The Role of Serbian Periodicals in the Formation of Literary, Cultural and National Models


Full-time employees

Outside collaborators

  • Miodrag Maticki, PhD
  • Gojko Tešić, PhD
  • Marija Cindori Šinković, PhD
  • Stejn Vervat, PhD

Research project The Role of Serbian Periodicals in the Formation of Literary, Cultural and National Models was founded in 1970, at the Institute for Literature and Arts in Belgrade, first under the title A History of Serbian Literary Periodicals. Accepting the theoretical framework of Russian formalism and Viktor Shklovsky, who regarded periodicals as an autonomous literary form, researchers at the Institute were pioneers in establishing Periodical Studies as a specific and independent field of study in domestic and regional literary scholarship. Periodicals were no longer perceived as a mere historical repository of literary texts, but as the main purpose and object of scientific research, with its own physiognomy, methodological tools and terminology.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, periodicals were mainly seen as a specific form of structuring the overall literary and poetic practice in a particular time segment and cultural framework, as generators and regulators of literary and cultural life, and therefore become irreplaceable in (inter)national literary and cultural-historical studies. In the last two decades, the main focus and the prevailing methodologies were constantly challenged and reshaped, simultaneously with the changes in the core theoretical and scientific paradigms. Nowadays the periodical studies at the Institute are both centered and dispersed around the variety of methodologies and interpretative approaches, such as standard historiography, new historicism, genetic criticism, semiotics, cultural studies, gender studies, critical discourse analysis, etc. According to Project’s new research needs and plans, special attention is given to the contextualized reading of various periodical codes and new possibilities opened by digitization of cultural heritage.

One of the main aims of Project is to cover the whole span of Serbian literary periodicals (from the 18th to the 21st century) and to promote interdisciplinary research and transnational context of periodical production and reception (i.e. (ex)Yugoslav periodicals, literary magazines of the Russian emigration). Rethinking the role of periodicals within the national, regional and international boundaries, researchers at the Institute study the ways in which periodicals, as a specific form of literary institutionalization, reveal different development stages within the literary field, and how the established literary tradition and canon gets brought into question under the pressure of new, alternative and experimental undertakings.

In the past 40 years of continuous work, the project for Periodical Studies has presented its results through numerous conferences and round tables, bibliographies of literary magazines, collections of papers and monographic publications on individual periodicals or specific research topics (such as genres in the periodicals, the avant-garde movement and modernism, humorous periodicals etc.). The project has also published several facsimile editions of Serbian and Yugoslav periodicals (cf. international avant-garde magazine Zenit published in cooperation with the National Library of Serbia).

Some of the titles published in the past twenty years:

  • The New Europe 1920-1941 (2010)
  • Genres in Serbian Periodicals (2010)
  • The Image of the Other in the Balkans and Central-European Literatures (2006)
  • Literature in minority languages of Danube region (2004)
  • Hundred Years of the Serbian Literary Herald - Axiological Aspect of Tradition in Serbian Literary Periodicals (2003)
  • Serbian Avant-garde in Periodicals (1996)
  • Traditional and Modern in Serbian Periodicals at the Beginning of the 20th Century (1992)