School of Humanities

Culture of regions and boundaries

This course is part of the programme:
Bachelor's study programme Cultural history (1st level)

Objectives and competences

Students will familiarise themselves with the development of the borders studies, main approaches and understanding of the borders as an important tool for the nation states and supranational entities. They will also familiarise themselves with the terms such as migrations, mobility, citizenship culture, meaning, ideology, ethnicity, stereotypes, nationalism. Also a historical overview will be presented and the relationship with the neighbouring countries, especially Italy, explored


No prerequisites are required.

Content (Syllabus outline)

The term border is extremely rich in significations. Etienne Balibar stressed that the borders of new sociopolitical entities attempt to preserve all the functions of the sovereignty of the state, but they disperse themselves a little everywhere, wherever the movement of information, people, and things occurs and is controlled. Sandro Mezzadra states that border is not a neutral demarcation line. It is a symbol of power that imposes inclusion and exclusion. The more privileged dominant hegemonies will actively control the border to keep border-crossers out. T. H. Erickson defined border as a social construct that is political in origin. Across a border power is exercised, as in the political border between two nations. Peter Nyers understands that borders increasingly involve temporal barriers as much as spatial ones. They work to limit and constrain life and autonomy. The border is less of a line across a specific piece of territory than a complex network that is projected both far beyond and well within the territorial space of the state. Borders are both visible and invisible. Some are only perceptible to non-status people themselves. In this way borders are poly-semic because they are experienced in vastly different ways depending on one legal status, country of origin, race, ethnicity, gender age, etc.

All these and some other approaches will be utilised to be able to study and understand the border between Italy and Slovenia especially in Goriška region in historical and contemporary perspective

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the students will be expected to be able to critically evaluate issues connected with borders, such as “othering”, stereotyping, inclusion/exclusion, discrimination, nationalism, culture and meaning with regard to conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues, confidently take part in discussion on current pressing issues regarding the importance of the borders in local, national and supranational level.


- Gombač Boris M. 1996 Slovenija, Italija. Od preziranja do priznanja. Zbirka vrag ne mejak, Založba Debora, Ljubljana.

- Kaja Širok: Manifestacija ljudske volje, spomini na Gorico v letu 1946. Kronika, Časopis za regionalno zgodovino, 55/2, 2007.

- Walters William (2006) Border Control. European Journal of Social Theory 9(2): 187–203

- Rumford Chris (2006) Introduction: Theorising Borders. European Journal of Social Theory 9(2): 155–169.

- De Genova, Nicolas (2004) The legal production of Mexican/migrant ‘‘illegality’’.

- Haddad, Emma (2007) Danger happens at the Border. Borderscapes, Borderlines series 29 (prem Kumar Rajaram; Carl Grundy-Warr, eds.). Minneapolis, London: University of Minesotta Press, pg. 119-136.

- Nyers, Peter (2010) No One is Illegal Between City and Nation.


Course attendance, remarks and intervensions in discussions, seminar assigment and final exam.

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Jure Gombač works as a researcher at the Institute for Slovenian Emigration Studies. He has a Ph.D in the field of Sociology and his research lies mainly in the field of migrations, borders and citizenship.

1. GOMBAČ, Jure, MORAD, Mohammad (2015). Transmigrants, transnational linkages and ways of belonging : the case of Bangladeshi migrants in Italy. Dve domovini, No. 41, pg. 61-76.

2. VAH JEVŠNIK, Mojca, GOMBAČ, Jure (2013) Transnationalism, education and Slovenian diaspora : exploring online educational resources for Slovenian emigrants and their descendants. Journal of contemporary European studies, ISSN 1478-2804, dec. 2013, vol. 21, no. 4, pg. 513-525.

3. GOMBAČ, Jure, DURNIK, Mitja (2012). Theorizing the potential of political economy and social economy approaches in studying the structure of ethnic economies. Dve domovini, No. 35, pg. 119-133.

4. GOMBAČ, Jure. (2011) Transnational dynamics among the children of Slovene emigrants on the internet. Dve domovini Št. 32, pg. 67-80.

5. GOMBAČ, Jure (2014) Repatriation to Slovenia after World War II. V: BOEHLING, Rebecca (ur.), URBAN, Susanne (ur.), BIENERT, René (ur.). Freilegungen, Displaced Persons : Leben im Transit : Überlebende zwischen Repatriierung, Rehabilitation und Neuanfang, (Jahrbuch des International Tracing Service, Bd. 3). [Göttingen]: Wallstein, 2014, pg. 53-60.

6. GOMBAČ, Jure (2012) Deca begalci v Sloveniji 1948-1952. V: ŠKORO BABIĆ, Aida (ur.), et al. Zgodovina otroštva = History of childhood, (Zbirka Zgodovinskega časopisa, 45). Ljubljana: Zveza zgodovinskih društev Slovenije, pg. 689-701.

7. KALČIĆ, Špela, GOMBAČ, Jure (2011). The Bosnian diaspora in Slovenia. V: VALENTA, Marko (ur.), RAMET, Sabrina P. (ur.). The Bosnian diaspora : integration in transnational communities, (Research in migration and ethnic relation series). Farnham; Burlington: Ashgate, cop. 2011, pg. 207-221.

University course code: 1KZ003

Year of study: 2

Course principal:





  • Lectures: 60 hours
  • Seminar: 45 hours
  • Individual work: 135 hours

Course type: mandatory

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures, workshops and seminars will be organised to provide an in-depth insight into the above themes.