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The Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary Studies is the only Slovenian research institution outside the universities that engages in systematic and interdisciplinary research in literature. Its focal points include Slovenian literature, cultural history, comparative literature, literary theory and digital humanities. Members of the institute lecture and publish on literary periods, genres and spaces, as well as on the state of literary studies. They regularly lead national projects and partake in international projects on these topics. Areas that require long-term teamwork have a priority, as well as those of special currency for the discipline.

The institute regularly hosts international conferences in cooperation with the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and other research and educational institutions in Slovenia and abroad. Members of the institute teach at the Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU and the University of Ljubljana. They have held research and teaching positions in universities in Slovenia and abroad. They have also actively served in professional associations such as the Academia Europaea, ICLA/AILC and REELC/ENCLS (now ESCL/SELC).

The institute publishes numerous scholarly print and digital editions of Slovenian literature, with series focused on canonical works, early modern manuscripts and scholarly monographs. Members of the institute also undertake editorial work for major Slovenian academic publishers as well as for academic journals such as arcadia, CLCWeb, Colloquia Comparativa Litterarum, Primerjalna književnost, Slavica litteraria and Slavica TerGestina.