The Faculty of Philology and Arts, University of Kragujevac (FILUM), symbolically inherited the tradition of Knjažestvo Srpsko Liceum, the first higher education institution of modern Serbia, founded in 1838 in Kragujevac by the efforts of Prince Miloš Obrenović. In 1839/1840 already, following the efforts of Atanasije Nikolić, the first Rector of Liceum, the German and French Language, Vocal and Instrumental Music and Drawing were introduced in the curriculum for the first time in Serbia. After moving Liceum to Belgrade (1841) a long period without university life in Kragujevac ensued. By the founding of the University of Kragujevac (1976) conditions were met for the renewed establishment of humanistic and artistic studies in Kragujevac. By the efforts of the management of the University, the city of Kragujevac and the Ministry of Education, the Teaching Department of the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade was launched in the 1996/1997 academic year, within which lectures were held in the study programs of the Serbian Language and Literature and English Language and Literature. The French language and Literature and German Language and Literature studies were launched in the 1998/1999 academic year, as well as the study program of Spanish Language and Hispanic Literatures in the 1999/2000 academic year. Re-establishment of artistic studies in Kragujevac can be related to the founding of the Teaching Department of the University of Art in Belgrade during the 1998/1999 academic year. In this year, the study programs of Music Pedagogy, Accordion and String Instruments commenced, as well as the study program of Graphic Design during the 1999/2000 academic year.
The Faculty of Philology and Arts of the University of Kragujevac (FILUM) was founded on April 23rd, 2002, as the best form of transforming the teaching departments of the Faculty of Philology and the University of Art in Belgrade at the time. The very act of founding was preceded by a several-month long struggle full of effort to prevent an incoming forceful closure of this first higher education school of humanistic-artistic orientation in Kragujevac, just a few years after it had brought the University of Kragujevac, the city and the whole region a new quality and prospects of development. In the first years after the founding, FILUM developed by introducing new study programs at the Department of Music Arts and the Department of Applied Arts. During the 2004/2005 academic year the study programs of Flute and Solo Singing were activated, as well as the study program of Music in the Media in 2005/2006, unique in Serbia in terms of its structure, and the study programs of Mural Painting and Interior Architecture in 2006/2007, as well as the study program of Piano in 2007/2008.
The establishment of PhD studies in Philology with two modules (Language and Literature), the first of the kind in Serbia, was a decisive moment in the teaching and scientific development of FILUM, and especially of the Department of Philology. During the following years, through the accreditation process, the existing study programs were innovated, and studies at three levels (undergraduate, master’s and PhD level) were established in accordance with the principles of the Bologna Declaration. At the Department of Philology, the study program of the Italian Language and Literature was launched in 2013/2014, as well as the study program of PhD Academic Studies in Serbian Language and Literature, unique in Serbia in terms of its structure. The initiation of PhD artistic studies of Accordion in the 2016/2017 academic year, as well as the study of Wind Instruments (Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon) was the turning point in the development of artistic studies at FILUM.
The teaching development of FILUM during the fifteen years of its independent existence would not have been possible without continuous efforts to raise the quality of scientific research and artistic creation, as well as without striving to establish and expand international cooperation with European colleges and universities.
Immediately after the founding of FILUM in 2003, on the initiative of Mališa Stanojević, PhD, the first head of the Department of Philology, a Journal for Literature, Language, Art and Culture – Nasleđe was launched. The first two issues of the journal were edited by prof. Slobodan Lazarević, PhD, and ever since the third issue the journal has been edited by prof. Dragan Bošković, PhD, who, along with the international editorial board of the journal, is still the editor of this journal, it being the leading journal of national significance (M51). The special value of the journal is reflected in the publication of thematic volumes, which are edited by teachers and associates of FILUM. Since 2008, FILUM has been a co-publisher of the international journal (category M24) called Srpski jezik (engl. The Serbian language), and in the years to come the teachers of FILUM took over the editing of the journal called Lipar, published by the University of Kragujevac, and the journal called Liceum, published by the Center for Scientific and Research of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts (SANU) and the University of Kragujevac.
A genuine turning point and improvement of scientific research at the Faculty of Philology and Arts can be related to the establishment of scientific projects. The first scientific project of basic research, strategically and financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, was the project 148024: Srpski jezik i društvena kretanja (engl. Serbian Language and Social Movements) (2006-2010), which was headed by prof. Miloš Kovačević, PhD. The project had fourteen researchers, seven of them belonging to FILUM. This project was scientifically one of the most proliferative projects in the country, and it particularly enabled scientific conferences to be established at the Faculty, promoting the teaching staff and enhancing the work of scientific youth. In the period 2009-2010 an anthropologically oriented project was established entitled 159016: Teorija Milutina Milankovića i antropologija globalnog zagrevanja: istorijski uzroci I društvene posledice (engl. The Theory of Milutin Milanković and the Anthropology of Global Warming: Historical Causes and Social Consequences) led by prof. Aleksandar Petrović, PhD. In the 2011-2017 project cycle two new projects have been implemented at FILUM: 178018 – Društvene krize i savremena srpska književnost: nacionalni, regionalni, evropski, globalni okvir (engl. Social Crises and Contemporary Serbian Literature and Culture: National, Regional, European, Global Framework) (Head: prof. Dragan Bošković, PhD), which has sixteen researchers, twelve from FILUM, and the one with the greatest number of researchers in the country belonging to the field of language and literature, project 178014 – Dinamika struktura savremenog srpskog jezika (engl. The Dynamics of the Structures of Contemporary Serbian Language) headed by prof. Miloš Kovačević, PhD, with thirty-five researchers (eighteen of which belong to FILUM).
The overall development of science and research at the Faculty was especially contributed by the establishment and continuation of the several-year long organization of the scientific conference Srpski jezik, književnost, umetnost (engl. Serbian Language, Literature, Art). Established, at first, as a scientific conference national in character, it has grown into an international scientific meeting. In 2006, professors Radoje Simić and Dušan Ivanić from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade and Mališa Stanojević and Miloš Kovačević from FILUM, with the selfless help of the City Council of Kragujevac, initiated the organization of this scientific gathering. Today it consists of three parts: linguistic, literary-anthropological and artistic. It is a conference realized by invitation, within the framework of scientific projects carried out at FILUM and financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia and the City Council of Kragujevac. The conference has an international program-organizing committee, and about a hundred and fifty participants on average gathered each year, one third of them being from abroad (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Romania). The International Scientific Conference entitled Serbian Language, Literature, Art is today one of the most important and most prestigious scientific gatherings in the Republic of Serbia and it is prevailingly a part of the academic and scientific tradition of the highest quality in the country. The published three-volume proceedings books of the reviewed papers of the participants at the conference, categorized as International Special Issue Books of Proceedings (M14), preponderantly take special place in investigating specific problem matters, having the topics and the attainments of the presentations in mind.
The First Scientific Conference of Young Philologists of Serbia entitled Contemporary Investigations of Language and Literature, founded by the Collegiate Committee of PhD Studies and associates of the Department of Serbian Language, was held on February 14th, 2009, and the Faculty of Philology and Arts and the University of Kragujevac took the honor of organizing the first scientific gathering of the kind in the country and the region. Recognizing the opportunity to integrate Kragujevac philology even more powerfully into the courses of national and international research in the field of language, literature and artistic studies, the Faculty was aware of the need to ensure that PhD students of philology in the Republic of Serbia can appropriately fulfill the obligations integrated in the program of study, as well as adequately present their scientific papers to the academic and scientific public community of our country. So far, nine scientific conferences have been held, involving more than several hundreds of young scientists, and the reviewed papers were published in two-volume books of proceedings. In the system of the reformed model of academic education, the Conference of Young Philologists in Kragujevac has turned out to to be a first-class event for the Faculty, the University, and the entire academic public community.
Within the popularization process of science and affirmation of scientific potentials of FILUM, attention was paid to the organization of specific, thematically oriented scientific conferences and round tables. We will mention only some of the already held ones: (Post) modern, Apocalypse, and Literature, the Exile(-d): Literature, Culture, Society; Serbian Linguistic Diaspora: Maintenance of Language and Identity of Speakers; Hispanistics in Serbian Culture and Science, Challenges, Innovations, Dire, écrire, agir en français. Scientific round tables devoted to the founders and establishers of FILUM deserve special emphasis: Mališa: Personal and Friendly Round Table, Scientific Roundtable Dušan Ivanić and Scientific Round Table Radoje Simić.
Over the past fifteen years, FILUM has managed to justify the reasons for its founding multiple times, as well as to surpass the most optimistic expectations regarding the scope of its diverse cultural and artistic activities.
When it comes to the art of music, numerous concerts and performances of the student orchestra, choirs (mixed and chamber), chamber ensemble and soloists - especially those dedicated to the work of national composers, are indispensable parts on the cultural map of the surroundings. The FILUM Orchestra not only prepares future members of the City Chamber Orchestra Schlesinger, but participates with it in mutual concert projects, as well. The teachers and associates of the Department of Music selflessly deliver their best performances to the audience of Kragujevac at concerts organized by the Faculty within the music season of the city or the reference music festivals (International Festival of Chamber Choirs and OKTOH) at the venues already affirmed as concert venues (the Hall of the First Kragujevac Grammar School, the Gallery of the National Museum), and now in a new, yet already affirmed concert venue - the University Gallery.
The relevant participation of the Faculty in contemporary music life is reflected in concert activities at all most important concert and opera venues and as parts of the most important artistic manifestations in Serbia, but also in a large number of the activities outside the borders of our country. Certain teachers have been joined or permanent members of ensembles of chamber music of exceptional international reputation for a number of years (Prof. Borislav Čičovački, Asst. Prof. Vladimir Blagojević) or regular guest musicians in renowned orchestras, such as Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra (prof. Goran Kostić, M.A. etc.). Teachers, associates and students of the Department of Accordion, Flute and Chamber Music are the most active in collaborating with composers on creating new pieces or in the premiere performances of a musical piece (not only by Serbian contemporary composers).
Students of all study programs at the Department of Music Arts regularly participate in almost all national and international competitions in the country and the surrounding region, and, invariably, win the highest awards. The pride and joy of the Department and the entire FILUM, Accordion students, ambitiously participate in international competitions highest in ratings and bring the most prestigious recognitions. Due to their success in the field of pedagogy, the teachers of the accordion (prof. Zoran Rakić, PhD and prof. Radomir Tomić) are engaged as judges at all elite international competitions of accordionists and are winners of significant international awards. At the Department of Music Arts of FILUM, the status of guest teachers belongs to some of the most distinguished European music performers, such as Russian accordionist Friedrich Lips, Slovakian accordionist Boris Lenko, Hungarian flutist János Balint and Ukrainian pianist Yuri Kot.
Since its founding, the Department of Applied and Fine Arts of FILUM has significantly enriched the exhibition program of Kragujevac and Serbia. Starting from the "greatest exhibition in the city", the final exhibition of the students at the venues belonging to the Faculty held at the end of each academic year, via representing teachers and associates of the Faculty through individual or group exhibitions, the Department of Applied and Fine Arts permanently participates in the greatest creations of visual arts in Kragujevac, Serbia and the region. Almost all the exhibitions, national or international in character in Serbia, include a teacher or an associate from the Department of Applied and Fine Arts of FILUM in their exhibition line-ups or as judges.
Immediately after its founding, FILUM took steps to establish international academic cooperation with faculties and universities from the former Yugoslavia and Europe. Thus, already in 2004, cooperation with the Music Academy from Bydgoszcz (Poland) was established, and in the following years international cooperation was likewise established with faculties in Zagreb (Croatia), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Banja Luka, East Sarajevo (Bosnia and Heryegovina), Plovdiv, Sofia (Bulgaria), Timisoara (Romania), Lviv (Ukraine), Trier, Jeni, Ludwigsburg, Berlin (Germany), Bari, Rome (Italy), Granada, Haen (Spain), Montpellier (France), Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice (Poland). International cooperation is intensively carried out via cooperation with foreign embassies and cultural centers in Serbia. A special impulse in the development of FILUM's international cooperation was provided by the involvement of the Serbian academic community in the EU program Erazmus +. Within this program, FILUM has developed a number of inter-institutional cooperation agreements by means of which students and teachers are allowed to stay at partner universities in the countries of the European Union for a shorter or longer period of time.
A brief overview of the development of the Faculty of Philology and Arts of the University of Kragujevac over the past fifteen years clearly and elaborately shows that the studies of humanistic and artistic disciplines, started in the 19th century in Kragujevac, have returned to their roots with renewed power and European quality. A great arch, from Liceum and the Grand School to the University of Kragujevac and the Faculty of Philology and Arts, from Kragujevac to Belgrade and, again, back to Kragujevac, inside the heart of academic education, intellectual and cultural spheres - with FILUM heading towards novel paths of education, science and art.