Projects / Programmes source: ARIS


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 
History of the twentieth century, sites of memory, Italo-Slovene Borderlands
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  27531  PhD Urška Bratož  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2017  93 
2.  27937  PhD Dragica Čeč  Historiography  Researcher  2014 - 2017  188 
3.  33310  PhD Tilen Glavina  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2017  39 
4.  35489  PhD Manca Grgić Renko  Historiography  Junior researcher  2014 - 2016  167 
5.  28155  PhD Petra Kavrečič  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2016  158 
6.  24376  PhD Borut Klabjan  Historiography  Head  2014 - 2017  357 
7.  33311  PhD Miha Kosmač  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2016  62 
8.  01008  PhD Oto Luthar  Historiography  Researcher  2014 - 2017  897 
9.  12648  PhD Egon Pelikan  Historiography  Researcher  2014 - 2017  267 
10.  27738  PhD Tanja Petrović  Anthropology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  550 
11.  17051  PhD Jože Pirjevec  Historiography  Researcher  2014 - 2017  800 
12.  30859  PhD Jure Ramšak  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2017  131 
13.  15635  PhD Mateja Režek  Historiography  Researcher  2014 - 2017  184 
14.  15876  Vida Rožac Darovec  Historiography  Researcher  2014 - 2017  145 
15.  33308  PhD Maja Smotlak  Literary sciences  Researcher  2017  146 
16.  21752  PhD Tomislav Vignjević  Art history  Researcher  2014 - 2017  524 
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  62,976 
2.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  13,880 
Taking as a case study the sites of memory in the Italo-Slovene borderlands, where issues of politics of memory remain, in comparison with other European regions, neglected, this project aims to apply and combine the tools of different disciplines in order to understand how the cultures of remembrance, commemoration and politics of memory are formed, intertwined and overlapped in border and transnational areas. Since the beginning of the twentieth century the region experienced regular re-drawings of borders and reconfigurations of state orders. How different societies interacted despite volatile or hostile political conditions is an issue of enormous importance to the history of the region. At the same time, this is European and global history: powerful symbolic boundaries which shaped the mental mapping of Europe were located in this area: West vs. East, Latin vs. Slavic, Europe vs. Orient; antifascism vs. fascism; democracy vs. communism. This makes the Italo-Slovene borderlands an ideal region for a case study, one of great European relevance. Many important works have contributed to intense historical analysis of this area however, a transnational perspective has only rarely been adopted. Thus we are planning to use interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to study the region as a whole irrespective of its today’s political and administrative division. We believe that is the only way to transcend exclusivist (national) interpretations of the history of the region. To execute this approach we propose to explore the following interconnected case studies: - Imperial sites of memory (e.g. memorials of Habsburg emperors and memorials, related to the ruling dynasty) constructed in the years before World War I; - Sites of memory of World War I, erected in the 1920’s and 1930’s (e.g. memorial parks in Trieste and Gorizia, ossuaries in Redipuglia and Caporetto etc.); - The Narodni dom in Trieste as a site of memory; - Sacral art in local churches as a site of memory; -Sites of memory of World War II (e. g. monuments and memorials of the partisan movement, the Risiera concentration camp and other camps in the region such as Gonars and Visco); - Basovizza/Bazovica as a place of divided memory; - Sites of memory of “border consumerism” (e. g. Ponterosso in Trieste); - Sites of memory of border cooperation (e. g. the open border initiative as a site of memory of the most open border in divided Europe). - Regional Museums as sites of public memory (e. g. Museo della civilta’ Istriana, fiumana e dalmata and Museo del Risorgimento in Trieste, the regional museums in Koper and Nova Gorica etc.). In our analysis we will use published and unpublished material. Moreover, the methodology of top-down and bottom-up perspectives will be used, both in analyzing archival documents of state authorities (national archives in Rome, Vienna, Ljubljana, and local archives in Koper, Trieste and Gorizia) and in analyzing local and national media. The project will also comprise of oral sources and anthropologic methods. The research team is composed of senior researchers, experienced researchers (4-10 years after PhD.), and of four young scholars. The research team is interdisciplinarily oriented and interinstitutional. To implement the project an International Advisory board will be formed. It will consist of Nancy Wingfield, Sabine Rutar, Vanni D’Alessio and Katia Pizzi. The dissemination strategy includes measures that will incorporate results of the project into relevant research debates in the form of a book, articles in Slovene and international peer-reviewed journals, visiting lectures and conferences. For the dissemination of project results in the non-academic community we plan to utilize a website and to produce radio features. The results will also be of use in the educational process, both at the University level and in the form of a workshop for high-school teachers.
Significance for science
The project was based on the study of the Italo-Slovene border area, which was until now marked by a relative lack of studies related to the issues of memory policy in comparison with other European borderlands. The aim of the project was to use and combine the tools offered by different scientific disciplines to understand how culture of memory, memory policy and memory itself are shaped, intertwined and overlapped in borderlands and transnational regions. The border area between Slovenia and Italy is marked by a high level of cultural diversity. Due to its geographical and political position, this border area has in the past been conceptualized as belonging to various cultural spaces: Central Europe, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. Since the beginning of the twentieth century the area has frequently been situated on major geo-political fault lines. The region has experienced regular re-drawings of borders and reconfigurations of state orders. The question of how different societies managed to interact despite volatile or hostile political conditions is of enormous importance. The symbolic boundaries that shaped the mental mapping of the world were located in this area: West vs. East, Latin/German vs. Slavic, European vs. Orient; antifascism vs. fascism; democracy vs. communism. That is why the Italian-Slovenian border area is an ideal area for a case-study with wider European ramifications. In this context, the project "Sites of Memory, Sites of Border" represented the most extensive and the most systematic attempt of Slovenian humanities to deal with this topic multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. In particular, the transnational approach should be emphasized, as the project thus avoided the pitfalls of nationally centred research into the history of this area. Regardless of today's political and administrative divisions, the project team examined the region as a whole, thus trying to overcome national interpretations of the history of the region. The project thus corresponded with the main trends of modern humanities, which are increasingly marked by the aforementioned factors. Due to interdisciplinary research, work on the project is relevant for a variety of studies, including border studies, memory studies and visual studies. With a mixture of methods and a thorough research of historical sources, we have already created new knowledge, which will also have a stimulating echo in the methodological sense, since the objective of the project is a multi-layered understanding based on transnational and interdisciplinary approach. Finally, it is necessary to emphasize the very intensive international cooperation of the members of the project group (they participated in various scientific conferences, published their papers in international scientific journals), which in this way significantly increased the scope of dissemination of the project results in the international scientific sphere. Consequently, they also strengthened the role of Slovene science in the international context. Considering the fact, that the most important result of the work on the project, a scientific monograph in English language, is yet to come, we can say that in this respect the project will also bring important results in the future. Intensive international cooperation also gave the members of the project team additional opportunities for new international project cooperation.
Significance for the country
As it was already pointed out in the previous paragraph (9.1), the project "Sites of Memory, Sites of Border" methodically and thematically represented a blow of fresh wind in the sphere of Slovene humanities. The significance of the results for the Slovenian state and its further development is twofold. The first field covers the importance of the project for the development of Slovenian humanities, whose internationally comparable level is necessary for the preservation of national identity and the equal development of Slovenia in the context of European integration. In this regard, the project has, as can be seen from the previous paragraph, brought a number of concrete results. Again, we have to emphasize the intensive international cooperation of the members of the project group, contacts with leading experts on the mentioned topics on a global scale, the publications in international scientific journals, participation in prestigious conferences, etc. All this contributed to the fact, that Slovenia was included in the international scientific discourse in the field of historiography and humanities. Special mention should further be made of the upcoming scientific monograph "Borderlands of memory", edited by the project leader, dr. Borut Klabjan, which will be published by renowned publishing house Peter Lang. Due to the reputable scientific background of the collaborators, the wide range of topics discussed within and the prestigious publishing house in which the monograph will be published, this work will undoubtedly be one of the fundamental publications in the field of memory studies and border studies in the European context. On the one hand, Slovene science will thus enter the dialogue with international humanities even more strongly; on the other hand, interest in the Slovene-Italian border area will increase, which will contribute to further research. The second field touches on the significance of the results of the project for the peaceful and equal coexistence of different nations and cultures, which remains a fundamental European imperative. Moreover, encouraging cooperation and tolerance between different cultures will evidently be an even more pressing challenge for Europe in the coming years. In this context, the project with its transnational research orientation (capturing the North-Adriatic region as a whole and avoiding only the national view) has significantly contributed to surpassing the recent dominant national paradigms, which were not only characteristic of the political parties on both sides of the border, but also of the Slovenian and Italian historiographical treatment of the history of this area in the 20th century. It seems very important that through the freely accessible website (the blog Bordermemo) numerous results of the project team have been made freely available to the wider interested public. Reports and reflections on commemorations on the Slovene-Italian border encouraged a deep reflection on this part of our history, overcoming the national exclusionary paradigms and highlighting the still present elements of national chauvinism. In this way, the project contributed to the overcoming of historical conflicts, not through the relativization of the past, but by putting the aforementioned processes in their proper historical context. For this reason, we can see that both fields are not contradictory, but necessarily complementary. Indeed, an in-depth scientific (historiographical) approach is essential in the process of promoting the peaceful coexistence of the European peoples, as the process otherwise remains labile, because without its proper foundation it is constantly exposed to the pressures of various historical myths and instrumentalizations of the past.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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