Symposium Obdobja 42


Ljubljana, 15–17 November 2023

Programme – Obdobja 42 (only in Slovenian)


Important dates

Description Date
Registration for the symposium 15 February 2023
Notification of the acceptance of the submitted theme 1 March 2023
Submitting a contribution (up to 20,000 characters with spaces) 10 May 2023
Review process 15 May–15 June 2023
Notification of the referees’ evaluation 5 July 2023
Submission of the final (revised) version of the paper 20 July 2023
Notification of inclusion of the paper in the programme 20 September 2023
Payment and registration fee 10 November 2023
Symposium 15–17 November 2023

General Information

  • Invitation

    You are invited to take part in the 42nd international Obdobja Symposium on the theme of Slovene Literature and Art within Social Contexts, which will be held from 15 to 17 November 2023, organised by the Centre for Slovene as a Foreign and Second Language at the Department of Slovene Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.

    The 42nd Obdobja Symposium is dedicated to the inevitable social context that any literary and wider artistic activity is embedded in and that we tend to ignore every time literature or any other art makes a strong impression on us. The symposium will analyze the complex relationship between Slovene society and society in a broader sense, and the literary processes taking place in it. Social issues have been key to a major part of Slovene literary studies ever since the second half of the nineteenth century. Before the Second World War, positivism sought to achieve scholarly objectivity by accumulating verifiable data. From the 1930s onward, and especially in the first two decades after the Second World War, Marxist-oriented literary studies moved away from the predominant biography and drew the discipline into dialectic understanding of broader historical processes—that is, understanding phenomena in their concrete manifestation, which is composed of a constantly changing unity of contrasts. With the strengthening of Heideggerian hermeneutics in the 1960s and 1970s, social issues gave way to issues within literature. Later on, various social aspects of literature and art were highlighted by poststructuralism and its theoretical psychoanalysis, empirical, systemic, and feminist literary studies, cultural materialism, and so on. Proceeding from different premises than literary studies (but with a comparable historical development of methods), sociology of culture, ethnology, anthropology, and education elucidate in parallel the connection between literature and society. All these methodological approaches continue to legitimately help shape the scholarly understanding of literature. They will be presented at the symposium, which will seek to indicate the connections and differences between them.

    The topics explored will include establishing the external perimeter of literature as an activity—that is, determining the boundaries beyond which its rules no longer apply, how literature is integrated into broader Slovene and international culture at a specific time, and how this distinguishes it from other arts. Moreover, what is the external perimeter of art? Attention will be directed to how social and economic transformations that place Slovene literature within a wider context (e.g., the Habsburg, Yugoslav, or Central European one) are reflected in literature and art, and why shortly after the watershed year of 1848 so many productive prose writers appeared in Carniola despite the fact there was practically no prose tradition for them to rely on. Another important issue is how literary and wider artistic processes are being influenced by political and economic systems (including the hegemonic world system) and their cultural institutions, and how economic redistribution and the strengthening of literacy, education, and public policy in the second half of the twentieth century are connected with the simultaneous unprecedented boom of literary genres and styles. Can established periodizations of literary studies be associated with changes in the class structure of writers and artists, as well as their audience? And vice versa: how does the literature that is most widespread among the public help shape concurrent and future social processes? How has the traditional role of the Slovenian writer in society been changing over the past decades? Can a similar development be observed with regard to the role of the Slovene visual artist? This is also related to issues of constant changes and updates in the canon and the simultaneous endurance of the Slovene national poet.

    Social issues also have to do with the most vital issues related to the content of literary works and works of art in general. Thus, the symposium will seek to establish how Slovene literary studies conceives the autonomy of literature vis-à-vis the context of social processes. The autonomy criterion, which practically had no value until the expansion of the bourgeoisie, very quickly became the central and nearly self-evident requirement of the bourgeois literary audience in terms of both high art and light reading. (Also interesting in this context will be reflection on the “other half” in those genres that, precisely because of their allegedly lacking autonomy, are referred to as “semi-literary.”) What is the extent of this autonomy, what exactly does it comprise, and what is its historical role for literature on the one hand and society on the other? Why, from Petrarch via Rousseau to the Young Slovenes’ prose of the second half of the nineteenth century, did literature become individualized and personified, and move away from the political sphere precisely when the bourgeois political processes temporarily or permanently prevailed over the feudal ones? And why did the idea of autonomous literature and art independent of political circumstances historically arise nearly simultaneously with the idea of literature and art as a critical and even rebellious sociopolitical stance? This leads to a broader and historically looser question: how are the issues of aesthetics—including the external style and rhythm of literature, as well as content-specific issues of literary works—connected with the society they are created in, its practices, and predominant views? This question is also related to the social dimensions of language (shaping language, language choices, etc.) in both literature and beyond. Both methodological and empirical analyses of the relationship between ever-changing literature and society are welcome.

    Assist. Prof. Dr. Andraž Jež, presidents of the 42nd Obdobja Symposium

  • Thematic Areas

    1. Social history of Slovene literature in various periods
    2. Slovene literature in the context of the rise of capitalism and the nation state
    3. The latest Slovene literature and neoliberalism
    4. Aesthetic transformations and their social logic
    5. Literature and institutions of cultural mediation
    6. Development of the Slovene literary audience
    7. Social aspects of canonization
    8. Transformations of the importance of literature for society through time
    9. Slovene literature in schools in the context of social transformations
    10. Slovene literature and the new social media
    11. Slovene literature in the Habsburg Empire
    12. Slovene literature and interliterary (Slavic, Yugoslav, and central European) communities
    13. Slovene literature and the world system
    14. Social aspects of shaping language and language choices in literature and beyond
  • Organisers

    The Symposium is organised by The Centre for Slovene as a Second and Foreign Language at the Department of Slovene Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Trubarjeva cesta 3, SI-1000 Ljubljana.

    Symposium presidents

    Assist. Prof. Dr. Andraž Jež

    Symposium organiser

    Assist. Prof. Dr. Damjan Huber
    T: 00386 1 241 86 76

    Technical editors of symposium publications

    Matej Klemen, Mag. Mateja Lutar
    T: 00386 1 244 20 63, 00386 1 241 86 49

  • Programme committee

    • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aleksander Bjelčevič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Prof. Dr. Lilijana Burcar, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marijan Dović, Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary Studies
    • Prof. Dr. Miran Hladnik, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Assist. Prof. Dr. Andraž Jež, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts; Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary Studies
    • Prof. Dr. Marko Juvan, Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary Studies; University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Assist. Prof. Dr. Gal Kirn, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivana Latković, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Croatia
    • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Urška Perenič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Prof. Dr. Mateja Pezdirc Bartol, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Prof. Dr. Marko Stabej, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
    • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Peter Svetina, University of Klagenfurt, Faculty of Humanities & Education, Austria
  • Venue

    University of Ljubljana (main building, 1st floor), Kongresni trg 12, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Registering for the symposium and submitting a contribution 

    Registration will take place until 15 February 2023 via the symposium website (Symposium Obdobja 42, Registration Form). Upon registration, a summary needs to be submitted of around 250 words, including proposed references. By 1 March 2023 applicants will receive notice of acceptance.

    When selecting contributions, we will take into account the theme and its relevance to the section chosen, as well as clarity, comprehensiveness, variety and innovativity.

    The deadline for submission of papers is 10 May 2023 (up to 20,000 characters with spaces, including literature and notes). Guidelines for formatting the text will be sent to authors via email and will also be published on the symposium website.

    Before printing, contributions will be subject to blind review by two peer reviewers, and authors will be notified of the reviewers’ evaluation by 5 July 2023 at the latest.

    The final (corrected) version of the paper will need to be submitted by 20 July 2023; notification of inclusion in the symposium programme will be sent to participants by 20 September 2023.

    Papers will be published in a thematically rounded monograph which participants will receive at the event and which will also be freely available on the website of the Centre for Slovene in the section Obdobja publications.

  • Registration fee

    The fee for taking part and presenting a paper is 88 EUR and includes a folder containing symposium material, the publication of the paper, the symposium proceedings, the accompanying programme, lunches and event organisation. Participants will be sent an invoice via e-mail which can be paid through a bank or post office. 10 November 2023 is the deadline for the payment of the registration fee.
  • Presentation of a paper

    The time available for the presentation is 20 minutes. Working languages will be Slovene and English; by prior agreement with the organisers the use of another language is possible.
  • Accommodation in Ljubljana

    Participants must book and cover the cost of accommodation themselves. Addresses of Ljubljana hotels are provided below.

    Hotel Emonec***
    Wolfova 12, Ljubljana

    T: 00386 51 399 81400386 1 200 15 20
    Distance from the University: 5 min

    Hotel Mrak***
    Rimska cesta 4, Ljubljana
    T: 00386 1 421 96 50
    Distance from the University: 5 min

    City Hotel Ljubljana***
    Dalmatinova 15, Ljubljana
    T: 00386 1 239 00 00
    Distance from the University: 15 min

    Hotel Park***
    Tabor 9, Ljubljana

    T: 00386 1 300 25 00
    Distance from the University: 20 min

    Hotel Slon****
    Slovenska 34, Ljubljana

    T: 00386 1 470 11 00
    Distance from the University: 5 min

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