Migration and culture: concepts and precepts

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Humanities

Objectives and competences

The course objective is to activate a student's wider insight into a complex link between migrations and culture, and a critical distance towards a selected problem field. Relying on fundamental social and humanistic insights and knowledge, the course aims to open up a specific perspective; on one hand, the migrational perspective into the field of theoretical dicussions on culture, and on the other hand, the cultural perspective into the field of migrational studies. A special emphasis will be given to diverse case studies – to their methodology as well as their thematical diversity.


Students considering the Migration and culture: concepts and precepts course are expected to have gained appropriate knowledge in the fields of humanities and social sciences, with an emphasis on cultural and social theories related to sociological, anthropological, historical and cultural themes. Students are expected to have a good and active command of English.


The link between migration and culture presupposes many life stories which inherently contain an enormous number of issues. For example, the story about the space-shuttle kranjska klobasa (a well-known, traditionally made sausage from Kranj, a place in Slovenia), which was taken to space by an astronaut lady of Slovene origin, poses not only the question about the ethical and national identity of the story's object and subject, about peace, lack of peace, pride and enthusiasm, material culture and the media, but it also forces upon us some essential migration and cultural issues: what it is that is in this story truly migrational? What is in the story truly cultural? It is such cultural-migrational dispersed stories and issues (with those more essential as well as those less ambitious) that this course will concerned. The course aims to show to which extent migration is a cultural phenomenon and conversely, to which extent culture is a migrational phenomenon. In revealing these issues, a number of theoretical, conceptual and terminological difficulties contained in the culture – migration link will be encountered (for example, transculturalism, multiculturalism, global culture, transmigrations, ethnicity, nationality, transnationality, diaspora issues, and others).

Intended learning outcomes

Students will acquire the type of knowledge succinctly presented in the paragraph on objectives and competences; the knowledge will be expressed and tested through students' active participation, such as oral presentation, written reflections, and written examination. The newly acquired knowledge will enable students to have a critical reflection on fundamental cultural-migrational notions, concepts and theories. A special emphasis will be given to epistemological horizons and a critical approach to methodological issues.


  • Papastergiadis, Nikos (2000). The turbulence of migration. Globalization, deterrirization and hybridity. Cambridge, Polity press. Catalogue
  • Vojnović, Goran (2008):Čefurji raus!.Beletrina, Ljubljana. Catalogue
  • Mlekuž, Jernej (2011): Burek.si!? Koncepti / recepti. Studia Humanitatis, Ljubljana. Catalogue
  • Mlekuž, Jernej (2011): ABC migracij. Založba ZRC, Ljubljana.


  • final written examination (up to 5000 words) = 70% of the final grade, - 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, Mirjam, MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ed.). Going places: Slovenian women's stories on migration. Akron: University of Akron Press, 2014.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam, MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ed.). Krila migracij: po meri življenjskih zgodb, (Migracije, Migrantke, 17, 1). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2009.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Historical and narrative perspective of Slovenian women migrants' experiences : social networking, gender priorities, and questions of identity. In: DRNOVŠEK, Marjan (ed.). Historical and cultural perspectives on Slovenian migration, (Migracije, 14). Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2007, pp. 113–136.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Long live America, where women are first!. In: LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina (ed.), MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ed.). Go girls! : when Slovenian women left home, (Migracije, Migrantke, 19, 2). Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing: = Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2009, pp. 109–132.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Stopinje skozi čas v avto/biografskih zapisih slovenskih migrantk. In: KORON, Alenka (ed.), LEBEN, Andrej (ed.). Avtobiografski diskurz : teorija in praksa avtobiografije v literarni vedi, humanistiki in družboslovju, (Studia litteraria). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2011, pp. 189–203.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Avto/biografičnost narativnosti : metodološko teoretični pristopi v raziskovanju migracijskih izkušenj. Dve domovini. 2007, 26, pp. 31–46.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. From a dollar bill in an envelope to a petition to the White House : the significance of Slovenian migrants for those back home. In: BRUNNBAUER, Ulf (ed.). Transnational societies, transterritorial politics : migrations in the (Post-)Yugoslav region : 19th-21st century, (Südosteuropäische Arbeiten, 141). München: R. Oldenbourg, 2009, pp. 193–212.