The main activities of the Institute are literary-theoretical, literary-historical, comparative and poetics-related research.
The Institute systematically monitors and studies the trends and the development of creative critical thought in the sphere of history and theory of literature, comparative literature, aesthetics and poetics, both in our country and abroad; it deals with issues of the methodology and terminology of literary studies, creates the foundation for work on literary history, works on scientific and critical editions of the works of various writers, compiles bibliographies and processed literary archive materials; it publishes collections of papers and monographs on literary movements, schools and the works of individual authors, it organizes scientific conferences and supports various forms of scientific research and professional training of scientific researchers, especially young researchers, etc.
When and where was the institute founded?
The Institute for Literature and Art developed out of the Centre for Theory of Literature and Art of the Faculty of Philology of Belgrade University. Acting on the proposal of Academician Vojislav Đurić, Director of the Centre, the Executive Council of the Assembly of Serbia passed a Decree on the Establishment of the Institute for Literature and Art on September 15th 1962. The Institute’s founders were: the Executive Council of the Assembly of Serbia, the Serbian Academy of Science and Art, the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade and the Faculty of Art in Belgrade. As an independent scientific institution, the Institute started work on January 1st 1963, and has not changed its status to the present day. Soon after its establishment, the Institute became the largest and the most respected institution in the sphere of literary studies in the whole of former Yugoslavia, and has preserved its reputation to the present day.
Initially, the Institute focused on training and orientating young researchers and gathering the hitherto unconnected researchers from the University and outside it. Later on, the Institute continually cooperated with kindred scientific, cultural and educational institutions in our country and abroad, gathering scientific researchers from all the centres of the former Yugoslavia around its projects, while also involving researchers from smaller scientific and cultural environments and towns where there existed scientific projects and researchers who were not part of organised and planned scientific research.
The Institute has achieved particularly fruitful cooperation with the Serbian Academy of Science and Art, the Matica srpska cultural-literary society and the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. Throughout its existence, the Institute has achieved varied and fruitful cooperation with publishing houses, making it possible to publish the results of the Institute’s work and engage the Institute’s associates in various capital publishing projects.
From 1963 until 2002, the Institute was located in the attic of the Faculty of Mining and Geology (Đušina Street no. 7), in the immediate vicinity of the Botany Garden, and since 2002 to the present day it has operated from the nicely furnished premises within the Vuk Foundation edifice (Kralja Milana Street no. 2) in the centre of Belgrade.
Who were the presidents of the institute?
The first Director of the Institute was Vojislav Đurić (1963-1966), who was followed by Dušan Puhalo (1966-1968) and Zoran Konstantinović (1968) in the capacity of Acting Directors, and Predrag Palavestra (1968-1976) and Miodrag Maticki (1977 to the present day) in the capacity of Directors. Along with Miroslav Pantić, Nikša Stipčević and Aleksandar Petrov, they have contributed the most to the development and the reputation of the Institute since its foundation.