Questions of Colonialism and Victimhood in Hungarian History and Society

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 Western Ontario, May 31-June 2, 2020.

As in years past we will consider proposals on any topic related to Hungary and Hungarian Studies, though in keeping with Congress 2020’s focus on the legacy of “colonialism” and the “imperial project,” we encourage presentations and interactive sessions that reflect critically on questions of colonialism and victimhood in Hungary, both past and present. Given its history and geopolitical position within Europe, Hungary has been at various times both colonizer and colonized, perpetrator and victim. This legacy has arguably had a significant impact on the shaping of Hungarian society, and on the narratives and practices that sustain Hungarian politics and culture.

The centennial of the signing of the Trianon Treaty in 1920 provides an opportunity for critical reflection not only on the impact that global and regional events and decisions have had and continue to have on Hungarian history and society, but also on the way in which the legacy of both colonialism and victimhood have been framed, and even politicized, even today. Beyond the question of Trianon itself, topics for consideration include, but are by no means limited to: the early Hungarian occupation of the Carpathian Basin; the Ottoman period and the Habsburg reconquest of Hungary; the Habsburg suppression of Hungarian resistance and independence; the place and role of the Kingdom of Hungary within the Austro-Hungarian Empire; Hungarian colonial “adventures” in Europe, Africa, and Asia; Hungary’s relationship to and memory of European totalitarianism and totalitarian regimes; the post-Soviet period; gender, ethnicity, and the colonial/postcolonial situation of Hungary; European integration; and the relationship to the current global system.

As in years past, the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada supports and encourages both creative and critical scholarly engagement within and across disciplines. With this in mind, we also encourage proposals that engage Congress’s broader theme “Bridging Divides,” and invite our participants “to reflect critically on social, ethnic, political and epistemological divisions more broadly, forming a future vision that bridges divides between divergent ways of knowing and navigating our world.”

Submissions should include a maximum 300 word abstract and a brief 100 word bio which can be used to introduce the speaker. Since both the abstract and the bio will be published online, they should be prepared in Word format using Times New Roman font 12. Abstracts should be sent electronically both to the Chair of the Program Committee, Steven Jobbitt ( ) and to the Vice-President of HSAC, Christopher Adam ( Proposals are preferred in English or French but will also be accepted in Hungarian if an English language abstract is also provided.

Presentations at the conference are no longer than 20 minutes with an additional 5-10 minutes for discussion. The deadline for submission is January 1, 2020. We will notify authors of the Committee’s decisions no later than January 30, 2020.

The HSAC Conference Program Committee for 2020 is chaired by Steve Jobbitt of Lakehead University.

The other members are:
Christopher Adam (Carleton University)
Orsolya Kis (Eötvös Loránd University)
Mária Palasik (Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security)
Oliver Botar (University of Manitoba)

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