Attached you’ll find my final version of my paper.
I’ll admit at the beginning of the semester I was totally lost on what project or paper I would produce for this class. But after we had that week where we read and learned about Wikipedia early on in, it totally clicked with me that Wikipedia could be used as source to learn about public memory.
I have been studying Jasenovac commemorations, narratives, and memory for over three years now. Considering its contested position in Serbian and Croatian society, it seemed like the perfect case study to examine how Wikipedia could be treated as a primary source and what we can learn about its public memory in both states by doing so.
I think this case study works as a perfect example of what we can learn by treating Wikipedia as a primary source. This project revealed the two contrasting narratives of Jasenovac found on the Serbian and Croatian Wikipedia pages, the points of debate among users, the Serbian and Croatian public’s understanding of Jasenovac in relation to the Holocaust and wars of Yugoslavia’s dissolution, and user’s understandings of national identity based on narratives of Jasenovac among other things.
My plan is to share this paper with other AU faculty members and prepare it for submission to an academic journal this summer. I will also be presenting this research at the International Public History Summer School in Wroclaw this July which I hope will give me additional ideas in how to expand this project going forward. I already have my own ideas but hearing from other scholars will be really beneficial and likely enrich my perspective and approach.
I’m not sure yet what I will do for my dissertation, but its likely that this project could figure into it. This is a methodological approach I never anticipated taking, but I am so pleased that this class brought me to it. As a public historian pursuing a doctoral degree in traditional history it’s an ongoing priority of mine to not only study public memory accessed through public history spaces but engage with the public as well. I think that this project and its potential for further development is a unique and exciting way I can do so.