Compiled by Martha Forsyth

The Bulgarian Studies Association was started under the name of Bulgarian Studies Group, in the spring of 1971 "at the AAASS Convention in Denver". It was an informal group, with no officers. Indications are that Marin Pundeff acted as the first leader (Coordinator) of the group. We do not have a copy of the first newsletter, but its cover page is pictured in the Vol. 29:1 (Fall-Winter 1971) issue of the Newsletter. Thomas A. Meininger was the Compiler. We do have a nearly-complete archive of newsletters starting with Volume 2 (Spring-Summer 1972) and going through Volume 34:2 (Fall 2005) - except for Vols. 1, 14, and 15. If you have a copy of any of the missing newsletters that you would be willing to donate or loan for scanning purposes, please contact any of the current officers. Note that there was a major change in the numbering system used for the newsletters in 1999!

According to a report in Volume 2 (Spring-Summer 1972), the newsletter was then "being 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." There were no dues; voluntary contributions of $1.00 for two issues were solicited from "scholars who find the Newsletter professionally and academically useful."

There were apparently no formal officers until the annual meeting on 10 October 1975.

The name of the organization was changed to Bulgarian Studies Association at the annual meeting on 13 October 1978 (according to Volume 16 of the Newsletter).

In the Fall-Winter 1974 issue of the Newsletter (#7) a Policy Statement" for the Bulgarian Studies Group was presented in draft form.

A Constitution was proposed in the fall of 1979 (Newsletter #17), a ballot for it posted with three suggested amendments in Newsletter #18 (Spring-Summer 1980), and the Constitution was "approved as amended" in the fall of 1980 (Newsletter #19). This Constitution was further amended on16 November 1996 and again on 12 November 2000.
If you see mistakes here, please contact an officer.

Newsletter Editor
Honorary President Conferences
1971 Bulgarian Studies Group formed "at the AAASS Convention in Denver" in the spring of 1971, by a small group of interested scholars. No officers appear to have been named. Thomas A. Meininger    
1972 Marin Pundeff, "ad hoc coordinator" Thomas A. Meininger    
1973-76 Charles A. Moser   Ernest Scatton Thomas A. Meininger    
The first election reported in the Newsletter (#9) took place at the Annual Meeting on 10 October 1975, "for a term of either 2 or 3 years, to be determined by a vote of the entire membership" (2 years carried by a small margin). At that time the Newsletter Editor was an elected position; from approximately 1982 on it has been an appointed one. The following officers were chosen, and formally elected in 1986:
1976-April 1978 Charles A. Moser Philip Shashko Ernest Scatton Thomas A. Meininger   #1 (3-6 May 1973)
University of Wisconsin
(program is in Vol. 3-4)
May 1978-
James F. Clarke Lubomir A.D. Dellin
(died 9 March 1980, then:)
Frederick B. Chary
Thomas Butler Frederick B. Chary as of 1979:
Irwin T. Sanders
#2 (June 1978)
13 October 1978: name changed (at Annual Meeting) to Bulgarian Studies Association.
A Constitution was proposed in the fall of 1979 (Newsletter #17), a ballot for it posted with three suggested amendments in Newsletter #18 (Spring-Summer 1980), and the Constitution was "approved as amended" in the fall of 1980 (Newsletter #19).
1980-82 James F. Clarke Frederick B. Chary Ernest A. Scatton Frederick B. Chary Irwin T. Sanders
Albert B. Lord
#3 (11-13 October 1982) Hellenic College and Harvard University
(list of participants in #22; program sent out as a special mailing, 9/1982)
1982-89 (90?) Frederick B. Chary Ernest A. Scatton Martha Forsyth Roger Whitaker Irwin T. Sanders
Albert B. Lord
James F. Clarke (d. 12/6/82)
#4 (22-26 June 1987)
(list of participants in #28)
1990-92 John D. Bell Howard I. Aronson Martha Forsyth Charles A. Moser This category dropped.  
1992-94 Dennis Hupchick Donald L. Dyer Martha Forsyth Donald L. Dyer   #5 (26-27 May 1994)
University of Pittsburgh
(prelim. program in #36)
1995-97 Katia McClain Grace Fielder Martha Forsyth L.C.J. Jacobson (10/95)
Bonka S. Boneva (10/96)
1997-2001 Cynthia Vakareliyska Ernest A. Scatton Martha Forsyth Bonka S. Boneva (-2000)
In 1998, Donald L. Dyer was appointed Academic Editor; other person is Editor-in-Chief)
Philip Murphy
  #6 (30 May-3 June 1999)
(program in #29:2)
2002-04 Charles E. Gribble Kjetil Rå Hauge Martha Forsyth Philip Murphy (Editor-in-Chief)
Donald L. Dyer (Acad. Ed.)
  #7 9-11 October (2003)
Ohio State University
2004-06 Christine Holden Kjetil Rå Hauge Martha Forsyth Murphy, then Emilia Zankina (2004); & Dyer    
2006-08 Mari Firkatian Kjetil Rå Hauge Martha Forsyth Emilia Zankina & Dyer   #8 (13-15 June 2008)
(program on BSA website)
The last printed newsletter was Volume 35:1 (Fall 2006); at this point the University of Pittsburgh told us they could no longer fund the production and mailing of our newsletter. Plans are to go to a web version of a newsletter, with perhaps a few copies being printed for those without Internet access.
2009-10 Cynthia Vakareliyska Anissava Miltenova Martha Forsyth Donald L. Dyer (Editor)
Blake Shedd (Associate Editor)
Sam Shingleton (Book Review Editor)


Other info (not sure if we want to post the Scholarship awards on the web, since we no longer have such a fund [nor do I want it to start up again, it was a pain in the neck!!] but listing the John D. Bell Book Prize recipients may help keep that alive):

Recipients of James F. Clarke (later commemorating others too) Scholarship ($100 award to a graduate student)

  • 1985: Donald L. Dyer
  • 1988: Daniel E. Miller
  • 1997: Elisabeth Elliott
  • 1977: Nikita Nankov
  • 1998: Nikita Nankov
  • 1999: Nikita Nankov
  • 2000: Karen Peters
  • 2002: Nikita Nankov
  • 2003: Theoroda Dragostinova (This award closed out the Scholarship account.)