Newsletter Issue No. 98, December 2018


Words of Welcome from the President of HSAC

It is with great pleasure that I write to all of our members in my new role as President of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada. It is an honour to be asked to take up the reins of our organization, and I sincerely hope that you won't be disappointed with your choice.

Speaking on behalf of the rest of the HSAC executive, I can certainly say that we have some rather large shoes to fill, as we walk a path forged for us by three individuals who have long served our organization in a variety of key roles. Oliver Botar, who has been with HSAC since the 1980s, has stepped down as President, and I thank him for his guidance and advice as I transition to my new role. Margit Lovrics, who has retired as our Treasurer after some 25 years, has been instrumental in bringing our new treasurer, Ilona Sandor, up to speed on all things financial, and we are very grateful for Margit’s many years of professional work on behalf of the association. Last but not least, our organization would not be as vibrant as it is today if it were not for the unwavering dedication and sage leadership of Judy Young, who has served as Executive Secretary since 2009, and who has decided that it is time to hand over her duties and responsibilities to the new executive. Both I and our Vice-President, Christopher Adam, are grateful that Judy is continuing in her role this year in order to assist us with the transition to a new HSAC leadership.

Since our annual meeting in Regina earlier this summer, the HSAC executive has met twice via Skype, and is busy with a number of new initiatives. We have begun upgrading our website, and have also begun a process of restructuring our executive as a means of remaining sustainable in a post-Judy and post-Margit era. Beyond redefining the duties and responsibilities of our executive officers, we have also begun thinking seriously about the challenges facing our organization as we move forward. Given the shifting demographics of our membership, and the fact that universities are becoming increasingly reluctant to hire full-time faculty, we have started to think creatively about ways to maintain and perhaps even grow our active membership. A sub-committee chaired by Ilona has been struck, and graduate students Kristen Csenkey and Anna Herran have already made valuable contributions to the discussion. We would be grateful if any of our members have ideas to share about how we can continue to build our membership base.

Planning for the annual HSAC conference, being held June 1-3 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, is well under way. The Call for Papers has been distributed and is also included in this newsletter. I encourage every member to read our Call for Papers and submit a proposal or encourage others to submit. As in past years, we are soliciting proposals for individual papers or complete panels. We are also encouraging proposals for posters, roundtable discussions, workshops, and other innovative presentations. As part of this year's conference, we will be piloting a new workshop initiative, one that encourages the informed participation of all attendees and not just panelists. We are also planning to have a piano recital on June 1st that will form an integral part of our key conference themes. More information will be sent out as we get closer to the time, but our hope is that this year's conference will be even more dynamic and relevant than past meetings.

I look forward to seeing you all in Vancouver, and am excited for the future of HSAC!

Kellemes ünnepeket kívánok!

Our New Treasurer

As mentioned by Steve in his “Words of Welcome”, HSAC is very pleased to officially welcome its new Treasurer, Ilona Sándor of Toronto into the Executive of the association. Ilona has already started her involvement by attending and actively presenting at our Regina conference as well as making the banking arrangements needed for her work. She has also communicated with members about the paying of fees and will continue to set up ways of facilitating that process. In addition, she has taken on the Chairmanship of a new sub-committee on membership. We have asked her to introduce herself to us in this Newsletter and she has done that bilingually. Thank you, köszönjük szépen Ilona!
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DEADLINE: December 15th

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada invites proposals for individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, workshops, complete panels, and other innovative presentations and sessions for our annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of British Columbia, June 1-3, 2019.

Click here for the Call of Papers 2019


Research Spotlight: Anna Herran

Our “Research Spotlight” is meant to feature young and emerging scholars in Hungarian studies. This first one introduces Anna Herran. In fact, however, Anna needs no introduction to those who participated in our 2018 conference at Regina as she gave an interesting paper relating to her current research interests: “Restorations and Reinterpretations: the History and Reconstruction of the Lajos Kossuth Square in Budapest.” This presentation was at the same time a first for HSAC: we were successful in using new interactive technology to ensure that Anna could be seen and heard even though she was actually in Germany on a special scholarship at the time of our conference. Thanks are also due to Kristen Csenkey for the original version of this research spotlight which had been prepared for a spring issue of the newsletter and thus before the May conference in Regina - but publication was postponed at the time. With apologies to Anna for the delay, here she is in her own words:

My name is Anna Herran and I am a graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the Munk School of Global Affairs. I completed a BA in history in 2016 at McGill University during which I was introduced to and developed an interest for the history of Central Europe. I am particularly interested in memorialization, commemoration practices and monuments in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Photo credit: Anna Herran
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HSAC’s 33rd Annual Conference at the University of Regina, May 26-28th 2018

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.
Long-term HSAC Treasurer Margit Lovrics and behind her historian Maria Palasik from Hungary.
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.
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The American Hungarian Educators Association (AHEA) will hold its 44th Annual Conference from April 4 - 6, 2019 at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

AHEA welcomes participation by academics, independent scholars, educators, and graduate students who are devoted to the teaching, research, and dissemination of Hungarian culture, history, folklore, literature, language, fine arts, and music.

This year’s Conference theme is: Identity: Hungarian, European, Global?
Deadline for Receipt of abstracts is January 31st 2019.
They can be uploaded at: .
More Information:

News Items of Interest

With changing the website to a WordPress format, we will be sending newsletters more frequently than in the past, and have this request to make:

Please send us information about your recent research or other scholarly activities (or activities related to the promotion of Hungarian studies), as well as about your publications, so these can be shared with colleagues. Thank you!
Congratulations to Steve Jobbitt, our President, who has been granted tenure at Lakehead University, and been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of History effective July 1st 2018. He is currently working on an edited collection titled "Geography and the Nation After Trianon" with his colleague Róbert Győri from ELTE. The project is part of a collaborative three-year grant funded by the Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Alap (National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary).
“Proud and Torn: A Visual Memoir of Hungarian History”

We thank Mark Trotter, Secretary-Treasurer of the Hungarian Studies Association (HSA) and Associate Director of the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University, for informing us about the release of a groundbreaking interactive, multigenerational historical memoir by HSA members Bettina Fabos (Creator), Leslie Waters (Editor and Advisor), and Kristina Poznan (Editor and Advisor), “Proud and Torn: A Visual Memoir of Hungarian History.” “Proud and Torn tells the story of the ups and downs of a Hungarian peasant family over generations. The digital project features nearly a thousand images, many of which have never been publicly viewed before, alongside graphic maps and drawings, to make the complicated story of Hungarian and Eastern European history accessible to anyone from children to adults”. We recommend that all our members take a look:
In July 2018 the Department of History of Dusquesne University announced the death of Professor Emeritus and McAnulty Distinguished Professor of History Dr. Steven Béla Várdy. Dr. Várdy received his doctoral degree from Indiana University and taught at Duquesne University for fifty years – from 1964 to 2014. As one of Duquesne’s most prolific faculty members, Dr. Várdy wrote and edited more than 22 books, 175 scholarly articles, 87 book reviews, 83 encyclopedia entries, 60 essays, and 350 newspaper articles. He numerous awards for his scholarly achievements in the US, Hungary, Canada and elsewhere. Dr Várdi co-wrote and edited some of his scholarly work with his wife, Dr. Agnes Huszár Várdy, with whom he endowed the Várdy International Research and Study Grant at Duquesne University to support overseas research by graduate history students or study abroad by undergraduate history majors.

The American Hungarian Educators Association (AHEA) has announced the Steven Béla Várdy Legacy Scholarship. This Scholarship has been established to recognize a scholar in the field of history who exemplifies the high standards of original research and historical writing set by Steven Béla Várdy for members of the historical profession. Eligible candidates must be (or become) members of AHEA and have a scholarly background and research focus in history. This Scholarship is made possible by a donation from Helena History Press, LLC. Additional information and details on how to apply is available at: Steven Béla Várdy Legacy Scholarship.
Vol 11 (2018) of Hungarian Cultural Studies, the e-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators’ Association is available on the AHEA website at:

Recent Publications by HSAC Members

Szapor Judith

The Hungarian Pocahontas: The Life and Times of Laura Polanyi Stricker, 1882-1957, Boulder, Co.: East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press, 2005. Hungarian edition: A világhírű Polányiak: Egy elfelejtett család regényes története, Budapest: Aura, 2017.

Hungarian Women's Activism in the Wake of the First World War; From Rights to Revance.London:Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

With Julie Gottlieb, "Suffrage and Nationalism in Comparative Perspective: Britain, Hungary, and Finland" in Ingrid Sharp and Matthew Stibbe, eds., Women's Movements and Female Activists in the Aftermath of WWI, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017, 29-75.
In November 2018, Christopher Adam published his first work of literary fiction. I Have Demons, a collection of three novellas, aims to shine the spotlight on Ottawa’s peripheries–both social and geographic–and to tell stories of people struggling to journey from the margins to the centre. In his preface, the author explains how Hungarian poet and thinker János Pilinszky served as one of three major influences, alongside Canadian author Margaret Laurence and British author Graham Greene. Each story is set against the backdrop of Canada’s vast and sparsely populated national capital. The region’s wilderness and greenbelt, as well as the rural communities that straddle the border between English and French Canada, serve both as places of refuge, as well as symbols of loneliness and alienation.

Christopher Adam, I Have Demons, Toronto: Iguana Books, 2018. Available through Amazon.