Report by Judy Young Drache
By any account we should count the conference at the University of Regina among our more successful and memorable ones. Though we were relatively few in number since the majority of HSAC’s membership is in Central Canada (and for many of our international members it was a little too far and hard to get to), nevertheless a good time was had by all.
The conference started with a really interesting and cutting-edge interdisciplinary keynote by Steve Seegel of the University of Northern Colorado about Count Teleki and the “Transnational Map Men” followed by a similarly interdisciplinary (primarily historical geography) session on Hungary after the Treaty of Trianon. I, for one, had not thought much about the influence of map making on the definition of a nation until I listened to the papers presented in these sessions.
Geography and history were also intermingled in our whole day field trip to the early Hungarian communities of Bekevar and Kaposvar which brought our conference participants closer together by dint of spending hours on the bus, visiting the two Canadian national historic sites, and being the dinner guests of the remnants of the Bekevar Hungarian community and their fellow Presbyterian congregants.
Two of our members, Chris Adam and Ilona Sándor, had described the field trip in detail, including photos and a video.
These can be found at http://kanadaihirlap.com and at https://issuu.com/magyareletmagazin/docs/magyar__let_2018._ny_r_2018 respectively. Ilona’s article in the second link is on pp. 13-14.
The third day of the conference program contained a good variety of papers (see Program) about the concepts and interpretations of the meaning of ‘community’ with reference of course to Hungarian communities in Hungary, Canada, and elsewhere in the world – as well as in communities of memory or in the arts, especially drama and literature. A number of international speakers contributed rich and diverse perspectives to an overall stimulating conference. Last but not least, participants enjoyed a special dramatic reading by Ilona Sándor and Oliver Botar from a recently published volume of the late Canadian Hungarian Robert Zend’s poetry: Bibliai időkben éltünk, posthumously published in Hungary in 2017.