Department of Slavic Studies

History, pedagogical, scientific and research profile of the department

The department was established in 1964 as the Department of Slavic and Indo-European Studies at that time, and its scientific and pedagogical orientation was a continuation of the activities of the Seminar of Slavic Philologies, which was started immediately after the establishment of the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in 1921. Professor Šimon Ondruš, who headed it for twenty-two years, takes the credit for the foundation of the department. Professor Ján Stanislav, the greatest Slovak Slavist of the 20th century, was among its first members. In 1987, the department was renamed and became the Department of Slavic Studies. At that time it was headed by the Serbo-Croatist doc. Emil Horák, an expert in comparative Slavic linguistics. In 1990 – 1997 the Department was led by prof. Jozef Hvišč, who has been researching Polish-Slovak literary relations from the earliest times to the present, as well as theoretical and methodological issues of comparative literature. In 1997 he was succeeded by prof. Marta Pančíková, who specializes in the methodology of teaching Polish language, Slovak-Polish linguistic relations and is one of the founding members of BRISTOL, an international association of teachers of Polish studies from all over the world. She was the head of the department until 2010, when she handed over its leadership to prof. Maria Dobríková, an expert in Bulgarian studies and comparative Slavic linguistics. 

Until the establishment of the department, the so-called minor Slavic philologies were taught at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava only in the form of lectureships. The only field of study that students could enrol in before the establishment of the department was Polish studies, from 1957. In 1964, the first students of Serbo-Croatian studies were admitted to the programme; Bulgarian studies began to write their history a year later. The initial form of teacher-training in Slavic languages combined with other Slavic and non-Slavic philologies was later replaced by a dual-disciplinary translation-interpreting programme in Bulgarian studies, (Serbo)Croatian studies and Polish studies. This model of study is currently provided only within the Bulgarian language and culture programme.  

The possibilities of studying Slavic languages have gradually been modified. The study programme of Central European Studies has been successfully established, with English as the language of instruction at the bachelor's degree level, thus also providing the possibility of education for students from abroad. Accepted applicants choose to study two languages of the Central European region (Hungarian, German, Polish, Slovenian and Slovak as a foreign language) according to their own preferences. At the master's degree level, studies continue in Slovak.  

The department also runs a purely Slavic-oriented study programme Slavic Studies, which offers a choice of two of the five Slavic languages (Bulgarian, Croatian, Polish, Serbian, Slovene). Admitted applicants select the combination of languages according to their preferences.   

In addition to the study programmes mentioned above, the department currently offers a number of Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Polish, Slovenian and Serbian language and culture-oriented compulsory elective and elective courses.  

The uniqueness and attractiveness of the pedagogical profiling of the Department of Slavic Studies of the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava is based on the fact that it offers a wide range of unique study programmes (especially in the field of South Slavic philologies), which are designed with the intention of providing the society with linguistically proficient specialists who have a proper overview of the historical as well as current socio-political contexts of the individual Slavic countries. 

Members of the department participate in national and international scientific projects. Their linguistic research mainly concentrates on the following areas: contrastive and applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, ecolinguistics, comparative phraseology and ethnolinguistics, history and development of South Slavic languages, methodology of teaching Bulgarian, Croatian, Polish, Slovene and Serbian languages. Literary research is focused on the history of individual Slavic literatures, Slovak-Slavic interliterary relations, comparative literature and translation studies.