I am a doctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh and currently an International Fellow at the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. My four-year research project focuses on the links between memory studies, politics and conflict management by suggesting how the intentional manipulation, if not abuse, of memory feeds into mechanisms that perpetuate social divisions brought about through violent means.
Using the spaces formerly populated by ethnic Serbs in Croatia as a context for this research, and Croatian cultural memory more widely, I hope to explain the role of memory manipulation in maintaining previously non-observed or non-existent social divisions that have emerged as a result of the Homeland War/Croatian War of Independence and the impact of these actions on Croatian self-imagination.
As well, my dissertation examines the construction of Croatian national identity through the commemorative process and the tensions that emerge between the predominant “defender”/”branitelj” narrative and those of the victims of the Homeland War from all sides.
My data derives from field visits across Croatia, particularly in Lika, Dalmatia and Slavonia, where I documented over 600 monuments, memorial placards, museums and commemorations. As well, I owe a debt of gratitude to the FRAMNAT research team for their transcripts of commemorative speeches in Knin and Vukovar, among other events. I aim to triangulate the data from these sources using press articles from both Croatia and Serbia published around key commemorative events in Croatia.
The expected completion of this project is Summer 2020.