Vitality on the academic margin: the development of gay and lesbian studies in Slovenia Dr. Roman Kuhar
Summary: The article presents the development of gay and lesbian studies in Slovenia, from the publication of the first book on homosexuality in the Slovenian language in 1926 to the institutionalisation of gay and lesbian studies at the University of Ljubljana at the beginning of the new millennium. The author asserts that the gay and lesbian movement played a key role in the development of gay and lesbian studies, as activists produced the first small-scale studies on the gay and lesbian population in Slovenia, wrote the first scientific articles on the issue in the Slovenian language, and translated works on homosexuality written by esteemed international authors. Such activism fed the theory, and – vice versa – the theory fed the activism. Although gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual (GLBT) topics became part of academic discussions in the 1990s, at first they appeared under the ’safe’ umbrella of gender studies. The breakthrough came in 1995, when a special issue of ^asopis za kritiko znanosti on gay and lesbian studies was published. Still, an additional decade was needed before gay and lesbian studies became an elective course at the University of Ljubljana. The author claims that gay and lesbian studies is a marginal topic within academia, often labelled as being »too activist« to be considered a serious academic pursuit. However, considering the general absence of homosexuality from school curricula and, consequently, from discussions in schools, elective courses on gay and lesbian studies play a key role in educating future teachers about how to gain sufficient expert knowledge on the issue and how to avoid bringing populist and simplified scientific findings into their future classrooms.