Memory and History


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Cultural History

Module: Cultural History

Course code: 50

Course principal:
Prof. Oto Luthar, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminars, excursions, field work

Goals and competences

The series of lectures and seminars will focus on understanding the relationship between memory and history. The introductory part will be dedicated to presenting the three generations of founders and followers of memory studies. By setting clear distinctions between individual and collective memory, the students will have the opportunity to learn about the reasons, circumstances, and techniques of (trans)forming individual and collective memory. Familiarizing themselves with the different dimensions and types of memorial landscapes, the students will deepen their understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the structured or closed and narrative or open interview through a variety of thematic assignments. Moreover, drawing on concrete examples and excursions, they will learn to read and analyze the speech of different types of memorial landscapes in Central and Southeastern Europe. The course program will be implemented in collaboration with Austrian, Serbian, and Hungarian lecturers. As authorities on the memorial landscape of the First World War in western Serbia or experts on concentration camps (Mauthausen, Hartheim) and the Memento Park in Budapest, respectively, they will illuminate the difference between primary and secondary material sources through a series of objects, buildings and monuments, etc., and acquaint the students with the basic techniques of different politics of the past.


Entry requirements:



Content (Syllabus outline) 

  • Ratio between individual and collective memory through confronting the theoretical principles of Maurice Halbwachs, Andreas Huyssen and Aleida Assmann.
  • Definition of memorial landscape and presentation of problems concerning the definition of basic notions (revisionism, negationism, etc.).
  • Trial work with informants.
  • Comparison of political interventions in historiography from the mid-20th century onward and confrontation of socialist/communist, and revisionist/negationist ways of reinterpreting watershed events in the European and Slovenian/Yugoslav past.
  • Analyses of the post-1991 (trans)formation of memorial landscape in Slovenia.



  • Assmann, Aleida (2013) Das neue Unbehagen an der Erinnerungskultur. Eine Intervention, C.H.Beck Verlag, Munich;
  • Pim de Boer; Duchhardt, Heinz; Kreis, Georg; Schmale, Wolfagng (eds.), (2012), Europaeische Erinnerungsorte  (three volumes), Oldenburg Verlag, Munich; 
  • Clendinnen, Inga (1999), Reading the Holocaust, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge;
  • LaCapra, Dominick (2001), Writing History, Writing Trauma, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore;
  • Halbwachs, Maurice (2001), Kolektivni spomin, SH Ljubljana;
  • Huyssen, Andreas (2003), Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, Stanford University Press, Stanford;
  • Luthar, Breda; Luthar, Oto (2003) “Kolonizacija Spomina. Politika in tekstualnost domobranskih spomenikov po letu 1991”, Zbornik Janka Pleterskega,  ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana;
  • Luthar, Oto (2014), “Preimenovanje in izključevanje kot sestavni del postkomunistične kultura spomina v Sloveniji”, Prispevki za novejšo zgodovino, no. 2, 2014, Ljubljana.


Assessment method:

Assessment shall be the sum of:

  • field work, 
  • participation in excursions,
  • participation in seminars, 
  • quality of agreed chapter in Ph.D. dissertation. 


Cultural history of violence ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Petra Svoljšak, Ph.D.,


History, Identity and Popular Culture ǀ

Assist. Prof. Ana Hofman, Ph.D.,


Media, memory and history ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Petra Svoljšak, Ph.D.,


Memory and History ǀ

Prof. Oto Luthar, Ph.D.,


National Memory in Historical Perspective ǀ

Prof. Oto Luthar, Ph.D.,


Remembering Socialism in Central and Southeastern Europe ǀ

Prof. Tanja Petrović, Ph.D.,