Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Biographies, Mentalities, Epochs

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.01.00  Humanities  Historiography   
6.07.00  Humanities  Literary sciences   

Code Science Field
H003  Humanities  History and Arts 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
Biography, Mentality, Epoch
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (6)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10900  PhD Igor Grdina  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2019  1,701 
2.  22572  PhD Gregor Pobežin  Literary sciences  Head  2015 - 2019  288 
3.  21446  PhD Mateja Ratej  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2019  492 
4.  27514  PhD Petra Testen Koren  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2019  249 
5.  30800  PhD Neža Zajc  Historiography  Researcher  2015 - 2019  262 
6.  50579  Vita Zalar  Historiography  Junior researcher  2017 - 2019  43 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,024 
Based on the realisation that historical action takes shape based on the interaction of people and their knowledge, this programme makes a whole from studied biographies, mentalities and epochs. The gap between tradition and innovation and between reality and vision creates the referential frame of history on the diachronic axis as well as in synchronic comparisons. Identities of people – often perceived in an integral way (particularly in times marked by religious, national and political integralism) – call for an integral approach. Simplifications of the “we-subject” type block the understanding of people’s actions, even more so, they reduce their consciousness. Micro-studies of spaces, families and smaller communities point out the layered structure and often even the dispersed state of identities; personalities, mentalities and epochs turn out to be complex phenomena in historical perspective and therefore won’t conform to cyclic and a-historical forms in adequate interpretation. This is true of the treatise of individual cases as well as of generalisations. Considering the paradigms of cultural and new cultural history and adhering to the modern research methodology, the programme group will pay attention to: – publishing the newly catalogued sources – intellectuals and their role in the emancipation processes – the role and place of history and historians in the formation of cultural patterns of certain spaces – micro-historical studies of particular personalities and “people with no outstanding features” – relations between typicality and exceptionality; – the differences between the periods of existential precariousness (wars) and the “normality” during which structures of longue duree become rather obvious; – the differences between urban and rural environments in the antiquity, the Middle Ages and the periods of early, state-dictated modernisation in the area of present-day Slovenia; – the processes of historization, i.e. the transgression of memory and remembrance into the historical consciousness or historical culture, and the problems of keeping the cultural continuity during the times of great historical breaking points. The programme will be put into effect in the broadest possible comparison perspective as well in heavily emphasised international cooperation with research institutions from Great Britain, Russian Federation etc. which has already been established in the previous period. The purpose of the programme is to deepen and solidify the historical culture and to broaden the space of historical thinking (with permanent care for the historical collections, particularly the Slovene Biographical Lexicon, and with published results of research) which is the only thing to emphasise the exclusively temporal dimensions of man’s existence and destiny. Through the teaching practice and written books the members of the programme group will exercise (just as they did so far) a historian’s mission: to uncover, think, teach and write.
Significance for science
The programme is of huge importance for science in multiple ways: – it proposes to study the so far unused, even inaccessible sources; – historical sources will be studied and used within the scope of a new comparative concept instead of in an isolated way; – the programme will expand the theoretical scope of historiography in Slovenia; – the programme will enhance the nationally and internationally important database of the “Slovene Biographic Lexicon” which is of utmost importance for historical research as well as the research of history of all scientific disciplines in Slovenia on multiple individual examples (e.g. J. V. Valvasor, J. Ressel, M. Vidmar, F. Miklošič, J. Kopitar, I. Slokar) or broader; – international research and international publishing will give others access to archives in Slovenia which differ structurally from those in the neighbouring countries (in Slovenia they were seldom – i.e. in the early Middle Ages and in the time of Napoleon – a centre of authority). The use of thus far inaccessible sources has a direct impact on the creation of new historical knowledge, while also facilitating the verification and definition of the need for a revision of existing historical research. As a basis for the treatise of individual “cases”, some collections have the capacity to impact more general problems (e.g. the studying of materials by Russian emigrants – particularly intellectuals – in Slovenia). In Slovenia, a discussion about methodological and conceptual questions of historical research and historiography is often unsystematic – so the proliferation of theoretical reflexions on these issues is of particular importance. The members of the programme group have already been paying attention to these issues, drawing from their own experience in researching individual periods (particularly the time of modernisation, however, they have been increasingly reaching into the Middle Ages and the antiquity). In non-experimental science disciplines a clear outline and reflexion of a theoretical position is an important element of results’ verification (next to quoted sources it is even the most important one). This is why the programme enforces the scientific status of historical research in the Slovene environment where numerous controversies indicate a low historical culture. Keeping and adding to the collection of the Slovene Biographical Lexicon which is most likely the biggest database of biographical materials and biographies in Slovenia is a pre-requisite for the research of the former condition of science in Slovenia. As such it is indispensable in the thematisation of the genesis of present conditions in many of its areas. Further work on the collection of the Slovene Biographical Lexicon is more than just historical work – it is also the discovering thereof. The numbered activities are therefore more than just a multi-disciplinary research, since it creates proper conditions for it.
Significance for the country
Putting the programme into effect establishes an integral historical culture the need for which was already written about before WWII by Bogo Grafenauer, the leading Slovene medievalist. By historicising the past happenings blocks the un-reflected exploitation (abuse) thereof for the political purposes, which so often occurs in Slovenia. By pointing out the complexity of each identity it spreads the non-integralist understanding of this often used term. Integralist understanding of identities of difference between people establishes the basis for segregation and confrontation while their non-integralist understanding enables the differences to become the basis of complementing and cooperation. This applies to what Lucien Febvre defined as the core of historical work: spreading the knowledge about different possibilities of human life in different cultural circles, periods and geographical spaces and coming into contact with them. This way the validity of Marc Bloch’s warning that there is nothing but general history comes into full sight, even on a micro-level of actual historical materials. Putting the programme into effect enables historians from elsewhere to come into contact with the issues of the Slovene space and culture. The structure of sources preserved in the archives of Slovenia is different from the structure of those preserved in the archives of the neighbouring countries, where archives have been of central importance for centuries. A specific structure of sources for particular paradigms facilitates research; however, it makes the research of others more difficult (and more expensive). In this respect, the programme has already yielded important and visible results (e.g. quoting the materials from Slovene and Serbian archives by sir Max Hastings is the result of cooperation with teh members of the programme group; the same can be maintained for the cooperation with several Russian researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the German institute Max Weber in Moscow). This is more than a mere advertising of the state and its cities etc.; it is the elimination of white spots in the broader historical surveys. By expanding and deepening the knowledge on the history of the Slovene space the possibility of cooperation in larger comparative studies grows exponentially (both on the synchronous and diachronous axis). This is especially important for particular historical periods (e.g. WWI during which one of the front lines took place in the Slovene territory). Putting the programme into effect is also of tremendous importance for the teaching process since it transfers new knowledge into practice. The results of the programme (16 monographs over the five-year period) which extends over the time from antiquity to the 20th century have already importantly influenced the teaching practice in the field of history and literary history, as well as linguistics and musical history.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
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