In March 2023, Prof. José Manuel Losada from the Complutense University of Madrid enjoyed a Transnational Access Fellowship (TNA) stay at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, doing research on Slavic mythology. We asked him how he experienced his stay.
This is what Prof. José Manuel Losada said about his stay:
“I would like to say a few words about my unique experience at the Centre for Slavo-Byzantine Studies “Prof. Ivan Dujčev”.
Prof. Vassya Velinova has very patiently explained to me the history and the main goals of this wonderful place, former house of the renowned Bulgarian medievalist, Prof. Ivan Dujčev. I have had the opportunity to admire some unique pieces, the illuminated scroll-amulet, written in Church Slavonic, dated from the end of 17th or the beginning of 18th c. among them!
In an extremely calm atmosphere, thanks to Albena Milanova’s help, I have had access to all documents I need for my research on Bulgarian traditions: saints and demons in the Balkan peninsula, the syncretism between cult to archaic goddesses ant saints in the medieval age, shamanism and poetry, myth and folklore in the period of the Bulgarian National Revival, the cultural construction of the clairvoyant of prophetess, etc.
The Centre is an independent unit of the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. Nevertheless, it is far from being academically separated from this university: it has channeled me towards other colleagues, for instance, Nikolai Vukov, Associate Professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Last but not least, I am also extremely grateful to Maria Totomanova-Paneva, the best Cicerone one can imagine through the university buildings. I have had the magic experience of meeting her students from the faculty of Slavic Studies.
Thanks ever to the RESILIENCE!”
Thank you for this interview, Prof. José Manuel Losada! We wish you all the best for your continued research!