Philosophies of Cross-Borderness

This course is part of the programme
Master's Degree Programme Humanities Studies

Objectives and competences

  • an overview of the philosophical justifications of borders and cross-borderness;
  • an analysis of the tension between cosmopolitanism and nationalism in the history of ideas;
  • an overview of the philosophical background of the political ideologies linked to borders and cross-borderness;
  • fostering critical and independent thinking.




The course will explore ideas of borders and transnationality in the history of the world and of European philosophy, focusing on three privileged periods: Greek Antiquity, the European Enlightenment and the contemporary philosophy of interculturality. Through reading of a selection of texts, we will trace philosophical trends from the ancient Greeks onwards, which, on the one hand, stress the importance of the nationalism of language and ideas (Heidegger, Husserl, Levinas), and, on the other hand, the ideal of cosmopolitanism and the universality of reason. Already in Antiquity, we can identify a contrast between the exclusion of 'barbarians' who are presented as irrational because of their incomprehensible language (Pol-Droit, 2009), and the recognition of foreigners (especially Egyptians) as the creators of science and philosophy. In the Enlightenment, to whose legacy belong universal human rights and critical thinking, the philosophical emphasis on the ideal of equality paradoxically went hand in hand with justifications of colonial exploitation and the beginnings of scientific racism (Dolar, 2016). Understanding this specific facet of the history of ideas will enable students to critically evaluate contemporary theories of interculturality and the philosophical background of ideas such as identity, cultural relativity and assimilation.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Understanding the history of the arguments of nationalism and cosmopolitanism;
    -the ability to critically evaluate contemporary theories of interculturality;
  • knowledge of the philosophical background of concepts such as identity, cultural relativity and assimilation.

-analysis of a philosophical text
- argumentation through conceptual analysis


  • ANDERSON Benedict, Imagined Communities, Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London, Verso, 1991. Catalogue E-version
  • Buck-Morss, Susan: Hegel, Haiti in univerzalna zgodovina, Ljubljana: Studia humanitatis, 2012.Catalogue
  • Dolar, Mladen: « Črnec ne obstaja (Spremna študija) », v: Fanon, Frantz : Črna koža, bele maske, Ljubljana: Studia Humanitatis, 2016. Catalogue
  • Golub, Philip: « Overcoming the Planetary Prisoners’ Dilemma. Cosmopolitan Ethos and Pluralist Cooperation », in Paul G. Harris (dir.), Ethics and Global Environmental Policy. Cosmopolitan Conceptions of Climate Change, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2011. Catalogue E-version
  • Hallen, B. : A Short History of African Philosophy, Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2002. Catalogue E-version
  • Husserl, Edmund: Kriza evropskih znanosti in transcendentalna fenomenologija, Ljubljana: Slovenska matica, 2006 (izbrana poglavja). Catalogue
  • Kant, Immanuel: Zgodovinsko-politični spisi, Ljubljana: Založba ZRC SAZU, 2006 (Izbrana poglavja). Catalogue
  • Levinas, Emmanuel: Etika in neskončno; Čas in drugi, Ljubljana: Družina, 1998 (izbrana poglavja).
  • Mignolo, W.: The darker side of Western modernity: global futures, decolonial options, Durham: Duke University Press, 2011 (izbrana poglavja). Catalogue
  • Plato: Zbrana dela, Ljubljana: KUD Logos, 2009 (izbrana poglavja). Catalogue
  • Spivak, Gayatri: « Can the Subaltern Speak? », Williams, Patrick, Chrisman, Laura (ur.): Colonial discourse and postcolonial theory, New York: Columbia University Press, 1989. Catalogue E-version
  • Wiredu, Kwasi: « The Concept of Truth in the Akan language », P. O. Bodunrin (éd.) : Philosophy in Africa: Trends and Perspectives, University of Ife Press, 1985.Catalogue


Oral exam 50 %
Seminar paper 50 %

Lecturer's references

Assoc. Prof. Kristina Pranjić, PhD graduated in comparative literature, and Russian language and literature at the University of Ljubljana. She defended her doctoral thesis entitled Non-objective Sound and Image: Bely, Kruchenykh, Malevich at the same institution in 2018. She led the research project Yugoslav Avantgardes and Metropolitan Dada (1916–1927): A Multidirectional and Transnational Genealogy, financed by the Slovenian Research Agency (2019–2021). Currently she is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities and the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, where she leads the modules Theory and History of Art and Media, and Discourses in Practice. At the Faculty of Media in Ljubljana she lectures on Media Art and Graphic Design, and the semiotics of media and communications. In her theoretical and research work, she focuses mainly on the historical avant-garde of the 20th century and the re-actualization of the avant-garde today. She has conducted research in the field of art and literature of historical avant-garde and new media art and aesthetics at the University of Konstanz, the University of Belgrade and the University of Paris 8.