Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - Institut für Slawistik und Hungarologie


Department of South-Slavic Linguistics and Cultural Studies


The chair of South Slavic Studies, which was reappointed in 2006, is designated as "South Slavic Linguistics and Cultural Studies". This new and interdisciplinary profile as well as the stronger integration into the overarching discussion in the humanities corresponds to the self-conception of the current chair holder (see Projects and Publications), who has focused his research in recent years on South Balkan minority languages and is seeking methodological exchange with the historical sciences, cultural anthropology and ethnology. In the coming years, the research focus will be on Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, without neglecting Bulgarian, Macedonian and Slovenian.

Based on a semiotic and constructivist understanding of culture, we consider Southeastern Europe, and especially former Yugoslavia, to be an ideal research area with regard to the negotiation of collective group boundaries and their linguistic representation.

The central themes of a linguistics understood in terms of cultural studies are

  • ethnicity/nationality and language
  • Identity and discourse
  • Language contact and language death
  • Language mixture and language ideology
  • Variational linguistics and dialectology



The profile of the department, which is unique in the German-speaking world, and the Master's programmes of the Institute of Slavic and Hungarian Studies do not define themselves as area studies, but are designed to be comparative in order to avoid the inherent danger of essentialisation. In contrast to the legal and political science reference of several new German Centres for Eastern Europe, we focus on the value of research in the humanities per se.

South Slavic Studies offers the Bachelor's programme "Slavic Languages and Literatures". Starting in the winter semester 2007/08, the Chair has been involved in the three new Master's programmes "Slavic Languages", "Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe" and "Slavic Literatures".