Maria Todorova is the Gutgsell Professor of History at the Department of History University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Bulgarian historian who is best known for her influential book, Imagining the Balkans. She studied history and English at the University of Sofia, and obtained her PhD in 1977. Maria Todorova was Visiting Professor at various institutions, including Sabanci University in Istanbul and the University of Florida. She was awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. In 2006, Maria Todorova was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.