Milena Methodieva

Assistant Professor of Ottoman, Turkish, and Balkan history
Near andMiddle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5S 1C1


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Late Ottoman political, social, and intellectual history
  • Turkey, 1920s-30s
  • Migrations and mobility
  • Nationalism
  • Minorities and majorities
  • Islam and Muslims in the Balkans


Milena Methodieva is a scholar of Ottoman, Balkan, and Turkish history. She received her PhD from Princeton, MA from Bilkent University, Turkey, and BA from the American University in Bulgaria. Her scholarship is concerned with the political, social, and intellectual transformations in the late Ottoman empire, its successors in the Balkans, and modern Turkey. She is interested in exploring history from the perspective of marginalized groups and showing their role in the historical process. Her work often looks at events in transnational context. She also has an interest in the past and present of Islam, Muslims, and Muslim culture in the Balkans.

Milena Methodieva is the author of Between Empire and Nation: Muslim Reform in the Balkans (Stanford University Press, 2021). The book tells the story of the transformation of the Muslim community in modern Bulgaria during a period of imperial dissolution, conflicting national and imperial enterprises, and the emergence of new national and ethnic identities. Drawing on multilingual primary sources and archival research in Turkey and Bulgaria, it explores how these former Ottoman subjects navigated between empire and nation-state, and sought to claim a place in the larger modern world.

Dr. Methodieva currently works on two research projects. “Migrant Tales (1870s-1920s)” looks at population migrations, the end of the Ottoman imperial order, and the making of modern Turkey. “Exporting the Kemalist Revolution (1920s-30s)” examines the reception and interpretation of Turkey’s Kemalist reforms among Muslim communities in the Balkans.

Representative publications:

  • “Muslim Culture, Reform and Patriotism: Staging Namık Kemal in post-Ottoman Bulgaria (1878-1908),” in Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet, Eds., Entertainment Among the Ottomans (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 208-24.
  • “Mehmed Sabri Pasha,” The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd ed., (Leiden: Brill), part 2020-6, 127-128.
  • “Karadjordje,” The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd ed., (Leiden: Brill), part 2020-4, 66-68.
  • “Montenegro,” The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd ed., (Leiden: Brill), part 2020-2, 114-118.
  • “Manastırlı İsmail Hakkı,” The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd ed., (Leiden: Brill), part 2019-6, 129-130.
  • “How Turks and Bulgarians Became Ethnic Brothers: History, Propaganda and Political Alliances on the Eve of the Young Turk Revolution,” Turkish Historical Review 5 (2014), 221-62.
  • “Keeping the Bonds: the Ottomans and Muslim Education in Bulgaria, 1878-1908,” Turcica 36 (2004), 141-65, with S. Akşin Somel.


PhD, Princeton University
MA, Bilkent University
BA, American University in Bulgaria