group, in the Spring of 1971 at the Convention in Denver of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). It was an informal group, with no officers. Marin Pundeff acted as the first leader (Coordinator) of the group and Thomas A. Meininger was the compiler of its first Newsletter.  In the Spring-Summer of 1972, the newsletter was received by 100 persons and about 15 institutions in the U.S. and Canada, about 20 institutions and persons in Bulgaria, and 15 Bulgarianists in England, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The organizations had no formal officers until the annual meeting on October 10, 1975. The name of the group was changed to Bulgarian Studies Association at the annual meeting on October 13, 1978. The first Constitution of the organization was approved in the fall of 1980. It was further amended on November 16, 1996, and again on November 12, 2000.

Historical Overview Table

YearPresidentVice-PresidentSecretary-TreasurerNewsletter EditorHonorary PresidentConferences
1971Bulgarian Studies Group formed in Denver   Thomas A. Meininger  
1972Marin Pundeff, “ad hoc coordinator”  Thomas A. Meininger  
1973-76Charles A. Moser Ernest ScattonThomas A. Meininger  
1976-78 Charles A. MoserPhilip ShashkoErnest ScattonThomas A. Meininger #1 (May 3-6, 1973), University of Wisconsin, USA
1978-80James F. ClarkeLubomir A.D. Dellin (until 1980); then Frederick CharyThomas ButlerFrederick B. Charyas of 1979: Irvin T. Sanders#2 (June 1978) Varna, Bulgaria
1980-82James F. ClarkeFrederick B. CharyErnest A. ScattonFrederick B. CharyIrwin T. Sanders; Albert B. Lord#3 (October 11-13, 1982) Hellenic College and Harvard University, USA
1982-89Frederick B. CharyErnest A. ScattonMartha ForsythRoger WhitakerIrwin T. Sanders; Albert B. Lord; James F. Clarke (d. 12/6/82)#4 (June 22-26, 1987) Smolyan, Bulgaria
1990-92John D. BellHoward I. AronsonMartha ForsythCharles A. MoserThis category dropped. 
1992-94Dennis HupchickDonald L. DyerMartha ForsythDonald L. Dyer #5 (May 26-27, 1994), University of Pittsburgh, USA
1995-97Katia McClainGrace FielderMartha ForsythL.C.J. Jacobson (10/95); Bonka S. Boneva (10/96)  
1997-2001Cynthia VakareliyskaErnest A. ScattonMartha ForsythBonka S. Boneva (-2000); In 1998, Donald L. Dyer was appointed Academic Editor; other person is Editor-in-Chief – Philip Murphy #6 (May 30-June 3, 1999) Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
2002-04Charles E. GribbleKjetil Rå HaugeMartha ForsythPhilip Murphy (Editor-in-Chief) & Donald L. Dyer (Acad. Ed.) #7 October 9-11, 2003             Ohio State University, USA
2004-06Christine HoldenKjetil Rå HaugeMartha ForsythMurphy, then Emilia Zankina (2004) & Donald L. Dyer  
2006-08Mari FirkatianKjetil Rå HaugeMartha ForsythEmilia Zankina & Donald L. Dyer #8 (June 13-15, 2008)           Varna, Bulgaria
2009-12Cynthia VakareliyskaAnissava MiltenovaMartha ForsythDonald L. Dyer (Editor); Blake Shedd (Associate Editor); Sam Shingleton (Book Review Editor)  #9 (May 31-June 2, 2012) University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
2013-18Vessela WarnerDonald L. DyerMartha ForsythDonald L. Dyer (Editor); Cammeron Girvin (Associate Editor; later Journal Editor) #10  (June 27-29, 2016) Sofia, Bulgaria
2019-22Markus WienVessela Warner (2019-20); Daria WhiteTraci Speed Sanja Ivanov (Journal Editor)  #11 (June 9-10, 2022)            Library of Congress, Washington, DC
2022-presentDilyana Ivanova ZieskeDaria WhiteTraci SpeedSanja Ivanov (Journal Editor)  

BSA Officers 

Dilyana Ivanova Zieske


Dr. Dilyana Ivanova Zieske is a Research Associate at The Field Museum in Chicago, IL where she is conducting oral history research of  Bulgarian immigration to Chicago. Dilyana obtained her Ph.D. in Ethnology from the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.

Daria White


Dr. Daria White’s work has been focused on individuals who have experienced personal and communal, current and transgenerational trauma. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision at James Madison University, where she received the Women and Gender Studies Feminist Scholarship Award for her work with Bulgarian elderly women.

Traci Speed


Dr. Traci Speed is an Assistant Professor of Bulgarian-English Translation at the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in Bulgaria. Traci obtained her Ph.D. Degree in Slavic Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sanja Ivanov​

Newsletter Editor​

Dr. Sanja Ivanov is a scholar of contemporary literature and culture, with a focus on legacy of socialism in Central and Southeastern Europe. Her other academic interests include internationalization of higher education and graduate student teaching development. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. 


2022 Washington DC

11th Conference of the Bulgarian Studies Association June 9-10, 2022, Library of Congress, Washington DC The eleventh conference of the Bulgarian Studies Association (BSA) was held on June 9 and 10, 2022 at the Librar...
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2016 Sofia

10th Joint Meeting of Bulgarian and North American Scholars: Beyond the Borders Sofia, June 27-29, 2016 For more than forty years the tradition of Bulgarian-North American academic dialogs has been carried on by the C...
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2012 Eugene

9th Joint Meeting of Bulgarian and North American Scholars May 31 – June 2, 2012 Eugene, Oregon by John Leafgren The Ninth Joint Meeting of Bulgarian and North American Scholars took place May 31 -June 2, 2012, ...
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2008 Varna

8th Joint Bulgarian-American Conference: Bulgarian-American Dialogs 13-15 June, 2008, Varna, Bulgaria The 8th successive Joint Bulgarian-American Conference, titled “Bulgarian-American Dialogs” was held June 13- 15, 2...
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2003 Columbus

All images ©2003 Anna C. Goben
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Newsletter of the Bulgarian Studies Association


Please consider sending your contributions to the BSA Newsletter.

The Bulgarian Studies Association Newsletter is issued annually in PDF format and carries news of the association and topics related to Bulgarian studies. Please submit your

  • Announcements for conferences, events, publications, activities, etc.
  • Award recognitions.
  • Profiles and short biographies of BSA members; and
  • Resources that may be helpful to members – scholarships and other grants, job announcements, etc.

Guidelines for Contributions

  • All submissions must be in Word format and should include a proposed title.
  • Photos, images, or graphics are encouraged, and may be resized for placement.
  • Please include links (URLs) to additional information.
  • Word count:
    • News items, reports, and announcements – 50 to 200 words
    • All articles have a limit of up to 500 words.

Please submit your contributions to our Editor, Sanja Ivanov at

Note: Submissions are accepted from the Bulgarian Studies Association current members.

Recent Issues

Newsletter 2023:1

Letter from the President By Dilyana Ivanova Zieske Dear Readers, The new BSA leadership was elected by the members almost a year ago. It has been an exciting year for Daria, Traci and me and we are happy to report th...
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Newsletter 2014:2

Dear readers, We may be approaching the end of this newsletter’s life! But this is not due to a dwindling membership or a withering interest in Bulgarian studies: rather, we are considering expanding the publication t...
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Newsletter 2014:1

From the Associate Editor Happy summer, everyone! Things are hopefully a little slower and calmer right now in your academic and personal lives, but we hope that this issue will show you that there have been some exci...
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Newsletter 2013:2

Dear Members of the Bulgarian Studies Association, Our second 2013 issue of the Bulgarian Studies Association Newsletter has arrived! In addition to the President’s let- ter, in this issue you will find a book review ...
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Newsletter 2013:1

Dear Members of the Bulgarian Studies Association, Welcome to the newest edition of the BSA Newsletter and the first of the new year! Blake Shedd, associate editor, and I hope you will enjoy what’s inside. This is a s...
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Members Area

Membership Application / Renewal

Membership in the Bulgarian Studies Association costs only $25.00 per calendar year ($5.00 for members living in Bulgaria) and is open to any person interested in any aspect of scholarship dealing with Bulgaria and Bulgarians. Membership in the BSA will help you keep apprised of developments and trends in the field and will foster professional contacts with other scholars active in Bulgarian Studies.

  • Our membership is based upon a calendar year of January 1 – December 31.
  • If you join in January through October, your membership will expire on December 31 of that year.
  • If you join in November or December, your membership will extend through the following year.

Mailing list

The purpose of the BSA discussion list is to serve common professional, academic and cultural interests in the area of Bulgarian studies. The BSA mailing list is open for members, donors and friends of the organizations.

Membership payment preferences

If you prefer, you can pay ahead a year or more.

Membership Payment

To pay by PayPal:
  1. Click the payment button below to be sure you reach the BSA account.
  2. In the screen that appears, type in the amount of dollars you are sending and click “Update”
  3. Log in to PayPal or create an account.
  4. Enter your credit card details in the appropriate fields and go through with the transaction (You will be able to review your payment details before making the final transaction).
  5. You will immediately receive a receipt from PayPal by e-mail.
  6. After submitting dues through PayPal, please send your completed membership form as an e-mail attachment to Traci Speed.


Membership Form

Choose one of the two options below:

1) Select the text between the dotted lines, copy it into an e-mail, fill in the information needed on each line, and mail it to Traci Speed.

————— COPY FROM HERE ———–
An asterisk (*) marks required information.

  • *Name:
  • *E-mail address:
  • Alternative e-mail address:
  • *Country of residence:
  • Affiliation:
  • *Preferred mailing address:
  • Second address?:
  • hone number(s):
  • Field(s) of Interest (linguistics, history, economics, etc.):
  • *Type of payment (delete as applicable) PayPal/check (U.S. currency only)/cash (U.S. currency only)
  • *Date of payment:
  • *Amount submitted (US $25 per calendar year, $5 for members living in Bulgaria):
  • Comments or questions:

————- END OF FORM ————

2) Alternatively, you can download following file and send it as indicated in the form.


Your financial support will help the administration and advancement of the Bulgarian Studies Association. We greatly appreciate any contribution!

If you would like to make a donation, your can use the PayPal link below. For other methods of donation, please contact Traci Speed.