Project Cornerstones of Slovene statehood: Encyclopedia of Slovenia’s independence and statehood
TYPE OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT:
Research and development, national ARRS project.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
In the last 20 years, the phenomenon of ethnicity, modern nation, nationalism and ethnic identity has been accelerated in the field of social sciences and humanities. Despite the fact that Slovene historians follow research trends, there has still been no systematic research on ethnicity and the development of the nation / state in Slovenia. Also, theoretical findings in the field of ethnic studies and nationalism are not sufficiently reflected in the syntheses of the history of Slovenes. The originality of the project lies in the fact that with the help of complex analysis and interdisciplinary methodological starting points related to humanities and social sciences we will (re) interpret the corpus of national memory as shown in national history texts, literature, folk literature, and media that represent the foundations of national identity. For this purpose, a special Encyclopaedia of Slovenia’s independence and statehood will be produced.
The purpose of the proposed project is to study the process of formation of the Slovene state and nation-building with emphasis on the concluding phase of this process, when in the 80s and 90s of the 20th century Slovenes managed to form their own country in the long-term process. The formation of a modern nation can be traced within the framework of the modern bourgeois movement, which, similarly to Europe, has been developing since the 18th century. It took shape as a political, economic and cultural movement.
Research focuses on the interdisciplinary study of various aspects (historical, cultural, anthropological, and legal) of the formation of Slovene ethnic and national identity. The current findings in this area need to be highlighted and (re)interpreted with modern theoretical and methodological approaches that address the formation of ethnic identities and nation states, so called nation building process. Being aware that history, national identity and culture are formed retrogradely through the interpretation of the subject located in modernity, we proceed from the hypothesis that symbols, myths, images, memories, and communications are decisive for shaping the identity of both communities and individuals. Therefore, special attention will be paid to exploring their representation and construction in terms of their integrative role in connecting communities and constructing “historical truth”, especially on examples of cultural products (art, literature, historiography, popular culture, media, advertising, etc.).
Due to the heterogeneity of culture, language and society, the Slovene area in the 19th and 20th centuries was often a space of conflicting confrontations between ethnic groups living here, so in the research we will pay special attention to the relationship between national identity and “other” in terms of relationships that shape, consolidate, challenge or are in any way essential for the consolidation of identity, especially national one. We will build on the hypothesis that Slovene ethnicity, due to historical-political and socio-economic phenomena, was built not only essentially, but also in relations to the “other”.
Special attention will be paid to the myth of rebellion, which manifests itself as a dispute over tradition and the hitherto established notion of national identity, but plays a central role in Slovene national historiography and collective memory in the process of shaping Slovene national consciousness and statehood.
Through thematic analysis, we will identify representations of historical myths that play a key role in shaping the identity of the community (the myth of sui generis, ante murales, antiquity, rebellion and the myth of common suffering) and study them with a comparative interdisciplinary approach through the most important milestones of Slovene collective memory which all have a rebellious character at the same time.
The originality of the project is in the fact that with the help of complex analysis and interdisciplinary methodological starting points related to humanities and social sciences, we will critically (re)interpret the corpus of Slovene national cultural memory, as shown in national history texts, literature, folk literature, art, rituals, myths, media, etc., and thus explore the basic characteristics of Slovene national cultural memory in the five selected historical turning point transitional periods in the last quarter of the millennium, which form the corpus on which the construction of the Slovene nation and the state of Slovenia is based.
The main goal of the research project is the preparation of original research, terminology and entries for the Encyclopaedia of Slovenia’s self-determination and independence.
The National Consortium of Partners consists of the following organizations: University of Maribor; Faculty of Arts; New University, the European Faculty of Law; New University, the Faculty of Slovene and International Studies; the Institute for Research, Development and Strategies of Society, Culture and the Environment, Koper; Nova Revija Institute, Department of Humanities, Ljubljana.