Migration and Creativity

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Humanities

Objectives and competences

The course will enable students to get to know the less known elements of the migration process and will acquaint them with diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to migration issues and creativity as well as an intersection between the two. The course will aim to place the student into the role of an observer of a variety of explanations, understandings and practices of envisaging migrations within both the national and international context. The course objective is to encourage students to engage in analytical readings and critical evaluations of the existing theoretical concepts, develop sensibility for and interest in borderline contents and case studies, and encourage understanding and discernment of diverse approaches to migration issues. One of the course objectives is to acquaint students with the methodological approaches in the field of humanities. A special emphasis is put on the application of this knowledge in practice (field work).


Students on the Migration and creativity course are expected to attend lectures (75% ) and to actively participate in lectures and seminars – to take part in discussions, read literature in the course of lectures, and do some field work. At the end of lectures and seminar work, students will be required to submit an independent final/exam assignment (16 pages) and a report from their field work (3 pages). Students attending the Migration and creativity course are expected to have previously acquired an appropriate knowledge in the fields of humanities and social sciences, with an emphasis on cultural and social theories related to anthropological, historical and cultural themes. Students are expected to have a good and active command of English.


The syllabus content is based on insights coming from an interplay of two processes: migration and creativity. The theoretical background with which the students will be acquainted during the course lies within the fields of theories on transnationalism, cosmopolitism and integration and in those theoretical concepts which help clarify the creative process. Creativity will be dealt with from the point of view of a number of disciplines (history, anthropology, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, economics) and as an act which is socially constructed, an element of everyday life – on one hand, connected to the material, on the other hand, a creator of social relations. Based on the work of creators – migrants, the so called »mobile creative class«, the students will learn about dynamic processes and categories such as transnational links and identifications, transmigrations, mobility, multicultural practices, relations and politics, creative freedom, cosmopolitan culture; at the same time, the students will be able to appreciate an understanding of privileged and non-privileged migrants. On the basis of numerous empirical cases from the world of creativity, the students will get to know migrations as a fluid, multi-layered process which individuals (or groups of individuals) continually transform and make dynamic by means of their decisions, experience, relations and ways of life; unlike those migrations which in some scientific disciplines and political discourses contain an element of stability, determinism, plurality and limited options. A differentiation between mobility and migrations will be one of the key insights in discussions on creative mobile individuals. Part of the syllabus content will be devoted to some methodological approaches in the field of humanities and their application in migration studies.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will acquire the type of knowledge briefly presented in the section on objectives and competences; the knowledge will be expressed and tested in students' active participation, such as succesfully done field work, written reflections, and written examination. The newly acquired knowledge comprises the following topics: multidisciplinary approaches to migration issues and creativity; fundamental study literature and concepts; current scientific discussions on migration issues and creativity (in particular, the anthropological and cultural dimensions); case studies that connect migrations issues with creativity, ability to do independent research work, along with a practical experience of field work related to the issues covered during the course.


  • Amit, Vered (ed.) (2007) Going First Class? New Approaches to Privileged Travel and Movement. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Book. Catalogue
  • Appadurai, Arjun (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, London. E-version
  • Boyle, P., Halfacree K., Robinson V. (1998) Exploring Contemporary Migration, Harlow, London. E-version
  • Brettell, Caroline B, Holliefield James (ed.) (2000) Migration Theory: talking across disciplines. Routledge, New York, London (selected chapters) Catalogue E-version
  • Hallam, Elizabeth, Ingold, Tim (ed.) (2007) Creativity and Cultural improvisation. Berg, Oxford, London.
  • Makarovič Jan (2003) Antropologija ustvarjalnosti: biologija, psihologija, družba. Nova revija, Ljubljana.
  • Repič, Jaka (2006) »Po sledovih korenin«: Transnacionalne migracije med Argentino in Evropo. Županičeva knjižnica 19. OEiKA, Filozofska fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani, Ljubljana. Catalogue
  • Runko, Mark, Pritzker, Steven (ed.) (1999) Enyclopedia of Creativity. Academic Press, San Diego, London, Bosto. (selected chapters)
  • Toplak, Kristina (2008) »Buenas artes« Ustvarjalnost Slovencev in njihovih potomcev v Buenos Airesu. Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana. E-version
  • Vertovec, Steven (2009) Transnationalism. Routledge, Abingdon, New York.


final assessment (16 pages) = 50% of the final grade field practice work succesfully done, and a report submitted = 20% of the final grade requirements: active participation in the studying process = 30% of the final grade

Lecturer's references

Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik is Senior research associate at the Institute for Slovene diaspora and migrations (Scientific research centre, Slovene Academy of Science and Arts in Ljubljana).
Professor Hladnik is Associate Professor teaching at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Nova Gorica, and at universities abroad, particularly in Germany and Norway. Her educational background is in the field of cultural studies. Professor Hladnik is concerned with sociology of education, migration studies and female studies.

Milharčič Hladnik, M. (2007). Historical and narrative perspective of Slovenian women migrants’ experiences : social networking, gender priorities, and questions of identity. In: Drnovšek, M. (ed.). Historical and cultural perspectives on Slovenian migration, (Migracije, 14). Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. [COBISS.SI-ID 236499456]
Milharčič Hladnik, M. (2007). Marie Prisland – her role in preserving Slovenian culture and tradition among Slovenian migrants in the United States. Dve domovini, 25, pp. 229–247. [COBISS.SI-ID 26697773]
Milharčič Hladnik, M. (2007). Avto/biografičnost narativnosti : metodološko teoretični pristopi v raziskovanju migracijskih izkušenj. Dve domovini, 26, pp. 31–46. [COBISS.SI-ID 27329581]
Milharčič Hladnik, M. (2009). Ustna zgodovina Luise Passerini in raziskovanje migracij v kontekstu subjektivnosti. Dve domovini, 29, pp. 93–101. [COBISS.SI-ID 30053165]
Milharčič Hladnik, M. (2009). Moje misli so bile pri vas doma: poti prehodov v pismih. In: Milharčič Hladnik, M. (ed.), Mlekuž, J. (ed.). Krila migracij : po meri življenjskih zgodb, (Migracije, Migrantke, 17, 1). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. [COBISS.SI-ID 29409837]
Milharčič Hladnik, M. (2011). Koliko mene je v tebi?. In: Milharčič Hladnik, Mirjam (ed.). In – in : življenjske zgodbe o sestavljenih identitetah. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. [COBISS.SI-ID 32719405]