Introduction to Diaspora Studies: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

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

Objectives and competences

This course will familiarize students with questions of cultural diversity, trans-national and non-territorial identities, teaching them a different view on identity/alterity that comes from a “minority” perspective of marginality. Furthermore, students will acquire useful intercultural competences that will allow them to think critically about questions of belonging and identity, challenging their perceptions of nation state as ethnically defined, in particular in the context of Southeast Europe. Finally, students will be able to recognize the value of multilingualism and minority cultures at a European level through meaningful examples of linguistic and cultural diversity maintenance.


Familiarity with the basic concepts of “nation-state” and “ethnic minorities”.


This course will explore the concept of diaspora in a comparative and diachronic perspective, through the analysis of practices and narratives of collective belonging from a number of cases around Europe and the world, among which the Greek, Italian, Mexican, African, Yugoslav diasporas.
In a second phase, we will devote particular attention on the Southeast European space and its three main non-territorial ethnic minorities: the Armenian, the Jewish (both Sephardic and Ashkenazi) and the Romani one. We will introduce their history, and their particular minority identities, from Middle Ages to contemporary times, paying attention to a series of elements that include religion, language, customs, cultural practices and socioeconomic status.
Special focus will be given to the processes of inclusion and exclusion these communities have been/are exposed to within the host Empires/states and to the current challenges of identity preservation of diaspora communities of Armenians, Roma and Jews in the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, with a further consideration of the dynamics of minorities’ protection active in the EU framework.
A core topic will be constituted by the issue of language as a marker of cultural identity and by the role of symbols and rituals in nourishing a special connection with the lost “imaginary homeland”.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

● Understanding the concept of trans-nationalism and non-exclusivist identities;
● Ability to reflect critically on the practices and representations of cultural/linguistic diversity;
● Acquiring intercultural competences through a comparative perspective that can be applied in the context of the interpretion of cultures and symbols;
● Development of critical thinking towards the concepts of nation state, hegemonic cultures and minority cultures.


  • Aghanian, Denise, The Armenian Diaspora: Cohesion and Fracture, Lanham, University Press of America, 2007, pp.1-46
  • Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities. Reflections on the origins and rise of nationalism, London, Verso, 1982, pp.1-36. Catalogue E-version
  • Barth, Frederik, “Introduction”, in: id., Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. The Social Organization of Cultural Difference, Prospect Heights, Waveland Press, 1998 [1969], pp. 1-32. E-version
  • Bruneau, Michel, “Diasporas, transnational spaces and communities”, in: In: Bauböck, R. and Faist. T. (eds.) (2010). Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press pp. 35-50. E-version
  • Clifford, James, "Diasporas", in: Cultural Anthropology, vol. 9, no. 2, 1994, pp. 302-338. E-version
  • Faist, Thomas, “Diaspora and transnationalism: What kind of dance partners?”. In: Bauböck, R. and Faist. T. (eds.), Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods. Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2010, pp. 9-34. E-version
  • Hall, Stuart, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” in: Rutherford, J., (ed.), Identity: community, culture, difference, London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1990, pp. 222-237. E-version
  • Rushdie, Salman, Imaginary Homelands. Essays and Criticism 1981-1991, London, Granta Books, 1991, pp. 9-21. E-version
  • Safran, William, “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return”, in: Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 1991, pp. 83-99.
  • Van Herr, Nicholas, New Diasporas (Global Diasporas), UCL Press, London, 1998, pp.1-12, 47-62, 111-132. E-version


Active participation in discussions (30 %). Readings of assigned literature (20 %). Final essay (3000 words) or other (visual, textual) project (50 %).

Lecturer's references

Professor Marina Lukšič Hacin (full professorship) is a professor of sociology, scientific councelor, director of the Slovenian Migration Institute of at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), and programme director of the European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations at the School of humanities at the University of Nova Gorica. The fields of her research and pedagogical work include migration and ethnical studies, multiculturalism, identity, Slovenian migration. The professor's bibliography can be accessed in the COBISS and SICRIS systems.

Selected publications:
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Zgodbe in pričevanja : Slovenci na Švedskem. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2001.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Multikulturalizem in migracije, (Zbirka ZRC, 22). Ljubljana: ZRC SAZU, Založba ZRC, 1999.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Ko tujina postane dom : resocializacija in narodna identiteta pri slovenskih izseljencih, (Zbirka Sophia, 1995, 7). Ljubljana: Znanstveno in publicistično središče, 1995.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Beg možganov od konca petdesetih do začetka devetdesetih let 20. stoletja s poudarkom na Sloveniji. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu, 2020, št. 52, str. 113-129.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Političnost migracij po drugi svetovni vojni : od politike revanšizma do amnestije. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu. 2019, št.50, str. 183-198.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Refugees as a part of the global socio-political-economic migration triangle of causality. V: ŽAGAR, Igor Ž. (ur.), et al. The disaster of European refugee policy : perspectives from the "Balkan route". Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2018, str. 55-65.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Selitvena dinamika slovenskega prostora v zgodovinski perspektivi. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu, 2018, št. 48, str. 55-72.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Sociologija mednarodnih selitev in njeni začetki v Sloveniji skozi tematizacije slovenskih izseljencev. V: ŽITNIK SERAFIN, Janja (ur.), KALC, Aleksej (ur.). Raziskovanje slovenskega izseljenstva : vidiki, pristopi, vsebine. 1. izd. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. 2017, str. 37-48.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Refugee flows and the complexity of social relations : the case of Slovenia. V: ZENNER, Hans-Peter (ur.), ŠELIH, Alenka (ur.). Human rights and refugees, (Nova acta Leopoldina, ISSN 0369-5034, Neue Folge, Nr. 415). Halle (Saale): Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina - Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften; Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft. 2017, neue Folge, nr. 415, str. 31-37.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Theorizing the concept of multiculturalism through Taylor's 'politics of recognition'. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu, 2016, št. 44, str. 79-91.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Izseljevanje Slovencev od devetnajstega stoletja do osamosvojitve Slovenije = Emigration of Slovenians from the nineteenth century to Slovenia's attainment of independence. Geografija v šoli, 2016, letn. 24, št. 2/3, str. 32-43
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Women migrants and gender relations : patriarchy in the time of aleksandrinke. V: MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.). From Slovenia to Egypt : Aleksandrinke's trans-Mediterranean domestic workers' migration and national imagination, (Transkulturelle Perspektiven, Bd. 13). Göttingen: V&R Unipress. cop. 2015, str. 157-171.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina, TOPLAK, Kristina. Teoretizacija multikulturalizma in etnične ekonomije v luči ohranjanja kulturne dediščine med migranti. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu, 2012, št. 35, str. 107-117.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina, MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Kulture, civilizacije, nacionalne kulture. V: LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina (ur.), MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.), SARDOČ, Mitja (ur.). Medkulturni odnosi kot aktivno državljanstvo. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. 2011, str. 23-29.
MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam, LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Identitete, pripadnosti, identifikacije. V: LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina (ur.), MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.), SARDOČ, Mitja (ur.). Medkulturni odnosi kot aktivno državljanstvo. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. 2011, str. 31-39.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Teorije, politike in strategije sobivanja v raznolikosti. V: LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina (ur.), MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.), SARDOČ, Mitja (ur.). Medkulturni odnosi kot aktivno državljanstvo. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. 2011, str. 127-136.
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Multikulturalizem kot spoštljivo sobivanje v raznolikosti. V: LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina (ur.), MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.), SARDOČ, Mitja (ur.). Medkulturni odnosi kot aktivno državljanstvo. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU. 2011, str. 147-159.
VAH JEVŠNIK, Mojca, LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Theorising immigrant/ethnic entrepreneurship in the context of welfare states. Migracijske i etničke teme, 2011, br. 2, str. 249-261
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Migracije v teoretskem diskurzu. V: ŠTIH, Peter (ur.), BALKOVEC, Bojan (ur.). Migracije in slovenski prostor od antike do danes, (Zbirka Zgodovinskega časopisa, ISSN 1408-3531, 39). Ljubljana: Zveza zgodovinskih društev Slovenije. 2010, str. 8-23
LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina. Večkulturno državljanstvo in večetični patriotizem?!. V: GABER, Slavko (ur.), et al. Za manj negotovosti : aktivno državljanstvo, zdrav življenjski slog, varovanje okolja. V Ljubljani: Pedagoška fakulteta. 2009, str. 59-74.