Hungarian Studies Association of Canada Statement on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada welcomes the recommendations of the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization. Together with our colleagues across the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences, we seek to be more intentional in fostering a Congress environment that is equitable, diverse and inclusive, which acknowledges the legacy of colonialism in academia, and aims to work towards decolonization and reconciliation. Over the past year we have been made aware of racist incidents at Congress and recognize the systemic racism that exists within the Federation and academia in general. Though we decided to participate in this year’s Congress, we recognize how much social justice work remains to be done within the humanities and social sciences community. We acknowledge the decision of the Black Canadian Studies Association and other associations to boycott this year’s Congress, and are actively following, and commit to engaging, the issues raised.

Within the field of Hungarian studies, the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada has sought to incorporate marginalized voices and frequently neglected themes, challenging Hungarian national narratives in ways that are both uncomfortable and necessary. Over the years, we have endeavored to provide space for stories and voices from Hungary’s Roma, Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities, all victims of genocide and persecution within living memory. Women in Hungarian history and society, and the enduring presence of patriarchy, have been explored through panels and discussions at our annual conferences. More recently, we have begun to touch on the question of refugees, migration and the impact of xenophobia in Hungary. As we move forward, we are committed to also reflecting upon the prevailing narratives within Hungarian Canadian circles around the establishment of Hungarian pioneer and émigré communities, such as those established on the Prairies at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. We are dedicated to exploring these aspects of our community’s history through a postcolonial lens, recognizing we live within a settler colonial society.

HSAC stands in solidarity with all those who advocate for social justice within the humanities and social sciences and we are committed to being a partner in this ongoing journey for greater equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization.

The Executive Committee of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada