Indiana University Bloomington
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Ethnicity, Society and Culture in Hungary Part I:  From the Beginnings to the End of the 17th Century
CEUS-U 320/U520
Ágnes Fülemile

“Hungary is Europe in a nutshell” This is how the multiethnic character of the country was referred to by a geographer at the beginning of the 19th century, who studied at least 16 coo-habitant ethnicities in the territory of Hungary. Indeed the Carpathian basin - a geographic and historic region in East Central Europe surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains - the one-time territory of historic Hungary, was for many centuries a crossroad of migrations until and still after the Hungarian People started to inhabit the area at the turn of the 9 and 10th centuries. When arriving to Europe from the Eurasian steppe zone, the Hungarians already constituted an ethnically mixed populace. After the consolidation of settlement and statehood, the kingdom of Hungary continued welcoming peoples of various origins for many centuries (Turkic peoples, Moslems, various groups of Slavs, Italians, Walloons, Germans, Romanians, Jews, Gypsies, Greeks, Armenians etc.). With it’s rich multiethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural past and present, Hungary provides an excellent model for interethnic studies.

The course deals with the ethnic and social subcultures of the region from historical and anthropological perspectives. It is designed for two-semesters. The first part of the course in the fall semester follows the topic from the beginnings to the end of the 17th century. The second part in the spring semester will concentrate on the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Although students are encouraged to attend both semesters, participation in only a single semester is possible.

The curriculum follows major ethnic and demographic changes in the given period. The main body of the course comprises the following: outlines of ethno-genesis, ethno-geography, the economic and social development of various regional and social groups of people, a comparison of different life‑styles and mentalities, which were formed under the impact of coexistence. Besides a basic chronological orientation in history, there is a strong emphasis on studying the history of every-day-life, understanding social, economic, demographic and cultural processes, structures and institutions in different historic periods. The primary focus is on Hungary, but a wider East Central European context is used as a tool for comparison.

The course is interdisciplinary, combining data and interpretations from various fields of social sciences.

No prerequisite studies are necessary.


Midterm Exam:           in-class paper (test, blank map, essay) (30 %)

Final Exam:                 in-class paper (test, blank map, essay) (20%)

                                    10‑l2 pp. term paper (40%)

Seminar work: class activity, reading reports, one seminar presentation during the semester 10 %.