Imagology in Literary Studies

This course is part of the programme
Humanities (Third level)

Objectives and competences

The students will obtain a theoretical knowledge of imagology in Literary Studies. They will be able to recognize and appropriately study, from a methodological point of view, literary representations of the Other. At the same time, they will be able to further develop their theoretical knowledge in the field of imagology


In order to join the course, the students need to be familiar with the main concept of trans-culturalism and have some good previously acquired knowledge in the field of literary studies. A prerequisite for the course's final examination is active participation during contact hours and a completed seminar assignment in the field of literary imagology.


This course introduces the students to the main representatives of literary imagology in Slovenia and abroad and enables them to obtain methodological, theoretical, and terminological knowledge of this specific, relatively new area of comparative literature. The students will study a selected corpus of Slovene and foreign literature in which the image of the Other occurs. A special emphasis will be given to the literary image of the Other (a Slovene or an Italian person) in Slovene and Italian literature. The selected corpus of texts frequently features a regional image of the Other, an image that results from the writer’s experiences with a foreign culture as found in the areas of today’s Primorska region (Slovenia) and the Friuli and Venezia Giulia regions (Italy). Hence the course will familiarize the students with the specifics of this multicultural space and will help them discover and understand the complex, and sometimes deliberately hidden, literarized usages of the image of the Other. As part of the course, we will also have visiting lecturers from the field of humanities and social sciences, specifically those whose research deals with the border-related questions; there will be excursions and professional meetings with individuals and cultural institutes in Primorska (Slovenia) and Videm, Gorizia and Trieste regions (Italy). The knowledge obtained during the course will be applied by students in their own imagological analysis of a chosen literary work. With students whose knowledge of Slovene and Italian is not good enough to tackle the literary texts, the research work will be directed towards studying an appropriate literature closest to the students' linguistic and cultural competences. The results of all the students’ imagological analyses will be presented in a seminar session an will serve as a starting point for discussing the similarities and differences, and specific features of the literary image of the Other in different cultural environments and different time frames.

On the horizontal syllabus line, the course is connected with the following courses: Literatures in contacts, Literature and cultural nationalism in Europe.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
In the final stage of lectures, the students will have prepared their seminar work (an imagological analysis of a literary work of art, applying an appropriate methodological approach and imagological terminology).

Knowledge and understanding of the theory and methodology of literary imagology.


Angelo Ara idr, , 2000: Trieste: un’identità di frontiera. Torino: Einaudi.
Thomas O. Beebee, 2008: Nation and region in modern American and European fiction. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, cop. (Comparative cultural studies).
Manfred Beller (ur.), 1996: L’immagine dell’altro e l’identità nazionale: metodi di ricerca letteraria. Fasano: Schena (Il confronto letterario; 24).
– – et al. (ed.), 2007: Imagology: the cultural construction and literary representation of national characters: a critical survey. Amsterdam–New York: Rodopi.
Anna Bogaro, 2010: Letterature nascoste. Storia della scrittura e degli autori in lingua minoritaria in Italia. Roma: Carocci.
Lavo Čermelj, 1965: Slovenci in Hrvatje pod Italijo med obema vojnama. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
Theo D’haen et al. (ed.), 2000: Images of Westerners in Chinese and Japanese literature. Amsterdam–Atlanta, GA: Rodopi.
Davor Dukić, 2012: Imagologie heute: Ergebnisse, Herausforderungen, Perspektiven = Achievments [i.e. Achievements], challenges, perspectives. Bonn: Bouvier (Aachener Beiträge zur Komparatistik; Bd. 10).
Roberto Finzi et al. (ed.): Storia d’Italia: le regioni dall’unità a oggi. Il Friuli–Venezia Giulia. Torino: Giulio Einaudi.
Linda Hutcheon et al. (ed.), 2002: Rethinking literary history: a dialogue on theory. Oxford–New York: Oxford University Press.
Božidar Jezernik, 2004: Wild Europe: the Balkans in the gaze of Western travellers. London–Saqi: The Bosnian Institute.
Milica Kacin Wohinz in Jože Pirjevec, 2000: Zgodovina Slovencev v Italiji 1866–2000. Ljubljana: Nova revija (Zbirka Korenine / Nova revija).
Tullio Kezich, 2003: Sulla triestinità. Trieste: Università degli studi di Trieste.
Tone Smolej (ed.): Podoba tujega v slovenski književnosti. Podoba Slovenije in Slovencev v tuji književnosti: imagološko berilo. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za primerjalno književnost in literarno teorijo.
Daniel-Henri Pageaux, 2008: Imagološke razprave. Ljubljana: Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis, Fakulteta za podiplomski humanistični študij (Knjižna zbirka Documenta / ISH; 17).
Marija Pirjevec (ed.), 2001: Tržaška knjiga: pesmi, zgodbe, pričevanja. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
– –, (ed.), 2008: L'altra anima di Trieste: saggi, racconti, testimonianze, poesie. Prev. Marko Apollonio. Trieste: Mladika.
Katia Pizzi et al. (ed.), 2011: The cultural identities of European cities. Godela Weiss-Sussex. Oxford–New York: P. Lang, cop.
– –. 2007: Trieste: italianità, triestinità e male di frontiera. Bologna: Gedit.
Mary Louise Pratt, 2008: Imperial eyes: travel writing and transculturation. London–New York: Routledge.
Giuseppe Stefani, 1959: La lirica italiana e l’irredentismo: da Goffredo Mameli a Gabriele d’Annunzio. Bologna: Cappelli.
Ana Toroš, 2011: Podoba Trsta in Tržaškega v slovenski in italijanski poeziji prve polovice 20. stoletja. Nova Gorica: univerza.
Angelo Vivante, 1984: Irredentismo adriatico. Trieste: Italo Svevo.
Baccio Ziliotto, 1924: Storia letteraria di Trieste e dell’Istria. Trieste: La Editoriale Libraria.cobisscobiss


Lectures, discussion analysis of literary texts (group and individual) preparation of papers and seminar assignments in the field of literary imagology

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Ana Toroš is employed at the Faculty of Humanities and at the Research Center for the Humanities of the University of Nova Gorica (UNG). In addition to pedagogical and research work, she is the director of the study program Humanities III. degree, which operates within the Faculty of Postgraduate Studies of UNG. Her research is focused on the field of regional comparative literature and literary imagology, and she is interested in multilingual literature in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (Italy) and in the Goriška and Obalno-kraška regions. In this context, she dealt with the literary work of Alojz Gradnik and Trieste poetry of the first half of the 20th century. Recently, she has been conducting a research on authors of the 20th and 21st centuries in the Goriška and Udine regions, writing in Slovene, Friulian, Italian and German. She also researches minority literature in Trieste and Slovenian Istria from a comparative point of view.