The Institute for Literature and Cultural Studies is an organisational subunit of the Centre for Scientific Research and Expert Activities of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University in Sarajevo (NIRSA) and is currently the only scientific and research institution of its kind, after the termination of the former Institute for Literature in Sarajevo (founded 1966 – ended activities in 1992).

The main activities of the Institute are literary-theoretical, literary-historical, comparative and poetic research, that is, studying and interpretation of literary and cultural phenomena in the broadest sense, both in the field of literature of Bosnia and Herzegovina / literatures of the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in the field of foreign literature / literature in foreign languages – Arabic, English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin, German, Persian, Russian (and other Slavic languages), Spanish, Turkish…, and a special attention is placed on creating preconditions for the preparation of the history of literature of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The institute also publishes scientific and critical works by domestic and foreign writers and literary translations, and it develops description of archival collections.  

Scientific and research activities of the institute are implemented through scientific and research projects realised either independently, or in cooperation with other relevant institutions in the country or abroad. The Institute is a literary-scientific base of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, and members of the academic staff in the relevant fields and areas participate in the projects in the corresponding fields and areas of research, with the option of engaging external associates as well. With full respect of the autonomy in the scientific and research endeavour, the Institute is open for different scientific and research subjects and approaches, as well as for the individual, and team research, including multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research, and especially for domestic and international scientific and research cooperation. The scientific and research activities of the Institute also include organisation of scientific events – roundtables, conferences, congresses, symposiums, etc., be it individual or related to certain scientific and research projects of the Institute, which is also home to several lines of publishing activities – the Godišnjak journal (an annual serial of the Institute), as well as Zbornici, Radovi and Posebna izdanja (monographs of the Institute).

Professional activities are also organised at the Institute, especially those aimed at lifelong learning and professional development of teachers and professors of literature, as well as other target groups, especially through seminars, workshops, and other educational programmes and development programmes.  

The Institute for Literature and Cultural Studies places special importance on developing young scientific staff, bringing together and guiding young researchers and scientists, as well as cooperation with other organisational subunits of the NIRSA Centre, departments and chairs of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, as well as cooperation with other similar scientific, cultural, and educational institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad.