Miglena Nikolchina is a literary historian and theoretician whose research engages the interactions of literature, philosophy, political studies, and feminism. She is professor at the Department of Literary History and Theory at Sofia University, Bulgaria. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Sofia University, Bulgaria, in 1984, and her PhD in English from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1993. She was Director of the Program for Gender and Culture at CEU, Budapest, Hungary, and visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
Nikolchina’s research was influenced by the specific refractions of structuralism and semiotics in the work of the “Invisible school” (Nikola Georgiev, Radosvet Kolarov) and by the broad multidisciplinarity of the 1980s Sofia “Seminar,” which inevitably incorporated the long shadows of Hegel and Marx but also of Plato, phenomenology, critical theory, and deconstruction, and, in her case, the heterogeneous inspirations of Julia Kristeva. Michael Foucault, and Merab Mamardashvili. In the 1990s, the work of Joan Scott, Judith Butler, and Wendy Brown gave a new twist to her thinking which, at the turn of the century, was drawn into the invigorating Sofia circle of young scholars with Boyan Manchev at its center. Addressing her queries predominantly to the literature of Ancient Greece, Romanticism, Modernism, Science Fiction, to poetry from all places and ages, and, most recently, to video games, Nikolchina’s writing has been guided by a lasting theoretical concern for Utopianism, the (para)human as process and transformation, and the artificial being as an artistic and philosophical challenge. It is in this context that she investigated, historically but also in terms of structural impasses, the discursive attainments and failures of two grand projects from the second half of the 20th century: the feminist and the East European “velvet” revolutions. Nikolchina’s term “heterotopian homonymy” emerged from these explorations and has persisted in her more recent studies of the intersections between the problem of the artificial human being and humanist/anithumanist trends in philosophy since the 1960s.
● Lost Unicorns of the Velvet Revolutions: Heterotopias of the Seminar, New York: Fordham University Press, 2013;
● Matricide in Language: Writing Theory in Kristeva and Woolf. New York: Other Press, 2004;
● Деви, рицари, кралици. Любовта в литературата на Средновековието и Ренесанса. Пловдив: Жанет 45, 2014;
● Изгубените еднорози на революцията. Българските интелектуалци през 1980те и 1990те години. София: издателство на Литературен вестник, 2012.
● Родена от главата. Фабули и сюжети в женската литературна история. София: Сема РШ, 2002;
● Смисъл и майцеубийство. Прочит на Юлия Кръстева през Вирджиния Улф, София: Университетско издателство “Св. Кл. Охридски”, 1997;
● Човекът-утопия. София: Университетско издателство “Св. Кл. Охридски”, 1992;
● Митът за Прометей и поетиката на английския романтизъм. София: Университетско издателство “Св. Кл. Охридски”, 1988.
● Jelentes es anyagyilkossag. Virginia Woolf Julia Kristeva olvasataban. Budapest: Balassi Kisado, 2004;
● Значение и матерeубийство. Традиция матерей в свете Юлии Кристевой. Москва: Идея-пресс, 2003;
● Смисла и майкоубиство. Скопjе: Сигмапрес, 2000.
Nikolchina is also the author of books of poetry and fiction.