Institute of Hungarian
Indiana University is home to one of the foremost academic programs in
North America for advanced research on Hungary. The origins of Hungarian Studies at
Indiana University can be traced back to the aftermath of World War II, when the
university offered Hungarian language instruction. By the early 1960s, Indiana University
expanded the scope of its Hungarian studies curriculum and provided qualified students
with a foundation in the history, politics, language and culture of Hungary. With funding
provided by the US Department of Education and the commitment of the university
administration and several members of the faculty, Indiana University gradually attained a
concentration of scholars, resources, and programs that has made and continues to make
contributions to advanced teaching and research in Hungarian studies.
Below are some of the resources available at Indiana University.
Formerly called the Hungarian Chair, the position was established
jointly in 1979 by Indiana University and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to provide IU
with a visiting Hungarian scholar and to strengthen the nationwide impact on the
development of Hungarian Studies. This position was first held by renowned historian
György Ránki until his death in 1988, at which time the Hungarian Chair was re-named in
his honor. Since that time, the Chair has been filled by scholars on a rotating basis.
Since its establishment, the György Ránki Hungarian Chair has
contributed to the advancement of Hungarian studies by offering courses on the history of
Hungary during each of the last twenty years, organizing conferences and events, and
strengthening ties between the University and the academic community in Hungary.
The holder of the Hungarian Chair traditionally organizes an annual conference attended by distinguished scholars from around the world. In spring 2000, György Ránki Hungarian Chair holder Dr. László Borhi organized the 22nd annual two day conference on Hungarian Studies, Political Transition in Hungary in Comparative Perspective. Among the active participants at the conference were the Hungarian ambassador to the United States, Géza Jeszenszky and scholars from the US and abroad.
For more information on the conference see Related Conferences and Events
Below is a list of György Ránki Hungarian Chairs from the past few years:
1996-97 László Borhi (20th century Hungarian history, diplomatic history)
1997-98 Ignác Romsics (20th century Hungarian history, political history)
1999 (S) János Mazsu (19th century Hungarian history, intellectual history)
1999-00 László Borhi (20th century Hungarian history, diplomatic history)
2000 (F) János Mazsu (19th century Hungarian history, intellectual history)
2000-2001 Pál Hatos (Hungarian Intellectual and Religious History, Law)
Each year, the graduate student who contributes the most to Hungarian
Studies at IU is awarded the György Ránki Hungarian Chair Award. Recipients of the award
also receive a $150 check as a token of gratitude for their year's service.
Past György Ránki Hungarian Chair Award recipients include:
1989 István Bondor
1990 Jeffrey A. Pennington
1991 Marga Kapka
1992 Kristina Rusnik
1993 Laura Wright
1994 James M. White
1996 Eva Kiss
1997 Lesley Davis
1999 James T. Wilson
2000 Thomas E. Cooper
2001 James L. Wilde
Below is a list of courses that have been offered at IU within the last
three years and are expected to be offered again. The list does not include independent
study, courses conducted on a one-time basis, and courses of only loose connection to
Hungary. For a complete list of courses offered during the current academic semester see www.iub.edu/~deanfac/class.html
D421 Hungarian History & Civilization to 1711 (3 cr.)
D422 Hungarian History & Civilization 1711-1918 (3 cr.)
D527 The People vs. the Emperor: Nation Making & Imperial Decline in East Central Europe 1780-1918 (3 cr.)
D528 The Search for European Integration: East Europe in the 20th Century (3 cr.)
D545 East Europe & Russia Transition (1.5 cr.)
H745 Seminar in East European History (4 cr.)
E501 Seminar in Economics: Soviet-type Economies in Transition (3 cr.)
E597 Structure and Functioning of Socialist Economies in Transition (3 cr.)
H523 The Holocaust (3 cr.)
H645 Colloquium in East European History (4 cr.)
R553 Central European Cinema (3 cr.)
T500 Jews of Eastern Europe (3 cr.)
U320 Hungary 1914-1945 (3 cr.)
U423 Hungary 1890-1945 (3 cr.)
U424 Hungarian Literature from its beginning to 1900 (3 cr.)
U426 Modern Hungarian Literature (3 cr.)
U427 Politics, Society, and Culture in Present-Day Hungary (3 cr.)
U520 Hungarian Chair Topic (3 cr.)
V589 Democratization & Transformation in East Europe and the Newly Independent States (3 cr.)
Y340 East European Politics (3 cr.)
In the Fall of 2000, Indiana University will also offer a course entitled Hungary and the Great Powers taught by Thomas Cooper, a Ph.D. student in the program.
In Spring, 2003 Indiana University also offers the following courses:U320
/ U52O Modern Hungarian Historiography (3cr) U320 / U520 Nationalism in Central
Europe (3cr) U427 Hungary From 1945 To Present (3cr) U571 Uralic Languages (3cr)
U623 History of Hungarian Language (3cr)
Each year, Indiana University offers beginning, intermediate, and
advanced level Hungarian language courses and the possibility for a fourth year of
To insure that students receive up-to-date instruction from native speakers familiar with the current linguistic trends in Hungary, Hungarian language courses at IU are taught by a visiting instructor from Hungary.
U321 Introductory Hungarian I & II
U421 Intermediate Hungarian I & II
U521 Advanced Hungarian I & II
U523 Hungarian Readings (3 cr.)
Indiana University is one of the few universities in the US to offer
intensive Hungarian language courses for beginners in the summer. These courses are
organized by the SWSEEL (Summer
Workshop of Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages) program.
The eight-week intensive program is ideal for students who intend to continue their study of the Hungarian language during the school year at Indiana University, and for those students who plan to visit Hungary in the near future. It is also a great way for Hungarian-Americans to learn more about the language and culture of Hungary.
For more information see: www.indiana.edu/~iuslavic/swseel.html
With over 20,000 monographs and periodicals related to Hungary, Indiana
University provides scholars with one of the most important collections of Hungarica in
the United States, the largest among US academic institutions. The collection is the
product of over forty years of dedication and the concerted effort on the part of
librarians and scholars of Hungarian studies to preserve and make available a wide
selection of Hungarica to the academic community and the interested public.
Serving as the archive for IU organizations with strong traditions in Hungarian studies, the Hungarica collection at IU has helped make the university one of the nation's premier centers of Hungarian scholarship in such diverse fields as literature, history, folklore, political science, and economics. The size and scope of the Hungarica collection greatly facilitate advanced research in Hungarian Studies at IU.
Sketched briefly below are the major strengths of the Hungarica Collection at IU as well as a description of the notable private collections donated to the University in recent years.
The lion's share of works in the Hungarica collection at IU falls into
the categories of Hungarian literature and history, and include an assortment of
definitive works and "hard to find" items in both subject areas. Also worthy of
mention is the collection's repository of rare books and works on Hungarian folklore.
Indiana University's rare book acquisitions include over 30 titles
published between the 15th and 18th centuries, such as the Chronica Hungariae,
written in the 15th century by János Thuroczy, and an impressive collection of 19th
Indiana University also offers a large selection of 19th and 20th century Hungarian journals and newspapers, with special emphasis on literature and culture. Some notable, though rarely preserved, periodical series represented at IU (in complete or near complete sets) are: Almanach, Danubian Review, Huszádik Század, Irodalomtörténet, Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények, Katolikus Szemle, Kortars, Magyar Csillag, Magyar Nyelv, Magyar Szemle, Nyelvtudományi Közlemények, Nyugat, Századok, Történelmi Szemle, Ungarische Jahrbucher, and Ungarisches Magazin.
The majority of works found in the collection is written in Hungarian or English and focus primarily on the politics, culture, and history of the 19th and 20th centuries, although a significant number of works cover earlier periods as well.
Indiana University is fortunate to have been the recipient of a number
of personal library donations within the last twenty years.
The Aladár Szegedy-Maszák Collection: The library of the former Hungarian Ambassador to the United States was donated to the University in the 1980s. Included in this over 5,000 volume collection are works on a wide variety of topics such as religion, literature, and the politics and society of Hungary under the Horthy regime and the transitional government that followed.
Monographs: 5,044 (1,454 of which deal exclusively with Hungary)
Periodical issues: 254
Language: Mostly English.
The Paul Marer Collection: The latest donation to the library, the Paul Marer Collection is a valuable resource especially to economists and business researchers who seek a better understanding of Hungary's contemporary position in the world economy. The collection is comprised mostly of books and journals on the economic development of Hungary starting in the late 1960s and includes important documentation on the Hungarian-International Blue Ribbon Commission that was established in 1989 to make recommendations to restructure the Hungarian economy. Paul Marer, IU professor emeritus of business, is the current director of the Institute of Hungarian Studies.
Periodical issues: 847
Documents, pamphlets and working papers: 578
Language: 50% Hungarian 50% English
The Lajos Szatmáry Collection: An eclectic collection of books and periodicals on Hungarian society including rare Hungarian cookbooks, women's fashion magazines from the late 19th century, and a complete set of the influential literary journals Nyugat (West) and Új Idok (New Times).
Periodical issues: 645
Language: Mostly English
The Lajos Vincze Collection: This collection deals primarily with works on religion and the Hungarian Diaspora of Slovakia, Romania and the Ukraine.
Periodical issues: 143
Language: Almost exclusively Hungarian
Various smaller collections: These books and periodicals
donated by IU Hungarian faculty and others include popular journals, monographs and
pamphlets specializing in the history and culture of the region. The majority of volumes
are in Hungarian.
In addition to the collection of Hungarica, Indiana University also has an extensive collection of monographs, periodicals and other works dealing with Russia and Eastern Europe. For more information see www.indiana.edu/~libslav.
Each year, Indiana University sponsors a number of events associated
with the Hungarian studies program. In addition to the annual commemorations of the 1848
and 1956 revolutions, the university is also host to the annual György Ránki Hungarian
Chair Conference, the biennial Hungarian picnic, and a number of other conferences,
lecture series, and events that cover issues related to Hungary.
Mihály Szegedy-Maszák, IU professor of Literature
Denis Sinor, distinguished professor emeritus
Performed by Zsolt Srajber, Armando Fuentes, and Joanna Morton.
Zsolt Srajber began by singing a Hungarian folk song and then, joined by Armando Fuentes, performed a song by Sebestyen Tinodi, the most famous Hungarian lutenist and troubadour. (Armando played the lute while Zsolt played a baroque flute.) Finally, Zsolt Srajber and Joanna Morton performed a collection of folk songs arranged by Béla Bartók. (Joanna sang and Zsolt accompanied her on piano).
Nemzetőr dal (Volunteer Song) written by Arany Janos and read by students Jim Wilde and Linda Carranzo.
The Verbunk and Szátmari Csardás. Agoston Toth and Alex Dunlop began the performance with the Verbunk and they were joined by Lisa Overholser, Ed Mandity, Kriszta Kos, Adriana Varga and Patrick Kinney with the Csardás. Agoston choreographer and dance instructor.
Hungarian National Anthem
Hungarian Minister of Education Zoltán Pokorni
Szabadsághoz written by Sándor Petőfi and read by Laura Knudson and John Pearson
1848 Recruitment Song
Sung by Thomas Cooper, Daniel Del'Re, Tim Martin, Dini Metro-Roland, and Gabor Molnar.
Performed by IU harpist Erzsebet Gaál
The commemoration event was sponsored by the Hungarian Cultural Association, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center and private donors.
On April 2, 2000, a conference organized by Indiana University's
György Ránki Chair in Hungarian Studies and the Department of Central Eurasian
Studies (CEUS) entitled: "Political Transitions in Hungary in Comparative
Perspective," commemorated two events of great magnitude in Hungary's
history: the one thousandth anniversary of Hungarian statehood and the tenth
anniversary of the collapse of communism. The idea was to focus on the great
turning points-flash points-of the nation's political history such as the
making of statehood, the Turkish conquest, the Austro-Hungarian compromise
of 1867, and the establishment of Soviet rule after the Second World War.
In order to place Hungarian history in an international context, speakers were invited who discussed similar experiences in the history of Austria, the Baltic States, Germany, Poland, and Romania. In such a way, the participants created a common framework for the analysis of the long common histories of the Central and East European nations. Hence all speakers were asked to pose similar questions such as the international and domestic contexts, the political economic and social impact of the particular transition they were asked to address.
In the panel, "From Statehood to Subjugation,"
Denis Sinor (distinguished professor emeritus, Central Eurasian Studies, IUB)
addressed the still much-debated origins of the Hungarian nation. Professor
emeritus Gustave Bayerle (CEUS) pondered the question of whether the disastrous
Turkish conquest of the 16th century could have been avoided with more prudent
diplomacy or a more common purpose among Hungary's political leaders. István
György Toth's (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) presentation on Hungary's integration
into the Hapsburg monarchy concluded that it was preferable to continued Turkish
occupation, but he also conveyed the message that a weak state's choices are
The second panel, "Golden Age and Decline," began with Mihály Szegedy-Maszák (CEUS) speaking of how one great intellect, the novelist and political thinker, Zsigmond Kemeny, sought to pave the way for an acceptable modus vivendi between Austria and Hungary after Vienna crushed the Hungarian Revolution of 1848/1849. Tibor Frank (Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest) illustrated how the compromise of 1867 helped usher in a "golden age" in Hungarian history, while Attila Pók (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) discussed the social and economic dislocations caused by the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy from a socio-psychological perspective.
For the "Nazism, Communism, and Democracy" panel, three speakers, Gunter Bischof (University of New Orleans), László Borhi (IUB), and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson International Center) compared the divergent experiences of three nations that emerged from Nazi rule in 1945, Austria, Germany, and Hungary, with the Soviet Union's imperial onslaught.
Turning to the ten-year anniversary of the liberation of
Hungary and the rest of East-Central Europe from communism and Soviet rule,
Toivo Raun (CEUS) addressed the Baltic experience, while Jack Bielasiak (Political
Science, IUB) summarized the complicated Polish experience. Maria Bucur (History,
IUB) discussed the impact of history and memory in Romania after 1989, while
Paul Marer (Business, IUB) talked about the difficulties of dismantling a
centrally planned economy. In the final panel on "The Aftermath of the
Fall of Communism,"
Rudolf Tőkés (University of Connecticut) addressed the difficult legacy of communism in the creation of a new and democratic institutional system. Finally, Ambassador and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Géza Jeszenszky analyzed the foreign policy of Hungary's first freely elected prime minister after the collapse of communism, the late József Antall.
Impossible as it may seem, in the course of one and a half days, we covered the history of much of Europe over one thousand years. Each panel was followed by lively and intellectually open debates on questions that have long divided scholars of several disciplines.
Below is a list of the conference's presentations related to Hungarian Studies.
"The Black Death and Hungary in the Fourteenth Century",
presented by Joanna Carraway, graduate student at the University of
Panel 6: Ideology and Art in Contemporary Eastern and Central Europe.
Discussant: Mihály Szegedy-Maszák
"Hope, Ideology and Transition in Hungary", presented by Dini Metro-Roland, graduate student at Indiana University.
"Radnóti Miklós, Reflections of Guillaume Apollinaire through the looking glass of translation", presented by John Pearson, graduate student at Indiana University.
"Dezső Kosztolányi and Intertextuality: Anticipations of Post Modern Literary Criticism," presented by Thomas Cooper, graduate student at Indiana University.
The conference was sponsored by the Association of Central Eurasian Students and The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center.
The three-day workshop brought together Hungarian language teachers from various Universities throughout the United States to discuss possible teaching strategies and methodologies, Hungarian language textbooks, internet resources, and other issues pertaining to Hungarian language instruction in the US. The workshop included:
This three-day Hungarian Language Pedagogy Workshop was sponsored by the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at IU.
The Hungarian Cultural Association is a student run organization
composed of students, professors and members of the community interested in
the culture of Hungary.
One aspect of the association that has been especially successful in recent years is the Hungarian coffee hour. Each week, interested members (and non-members) meet at a Bloomington coffee house to discuss various topics in Hungarian. Language students are afforded the opportunity to practice the language and visiting Hungarian students and professors also benefit from the cultural experience. As a natural outcome these events lead to other group activities such as soccer matches, chicken paprikas parties, etc.
The biennual Hungarian picnic (held in the beginning of the Fall semester and the end of the Spring semester) is another time-honored tradition organized by the Hungarian Cultural Association. These picnics not only offer guests a steady flow of Hungarian (and not so Hungarian) cuisine and also provide them with the opportunity to get to know their Hungarian professors on a more personal level.
Most importantly, every year the Hungarian Cultural Association
sponsors the commemoration events of both the 1956 revolution (in late October)
and the 1848 revolution (in mid-March). These formal events include a welcome
address from the president of the Hungarian Cultural Association, a speech
on the historical significance of the event (usually presented by the György
Ránki Hungarian Chair), poetry readings by Hungarian language students, musical
performances, and an assortment of Hungarian foods traditionally provided
by the spouses of IU Hungarian professors and other volunteer members of the
For more information about the Hungarian Cultural Association and forthcoming events see the HCA website at www.indiana.edu/~hca or to be added to the Hungarian Cultural Association's mailing list and be informed of upcoming events, just send us an e-mail request to: email@example.com