Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

(Re)construction of Memory of Turning Points in Slovenian History of the 20th Century

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.01.00  Humanities  Historiography   

Code Science Field
H250  Humanities  Contemporary history (since 1914) 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
Representation of memory, identity politics, memory practices
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19609  PhD Irena Avsenik Nabergoj  Literary sciences  Researcher  2012 - 2013  585 
2.  29700  PhD David Bandelj  Literary sciences  Researcher  2010 - 2011  228 
3.  30272  PhD Pavlina Bobič  Historiography  Researcher  2010 - 2012  72 
4.  10900  PhD Igor Grdina  Historiography  Researcher  2010 - 2011  1,701 
5.  30793  PhD Ivanka Huber  Sociology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  127 
6.  19469  Igor Lapajne    Technical associate  2010 - 2012  69 
7.  01008  PhD Oto Luthar  Historiography  Head  2010 - 2013  888 
8.  29625  PhD Katja Mihurko Poniž  Literary sciences  Researcher  2010 - 2013  469 
9.  27738  PhD Tanja Petrović  Anthropology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  531 
10.  29978  PhD Martin Pogačar  Culturology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  184 
11.  21446  PhD Mateja Ratej  Historiography  Researcher  2010 - 2011  491 
12.  02155  PhD Radivoj Riha  Philosophy  Researcher  2010 - 2012  321 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,885 
2.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  13,847 
The research will thematise relationships between representation of memory and politics of identity in Slovenian society after 1980s. The goal of the project is a comprehensive analysis of memory practices (official, everyday, collective, individual, etc.) which are conducive to shaping and maintaining the memory of most traumatic periods and events in recent European and also Slovenian history. The centre of project’s attention is the period of the so-called “Second Thirty-Year War,” i.e. the first half of the “short 20th century” (Hobsbawm). Systematic comparative analysis of material collected during the research on memory of the Great War, along the related thematisations and research conducted in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and in the Baltic states, will enable us to introduce basic shift in contemporary interpretations of both world wars. The project team will outline a dynamics of changes and transformations of the concerned memory practices after 1989, and interdependency and interaction between particular manifestations of memory. The situation in Slovenia will be studied in comparative perspective on European level – including some former socialist and European countries, which share comparable historical and social development. After 1989 a fundamental reconsideration of the recent past took place in most of Europe, which unlike the majority of previous such thematisations situated the concerned historical period into a broader time frame and included the memory of all social groups. Similar to Harald Welzer, other competent researchers of that time and events established that: “social energy” of contemporary “memory wars” emerges from the struggle between different social and political groups which aim to gain interpretive authority in renarrativisation of this period of “shared European history.” Time and again, it has been realised that it is the traumacity of the past and particularly the different memories of it that cause the gravest gaps and conflicts between interpretations. What is more, twenty years after the seminal events in the centre of Europe there is no doubt that the pronouncedly polyphonic and differentiated interpretations of the past have a significant, perhaps decisive role in shaping the characteristics of a democratic society. Understanding the dynamics and dialectics of these processes is therefore essential for democratisation and pluralisation of all areas of social life on national and European levels.
Significance for science
The all-encompassing debate on (collective) memory (and forgetting) which at the end of modernity became decidedly marked by the shocking consequences of the Great War, facilitated after 1945 the shaping of ideologically highly polarized commemorative practices on both sides of divided Europe. After the end of the Cold War, however, the debate was revived and exerted unexpected influence on the transformation and self-perception of East, Central and Southeast European nations. Despite the influence of the debate on the status of historical narrative that characterized the 1970s and 1980s, the overall turn of events is still decidedly marked by the consequences of the seminal events of the 1980s. The events before and just after 1989 most dramatically marked memorial landscapes of former socialist countries between the Baltics and Albania. In some countries (as for instance in Slovenia) a reprise of cultural struggles reemerged, reminiscent of those from the interwar period. The seminal events that led to democratization, according to Vaclav Havel, appeared to be a relatively straightforward process of introducing free elections, market economy and legal state. Yet, in the area named by some “The East Coast Europe” caused complex complications and conflicts and, concomitantly, fierce memory wars. The debate on what part of the past to preserve, what to change and what to condemn and delete was blown out of proportions and caused a widespread polarization. The saying: “Tell me whom you remember and I tell you who you are” became trademark of most of political interpretations, naive historiographical discussions and part and parcel of all election campaigns. The project results contribute to a relevant debate on regimes of memory and the meaning of memory for existence and future of united Europe and for shaping a European identity. The emphasis on the peculiarity of thematisation and the use of memory in post-socialist societies suggests that the memory of socialism must be given its due place in the shared memory map of Europe. The results further suggest that any serious discussion on memory and remembering must take into account, in addition to historical and historiographical narratives, other discourses that emanate in literature, popular culture and virtual spaces.
Significance for the country
The research project demonstrated that Slovenian researchers are perfectly capable of participating in post-1989 pan-European discussion on events that decidedly marked the history of 20th century Europe. In Slovenia, the project contributed to increased interest in consistent methodological and theoretical discussion on (re-)interpretation of the past and further contributed to curbing the impact of populist and ideologically contaminated memory politics; the processes of (re-)shaping and use of memory in Slovenia was positioned in wider European framework which contributed to better understanding ongoing processes of Europeanization and regionalization and the selection of adequate cultural policy strategies, which are particularly important for any initiative on national or local level. Not least, the project is a contribution to democratization and pluralization of the debate on (re-)construction of the memory of the turning points in Slovenian history. Project results can significantly contribute to ideological decontamination of the interpretation of the past. Moreover, introducing new methods and international comparisons, the project contributed to modernization and increased inter-disciplinarity of social sciences and the humanities in Slovenia.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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