Introduction to Cultural Studies

Objectives and competences

The course aims to provide students with an overview of different conceptions and approaches to the study culture in different intellectual and theoretical traditions and to train them to analyse cultural phenomena independently.


No prerequisits.


The course introduces students to the fundamental anthropological, sociological, linguistic and psychoanalytic theories of culture, one of the most conceptually elusive and semantically complex words which decisively shapes research approaches, perspectives and capacities for knowing
and understanding particular socio-historical realities.

The course examines the origins and general conceptual history of culture in selected philosophical treatments of culture from antiquity and the Enlightenment, the prevailing literary-romantic traditions, more contemporary anthropological definitions of culture,
the fundamental structuralist, post-structuralist,
Marxist, and psychoanalytic definitions of culture and culture-related ideas
and phenomena.

The course also addresses:

  • the relationship between culture and nature, civilisation, society, language, subjectivity and cultural artefacts
  • culture as systems of signs
    and repositories of collective memory

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: (Student ...)
- acquires knowledge about the conception of culture in different scientific paradigms;
- understands the analytical applicability of theory to the study of cultural and historical phenomena;
- acquires knowledge of the relationship between culture, nature, civilisation, society, language, subjectivity and cultural artefacts.Skills:

(Student ...)

  • Develops analytical sensitivity to understand cultural phenomena in different historical, social and political contexts;
  • develops critical thinking and the ability to analyse independently and critically.


  • Althusser, Louis (2018). Ideologija in ideološki aparati države in drugi spisi. Ljubljana: /Cf Catalogue
  • Barthes, Roland (1972). Mythologies. New York: Noonday Press.
  • Foucault, Michel (2008). Vednost-oblast-subjekt. Ljubljana: Krtina. Catalogue
  • Freud, Sigmund (2000). Spisi o umetnosti. Ljubljana: Cf. Catalogue
  • Hall, Stuart (2000). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Thousand Oaks; New Delhi: Sage Publications. Catalogue
  • McGuigan, Jim (2002). Cultural Populism. New York: Taylor and Francis.Catalogue
  • Said, Edward (1996). Orientalizem: Zahodnjaški pogledi na Orient. Ljubljana: ISH Fakulteta za podiplomski humanistični študij.Catalogue
  • Stanković, Peter (2018). Politike Popa: Uvod v kulturne študije. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za družbene vede. Catalogue
  • Williams, Raymond (2015). Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, str. 49-54.
  • Williams, Raymond (1989). Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy, Socialism. London: Verso, str. 3-14.


Midterm test (25%)
Seminar paper (25%)
Written exam (50%)

Lecturer's references

Jasna Fakin Bajec, PhD. is an ethnologist, cultural anthropologist and historian. In 2010 she received her PhD with the theme Processes of Creating Cultural Heritage between Tradition and Challenges of Modern Society in Karst region (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of arts). Since 2004 she has been employed at ZRC SAZU, Institute for Cultural and Memorial Studies. Since 2021, he has been the head of the ZRC SAZU Research Station in Nova Gorica.

Her research interests focus on cultural practices of making heritage for the social, cultural, environmental and economic development of local communities. Based on her work with local associations, heritage and cultural institutions, primary and secondary schools and municipalities she develops participatory approaches, methods and techniques to achieve integrative/inclusive valorisation, conservation, management and interpretation of cultural heritage. She gives particular attention to the empowerment and inclusion of civil society, especially marginalized groups, in heritage practices, seeing them as opportunities for critical reflection on the questions of who I am, who I belong to and how to move forward. She also reflects on the importance of memories, emotions and affective reactions of the bearers of cultural practices in the mobilization of heritage for commercial purposes and consequently in the violation of cultural rights.

Her heritage and cultural studies have been published in scholarly articles, collections of scholarly papers, and a book named Processes of making cultural heritage (2011).

  1. MLAČNIK, Primož. Poetika umorov v popularnih slovenskih kriminalkah iz perspektiv kriminoloških teorij. Slavia Centralis. [Tiskana izd.]. 2023, letn. 16, št. 2, str. 296-307.

  2. MLAČNIK, Primož. From minor literature to neoliberal noir : the detective novels of Sergej Verč. Caietele Echinox. 2022, vol. 43, str. 77-92.

  3. MLAČNIK, Primož. Virus : neoliberalni detektiv v imuni slovenski družbi. Filozofski vestnik. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 43, št. 1, str. 181-200, 217-218.

  4. MLAČNIK, Primož. Udomačeni Slovenci v detektivskih romanih Avgusta Demšarja. Jezik in slovstvo. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 67, št. 3, str. 5-15.

5.MLAČNIK, Primož. Dekonstrukcijskost manjšinskih detektivskih romanov Sergeja Verča. Studia Historica Slovenica : časopis za humanistične in družboslovne študije. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 22, št. 3, str. 859-886, ilustr.

  1. MLAČNIK, Primož, STANKOVIĆ, Peter. The disappearance of political jokes in post-socialist Slovenia. Communist and post-communist studies. Sep. 2020, vol. 53, no. 3, str. 172-188.

  2. MLAČNIK, Primož. Minor literature in the case of Brina Svit = Literatura mniejsza na przykładzie Briny Svit. Przekłady Literatur Słowiańskich. 2020, tom 10, cz. 1, str. 207-223. Prace Naukowe Uniwersytetu Śląskiego w Katowicach.

  3. MLAČNIK, Primož. Poročilo o melanholiji : primer Kafka. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za družbene vede, Založba FDV, 2020. 153 str. Knjižna zbirka Skodelica kave.

  4. MLAČNIK, Primož. Kulturistike - kulturološka branja beletristike. Slavia Centralis. [Tiskana izd.]. 2019, letn. 12, št. 2, str. 46-57.

  5. MLAČNIK, Primož. The deconstruction of Freud's theory of melancholy. Družboslovne razprave. [Tiskana izd.]. sep. 2018, letn. 34, št. 88, str. 113-131.

  6. MLAČNIK, Primož. The influence of Franz Kafka's literature on aspects of critical cultural theory.Slavia Centralis. [Tiskana izd.]. 2021, letn. 14, št. 1, str. 249-259.