Borut Klabjan‘s research activities deal with political, diplomatic and cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (specializing in the Northern Adriatic area, in the history of Trieste, in Italian-Slovene relations and in the Bohemian lands/Czechoslovakia). He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Ljubljana (2007) and his publications include articles on history of international relations, fascism, politics of memory, commemorations and nationalism in Central Europe and in the Northern Adriatic area, and minority issues. He has been awarded several scholarships and recently he has been research fellow of the Humboldt foundation at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Adriatic Perspectives: Memory and Identity on a Transnational European Periphery
This project analyses the construction of collective identity and territorial belonging by examining selected monuments in the historical region of the northern Adriatic that today is shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. The links between historical memory and modern forms of identification are most complex and unstable in ethnically mixed regions with a long record of political and symbolic border shifts. Building on my previous archival research on the history of the region, I aim to develop a more complex understanding of the links among identification, belonging, nationality and the symbols used to invoke all of them. This project will apply the tools of various disciplines to three case studies in order to understand how cultures of remembrance and politics of memory form, intertwine and overlap in transnational areas. I will analyse collective memory in the Adriatic space from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present by investigating the memory landscapes of three northern Adriatic port-cities: Trieste/Trst (Italy), Koper/Capodistria (Slovenia), and Rijeka/Fiume (Croatia).
These case studies involve a narrow geographical area but an unusually broad typological range of subjects. This project will attempt to overcome the traditional East/West divide applied to this region as well. Nonetheless, my comparisons will allow me to reflect on the role of politics of memory in three different states, and, more generally, on the diversity of European cultures of memory.