Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The Space of Slovenian Literary Culture: Literary History and the GIS-Based Spatial Analysis

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.07.00  Humanities  Literary sciences   

Code Science Field
H390  Humanities  General and comparative literature, literary criticism, literary theory 

Code Science Field
6.02  Humanities  Languages and Literature 
literary culture, literary history, literary geography, literary atlas, spatial analysis, cartography
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  02553  PhD Marjan Dolgan  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,150 
2.  21450  PhD Marijan Dović  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  605 
3.  12676  PhD Jerneja Fridl  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  712 
4.  30792  PhD Jernej Habjan  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  197 
5.  09432  PhD Miran Hladnik  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,041 
6.  06442  PhD Marko Juvan  Literary sciences  Head  2011 - 2014  744 
7.  01397  PhD Alenka Koron  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  257 
8.  16049  PhD Barbara Lampič  Humanities  Researcher  2014  530 
9.  16207  PhD Matija Ogrin  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  503 
10.  32213  PhD Urška Perenič  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  474 
11.  25649  PhD Marjeta Pisk  Ethnology  Researcher  2012 - 2013  163 
12.  04280  MSc Jola Jožica Škulj  Literary sciences  Researcher  2012 - 2014  342 
13.  17073  PhD Mimi Urbanc  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  449 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,489 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,239 
The “Space of Slovenian Literary Culture” will be the first in Slovenia to connect literary studies and geography in a systematic interdisciplinary research project. Using the Geographic Information System (GIS), it will study the development of mutual influences between the ethnically Slovenian geographic space and Slovenian literature. The project will cover the period 1780–1940, from the beginnings of belles-lettres in Slovenian to WW II, when Slovenian literary culture attained full institutional and media development, and stylistic, genre, and ideological differentiation. The ethnically Slovenian territory was multilingual and multicultural; it belonged to different state entities with distant capitals, what was reflected in the spatial dynamic of literary culture. The project postulates that the socio-geographical space did not exclusively determine the development of literature and its media, but that it influenced it. On the other hand, literature itself, through its discourse, practices, and institutions, had a reverse influence on the apprehension and structuring of that space, as well as on its connection with the broader region, Europe, and the world. In view of this, the project sets three main goals: · By making use of GIS, to map and spatially analyze statistically relevant data of literary history: biographical paths, areas/places of residence, and careers of writers, as well as those of other actors in literary culture; locations of media and institutions that establish the infrastructure of literary field; and spaces represented in historical novels. · To form a clear picture of the history of Slovenian literary culture’s distribution over territory on the basis of GIS-developed thematic maps, graphs, and tables of quantitative data, taking into account natural environment, political regulation, as well as factors of the economic, traffic, and demographic development; to determine how the ethnic space with its “internal” peripheries and (urban) centers and changing “external” geopolitical boundaries acted upon the development of literary field’s distribution. · To offer interdisciplinary literary historical, cultural, and geographic interpretations of the resulting data in a collection of synthetic studies. The fundamental hypothesis is that literary discourse in Slovenian was able to manifest itself in public dominantly through the history of two spatial factors: · the formation, territorial expansion, and concentration of the social network of literary actors and media in ethnically Slovenian lands; · the persistent references of literary texts to places that were recognized by addressees as Slovenian, thereby creating and giving meaning to the idea of an ethnically coherent space; these spatial references in public media were involved in grounding a national ideology. The project has other, parallel goals: · to assess the theoretical bases of literary geography or spatial literary studies; to identify the key problems and perspectives of interdisciplinary ties between the humanities and more scientistic social sciences; to study the possibilities of the further use of GIS in the humanities in Slovenia; · to survey case studies of mutual influences between geographic space and imagination: how literary texts have represented the Slovenian space and its natural and political boundaries, how they modeled it cognitively and ethically, what meaning (especially national) they attributed to it, and how the texts thereby influenced readers’ experiences of territory and their ethnic or regional identities; · to make a “Literary Atlas of Ljubljana,” the first portable publication of its kind in Slovenia; · by making GIS maps public, to enable the use of project findings for the furtherance of Slovenian literary geography and spatial literary studies, as well to policymakers for the preservation of cultural heritage, to schools, the tourism industry, and
Significance for science
As the first systematic research of a kind in Slovenia, the project offers a solution to a problem that has become crucial among the relevant issues in contemporary humanities after the “spatial turn”: whether or not and in what ways was the development of Slovenian literature dependent on geographical space (in what ways was it influenced by the settlement structure, demographic factors, stages of development, natural frontiers, traffic connections, etc.) and how did literature, i.e., its texts, media, institutions, and practices, interfere with geographical space (as a mechanism of its social cohesion) and shape an individual’s awareness of it (its cultural significance, identity roles)? Bearing the above-described problem in mind, the project has built a firm conceptual platform and methodological and technological solutions for establishing interdisciplinary connections between literary studies and geography as well as for their greater recognition in Slovenia. It contributes to the on-going scholarly debate on the specificity of scientific standards and on the use of digital technologies in the humanities and social sciences. It has also studied the epistemological and methodological aspects of literary geography and spatial literary studies, placing them into the context of the space-oriented humanities (especially media theory and history) and the GIS-humanities. Throughout its course and according to its findings, the project has examined the possibilities of applying GIS tools to literary studies data. Thus, a methodological, heuristic, technological, and informational basis for future research in the field of literary geography and spatial literary studies has been established. The acquired data, methods, and technological procedures give the research its international relevance.
Significance for the country
The project’s results and findings have been passed on to different audiences, that is, not only to literary historians, geographers, and cultural historians but also to the general public. Spatial presentations of Slovenian literary culture in the form of digitalized thematic maps are available from the ZRC SAZU website to users accustomed to using Google maps. Literary maps, together with corresponding quantitative (statistical) and qualitative data and synthetic literary historic and geographical interpretations, prove directly useful in the following fields: ? education: Slovenian, Geography, and History classes, planning and realization of excursions; ? tourism: a tool for individual and organized culture tourism (which is an important branch of economy in Slovenia); ? protecting cultural heritage: every location connected with important events from literary history was systematically recorded and processed and, moreover, preserved if need be; ? local communities: the mapped literary historic data contribute to an increased recognition of certain local environments and their features; ? spatial planning: locations of literary historic importance may be taken into consideration by spatial development planning as factors of “spatial memory,” which should be appropriately preserved. A book titled The Literary Atlas of Ljubljana, with its data and maps, serves as a useful thematic tourist guide through the city as well as a didactic tool. With the help of it, municipal authorities are now able to provide a unified and clearly noticeable signs to mark literary significant locations, joining them together into strolling trails for domestic and foreign tourists. The literary significance of Slovenian capital will therefore become more evident also in its physical space. The indirect significance of the project for the society is represented in critical and creative use of foreign knowledge, resulting in active participation in the international division of labor. Among other achievements, the project encourages and strengthens domestic scientific reception of the modern, space-oriented humanities and GIS technologies, which are the key issues in the leading world scientific centers. Moreover, through assimilation and development of internationally relevant methods and technologies as well as through systematic historical and geographical analysis, the project approaches and processes Slovenian ethnic territory in such a way that it establishes Slovenia as a constitutive part of European cultural ground. The data shown and analyzed throughout the project are of great interest and importance to foreign experts and comparative studies of European literary cultures. Thus, the project is expected to contribute significantly to a wider recognition of spatially articulated historical experience of Slovenia.
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
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