Department of Serbian Language and Literature

History of the Department of Serbian Language and Literature

The Department was founded on May 29th, 1987, by the decision of the University of Niš Assembly as the Teaching and Scientific Unit for the Serbo-Croatian Language and Yugoslav Literature, according to the prior proposal and the needs analysis study accepted by the Faculty Council. Teaching at the Bachelor level began on October 1st of the same year. After the disintegration of the former SFRY led to the change in its name to the Study Unit for Serbian Language and Literature, the current name of the Department was established in 2020.

The curriculum has been adapted and supplemented on several occasions in keeping with the employment requirements and an increasing range of occupations in public institutions (in the media, libraries, archives, etc.). In addition to the Bachelor level, higher levels of studies were organized at the Department (Master's studies from 2011 and subsequent Doctoral studies).

Since the beginning, over a hundred lecturers from the country, former Yugoslav republics and abroad have been engaged in teaching, either as full-time employees or as visiting professors and lecturers by invitation. Most of the current teaching staff have completed their undergraduate studies at this department and some of them obtained their Doctoral degrees at the Faculty of Philosophy.

Scientific work is organized within the Department, as well as within two subunits, The Serbian Language and The Serbian and Comparative Literature, which organize scientific conferences, edit collections of papers and scientific journals. Professors and associates have published a large number of monographs, textbooks and conference proceedings in more than three decades of the study program. The current scientific journals of the Department are the Yearbook for the Serbian Language and Philologia Mediana; together with the Association of Serbs in Romania and the Faculty of Philology, History and Theology of the Western University in Timisoara, the Department publishes the journal Ishodišta.

Since its establishment, the Department has ensured cooperation with scientific institutions in the country and abroad, resulting in the employment of numerous professors from various scientific fields. Thus, Macedonian and Bulgarian were taught to students by hired lecturers from respective countries; in turn, the Department staff members or former students taught Serbian at universities in Bulgaria ("St. Cyril and St. Methodius" in Veliko Tarnovo, "St. Kliment Ohridski" in Sofia) and Romania (Faculty of Philology, History and Theology, Western University of Timisoara). Teaching staff members of the Department of Serbian Studies have held numerous lectures by invitation and they participate in international, regional and local scientific conferences and projects. Students also participate in international exchange programs at all levels of study.

Teaching staff

The first professors and founders of the current Department of Serbian Studies were Miroljub Stojanović, PhD, Nedeljko Bogdanović, PhD, Radoslav Radenković, PhD, followed by Slobodan Remetić, PhD, Borislav Prvulović, PhD, Staniša Veličković, PhD, Miljko Jovanović, PhD, Radoslav Đurović, PhD and Mihailo Ignjatović, PhD. The first associates were Dragan Stanić, Jordana Marković, Goran Maksimović and Slobodan Marjanović.

The following were also permanent employees at the Department: Simeon Marinković, PhD, Jovan Petković, PhD, Miroljub Joković, PhD, Branko Letić, PhD, Milentije Đorđević, PhD, Vilotije Vukadinović, PhD, Ljubisav Ćirić, PhD, Dubravka Popović-Srdanović, PhD, Milivoje R. Jovanović, PhD, Slavoljub Obradović, PhD, Boban Arsenijević, PhD, Maja Vukić, PhD, as well as associates: Marija Slavković, MA, Mirjana Sokolović, MA, Jovan Pejčić, MA, Dragana Veljković, Ljiljana Marković and many others.

Numerous visiting professors and leading experts in their scientific fields participated in the teaching process, such as three academicians and professors: Miroslav Pantić, PhD, Asim Peco, PhD and Zuzana Topolinjska, PhD. They affirmed the study program by their positions of authority and participated as scientific staff in the initial formative period. There were also full professors: Jelka Redjep, PhD, Jovan Deretić, PhD, Radoje Simić, PhD, Miloš Kovačević, PhD, Milosav Vukićević, PhD, Milorad Dešić, PhD, Vladeta Janković, PhD, Slobodan Kalezić, PhD, Marija Mitrović, PhD, Dragan Stojanović, PhD, Milosav Čarkić, PhD, Sreto Tanasić, PhD, Sofija Miloradović, PhD, as well as associate professors at the time: Dimitar Pandev, PhD, Vesna Polovina, PhD, Nadica Petkovska, PhD, Svetozar Stijović, PhD, and assistant professors: Zorka Kašić, PhD, Petar Djukanović, PhD and many others.

Most of the staff members employed today also studied at the Department. In May 2021, there were 6 full professors: Goran Maksimović, Dragiša Bojović, Snežana Milosavljević-Milić, Irena Arsić, Nadežda Jović, Marina Janjić; 9 associate professors: Danijela Kostadinović, Jelena Jovanović, Dejan Milutinović, Danijela Popović Nikolić, Snežana Božić, Irena Cvetković Teofilović, Mirjana Ilić, Aleksandra Lončar Raičević, Branimir Stanković, 6 assistant professors: Kristina Mitić, Mirjana Bojanić Ćirković, Tatjana Trajković, Aleksandra Janić, Ivana Mitić, Jelena Stošić, 3 teaching assistants: Jelena Mladenović, Aleksandar Novaković, Nina Sudimac, 3 junior researchers: Olivera Marković, Hristina Aksentijević and Vasilisa Cvetković. Members of the Department are also lecturers for Bulgarian and Macedonian.

Program objectives

In general, Basic Academic Serbian Studies aim to ensure the competencies and academic skills that are necessary for teachers of Serbian language and literature, but also for other professions envisaged by this study program.

The specific goals of the Basic Academic Serbian Studies are:

  1. Developing creative abilities and mastering practical skills which are necessary for practicing the professions related to this study program;
  2. Enabling students to understand, comprehend and use the terms of linguistics and theory of literature, different theoretical and methodological approaches to synchronic and diachronic phenomena in language and various theoretical and methodological approaches to literary texts;
  3. Gaining insight into the standard Serbian language structure at all levels (phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical), dialectal disunity of the modern Serbian language, its historical development, fundamentals of Serbian studies, historical literary idioms (Serbo-Slavic, Russian-Slavic, Slavo-Serbian and the language of Dositej) and the Slavic aspect of the Serbian language study;
  4. Providing insight into the history of Serbian literature in oral and written forms (from the first written sources to modern times), rooted in the national, South Slavic and cultural and historical world context; introducing students to the basic trends and representative works of South Slavic, European and world literature;
  5. Familiarizing students with the broader, diachronically perceived trends of Serbian culture and acquiring the ability for an independent, analytical and critical approach to individual literary works;
  6. Acquiring the basic techniques and skills of academic writing and training students to navigate the relevant literature in all offered areas;
  7. Mastering at least one foreign language at the level of written and oral communication;
  8. Introducing students to the contemporary pedagogical and psychological disciplines and enabling them to transfer their knowledge, skills and abilities to future students using the most modern teaching methods;
  9. Mastering the orthographic and linguistic norm of the Serbian language and acquiring proofreading and editing knowledge and skills;
  10. Gaining knowledge of literary trends and ensuring training for independent value judgments about past literary works and current literary production; projecting the tastes of the reading public;
  11. Acquiring communication skills, mastering various written and oral communication forms, orthography and public speaking techniques, which enables students to work in the public relations sector.

Learning outcomes

After completing the Basic Academic Serbian Studies, students will be able to:

  • distinguish central linguistic problems and issues, master the genealogy of Indo-European languages and formulate a position on current language issues;
  • know the reasons and mechanisms of language change and understand the hierarchical organization of grammar;
  • distinguish the disciplines of the science of literature and the basic functions of literature;
  • classify literary works by type, genre and literary periods;
  • describe, explain and demonstrate the structure of the standard Serbian language at all levels (phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical);
  • recognize the dialectal disunity of the modern Serbian language and summarize its historical development;
  • formulate the fundamentals of Serbian studies and analyze historical literary idioms (Serbo-Slavic, Russian-Slavic, Slavo-Serbian, Vuk Karadžić and the dialect base of the Serbian literary language);
  • describe the complex and dynamic nature of the history of Serbian literature;
  • recognize, classify and define general poetic features of certain periods, directions, genres and authors of Serbian, South Slavic and world literature;
  • interpret representative works of Serbian and comparative literature;
  • apply the techniques of academic writing and show ability in the selection, organization and use of relevant literature in all offered areas;
  • master at least one foreign language at the level of written and oral communication;
  • apply modern methods of pedagogical and psychological disciplines;
  • connect knowledge in the field of language science and literature science with other social humanistic fields;
  • apply systematized philological knowledge in practice;
  • recognize and explain deviations from grammatical and spelling norms and correct mistakes in practice;
  • govern speech competencies in various forms of expression of speech culture; master the theory and practice of speech culture;
  • practice independent professional public appearance and critically analyze public speech and performance;
  • recognize, define and describe phenomena in relation to the journalistic style;
  • recognize and evaluate ​​literary production in diachrony and synchrony and educate the literary taste of the reading public.

Admission and enrollment requirements

All applicants for BA Serbian studies are required to submit their validated diploma or school leaving certificate of four-year secondary education, together with the transcripts of records for each of the four years and the final examination diploma (if applicable). Other conditions are regulated by general acts and regulations of the University of Niš and the Faculty of Philosophy.

Post-study employment options

Students who have completed the Basic level of Serbian Studies can find employment as teachers of Serbian, teachers of Serbian as a foreign language, researchers, proofreaders, copyeditors, editors, copywriters, librarians, literary critics, forensic scientists in the field of linguistics, news presenters, etc. These occupations can be practiced in primary and secondary schools, faculties, institutes, libraries, theaters, publishing centers, television, etc.

More information

For more information visit: