This year, the Department of Romance Studies of Sofia University turned 100 years old. The centenary was celebrated with several events, one of which was an international scientific conference with the participation of scientists and teachers from many major world universities.
This is the occasion in the column “All about education” with the participation of Prof. Georgi Zhechev, a teacher in the department, let’s go back to its beginning. It is associated with the name of the prominent novelist with high international recognition, Prof. Toma Tomov, who was the main driver for the creation of the department. He is also the first habilitated teacher who leads the lectures in almost all disciplines and prepares teachers to take them over. Later, he also created the specialties “Italian Philology” and “Spanish Philology”.
The idea of introducing “new” philologies (besides the classical ones) in our first higher education institution was Prof. Ivan Shishmanov’s since the time when he was Minister of Education. The idea became a reality in 1923 with the opening of the department of “Romance Philology” and one semester after that of “German Philology” within the Faculty of History and Philology of Sofia University.
Essentially, the profile of the department is “French Philology” and the French state sends two professors to teach the students and assist in the development of the specialty. One of them, Georges Ato, remains permanently connected to Bulgaria.
A century after the introduction of university education in French language and literature in our country, conditions on a global scale are very different, the scope of the specialty is also changing and expanding in the direction of the broad Francophone linguistic picture and literatures, the contact between languages and cultures. The department “Romanistics“ Sofia University remains the place where students can receive a full-fledged philological training, along with the new disciplines and master’s programs, oriented towards their professional realization.
Hear more in the sound file.
Photo – Sofia University “St. Cl. Ohridski”
Worked on the publication: Milena Ochipalska
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