Red-Letter Days in Transition (completed)
This research project examines how red-letter days in Central Europe and the Balkans have been constructed discursively in the period from 1985 to the present.
About the project
These few decades have witnessed a regional move from communism towards democracy and market capitalism, including membership – or desired membership – in the EU. The transition has been characterized by an apparent revival of national values, but also by a new significance of regional and transnational ties. Red-letter days contribute to this rapid transformation of identity by providing an outlet through which specific values can be acknowledged and advanced.
Red-letter days are days that national, regional or transnational communities consider to be of special importance. Distinguished by their public commemoration, red-letter days may focus on traditional, religious or political themes.
The aim of this project is to understand how a multitude of agents construct red-letter days, and how this construction articulates and contributes to the creation of identity in the interplay between the regional, national, and transnational. We will analyze how specific days are incorporated into or excluded from the calendar, and how the meaning of selected red-letter days is negotiated, challenged, and changed.
The project's emphasis is on methods broadly labelled as discourse analysis, also utilizing approaches from history, political science, and anthropology. The focus is on the Slavic countries in the region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Red-Letter Days in Transition is financed by the Faculty of Humanities (2008–2011).