The lecture, based on the life trajectory of Tsola Dragoitcheva, a Bulgarian political functionary during the state socialism, presents (her) biography as a useful historical tool which would help scholars to find the balance between treating women from the past patriarchal contexts as agents of change or as constrained by the specific historical structures. It is a contribution to the ongoing historical debate regarding women's situation in the East European state socialist countries during the Cold War period.
Krassimira Daskalova is Professor of Modern European Cultural History at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, in Bulgaria. Her most recent monograph is Women, Gender, and Modernization in Bulgaria, 1878–1944 (in Bulgarian), published by Sofia University Press in 2012. From 2005-2010, Daskalova served as the president of the International Federation for Research in Women's History. Since 2007, she has been the editor and book review editor of Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History, published by Berghahn Books in New York. Daskalova has been awarded fellowships and scholarships from a number of prestigious organizations, including the DADD (the German Academic Exchange Service), the Fulbright Program, the Japanese Association of University Women, the Körber Foundation and the Institute for Human Sciences, the Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study, and others. Her book A Biographical Dictionary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms: Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries (Central European University Press, 2006), co-edited with Francisca De Haan and Anna Loutfi, was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2006. Currently, Krassimira Daskalova is a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.