Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Imagined material culture. Reflection on the spread of the nationalism in the company of material culture

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.06.00  Humanities  Culturology   

Code Science Field
S220  Social sciences  Cultural anthropology, ethnology 

Code Science Field
6.05  Humanities  Other humanities 
nationalism, material culture, Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  32773  Mateja Gliha  Humanities  Technical associate  2011 - 2014 
2.  20685  PhD Jure Gombač  Ethnic studies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  380 
3.  20195  PhD Damir Josipovič  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  329 
4.  17547  Špela Marinšek    Technical associate  2011 - 2013 
5.  20379  PhD Jernej Mlekuž  Culturology  Head  2011 - 2014  423 
6.  22585  PhD Dimitrij Mlekuž Vrhovnik  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  457 
7.  12447  PhD Branko Mušič  Humanities  Researcher  2012 - 2014  336 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0507  Institute for Ethnic Studies  Ljubljana  5051517000  4,561 
2.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,910 
3.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,150 
The proposed project poses the question of the role of material culture in the reproduction of nationalism. It approaches this question by researching individual objects or groups of objects which occupy a special place in the imaginarium of Slovenian nationalism. Objects such as Carniolan sausage, gibanica cake, the Vače situla and the accordion. But such a starting point – the selection of symbolically, conceptually and discursively highly charged objects – does not mean that the project will reject the material, functional and other contextual spheres of the objects concerned. The project in fact is designed to show how this symbolic, discursive and conceptual production is complexly and inseparably connected with the material, functional and other contextual spheres of the objects concerned. Or, in the concrete language of the project itself, we want to show how the “national” is impossible without the material. This, however, is a question that is (too) infrequently posed in the humanities and social sciences.
Significance for science
The question of the role of material culture in the production of nationalism in Slovenian humanities and social science has not been clearly addressed in the past. Furthermore, this issue is also fairly difficult to find among foreign researchers, either in the theoretically and methodologically highly diverse and very extensive studies of nations and nationalism, or on the other hand in the theoretically and methodologically more focused modern studies of material culture. The research therefore first of all fills the completely empty gap of this issue in Slovenian scholarship and the noticeable deficiency in this issue in international humanities and social science. The project also introduces a new interdisciplinary connection: between studies of nations and nationalism and modern studies of material culture. The critical connection to modern studies of material culture is additionally significant to the development of Slovenian knowledge. This approach to studying material culture, which goes beyond the unproductive opposition between sweeping criticisms of commodity fetishism on one hand and the uncritical admiration of material wealth on the other, is undoubtedly a (more than) necessary stimulus for Slovenian humanities and social science.
Significance for the country
The results (material on Carniolan sausage (kranjska klobasa)) have been used in the negotiation processes with Croatia by Economic Interest Association of Kranjska klobasa Producers (Gospodarsko interesno združenje Kranjska klobasa). The results could be further applied in various branches of industry and food service (tourism, the food service industry, the entertainment industry etc.), brand development, promotion of Slovenia and its culture abroad etc. The results could also be a source of ideas and assistance to several state institutions and ministries which cover the fields of cultural policy, tourism promotion, education etc. Due to the “popularity” and “visibility” of the objects being studied (Carniolan sausage, gibanica, Vače situla, accordion) and the relevance and political connotation of the subject matter (nationalism), the research has been and could further be interesting to the general public, the media, educational institutions etc. The contents of the project has been included in the university study programme European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations in the subject Migration, Borders and Citizenship (an international Master’s programme which arose through co-operation between European and African university institutions, which attained the prestigious status of an Erasmus Mundus programme, the principal lecturers is Jure Gombač), in the subject Theory and History of Archaeology (Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, principal lecturer Dimitrij Mlekuž) and the subject The Culture of Regions and Borderlands (School of Humanities, University of Nova Gorica, principal lecturer Jure Gombač).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Views history