Literature and Culture

Abstracts in English

Krisztina Szalay
Associate Professor, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, School of English and American Studies, Department of English Studies

Autobiograhy in Jean Rhys’ Writing

It is a sturdy critical platitude to regard Rhys’ oeuvre as having too narrow a focus and being too directly based on personal experience. In my view this misunderstanding finds its roots partly in Rhys’ manner of writing which, albeit on the surface only, reminds one of social realism. We tend to expect this mode to cover larger fields and have a wider horizon. However, her writing being autobiographical is of special value nowadays with the emancipation of the genre of life-writing together with her exquisite representation of multi-traumatised female lives. She is a declassé fugitive from a faraway British colony with body and soul at other’s mercy, a greatly undervalued writer most of her life, a depressed alcoholic with hopeless coping mechanisms but at the same time a mercilessly honest and accurate chronicler of all these.

Orsolya Kálecz-Simon
PhD, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Slavonic and Baltic Philology

The purpose of my presentation is to provide an overview of the oeuvre of Dragojla Jarnević, one of the pioneers of Croatian women’s writing. The presentation aims to present the role of Dragojla Jarnević and other female authors in the Croatian National Revival of the 19th century, Jarnević’s diary and its reception in Croatia, and to show how the re-evaluation of Jarnević’s diary beginning in the 1980s has contributed to the disintegration of the male-centered literary canon of Croatia. The presentation also has a comparative purpose: the focal points of Jarnević’s career will be presented in the context of the similar events of the history of Hungian literature, including their Hungarian reception and analysis.

Lilla Kövesdi
MA student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities

How can a woman be the symbolic figure of Seto culture? Remembrence and importance of Taarka from Hilana (1856-1933) the (Estonian) Seto singer

Seto people are living near to the South-Eastern part of Estonia, near to the Russian border. It’s important to note that scientific interest towards them dates back to the 19th century. Most of believers among the Setu belong to the Orthodox faith. The famous seto singer, Taarka was born into a large family, her father was an alcoholic. She never married, and she was breaking the unwritten rules of her community all her life. Despite of her actions she was a honored person, thanks to her talents. She was the first seto to perform her songs in Helsinki. My aim is to give answer to the question: how could a person with a different way of life become such a famous singer in a strictly religious community and how her remembrence remained among the setos (and Estonians)?

Theodóra Papp
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

Isabella Andreini was an actress, poet and world traveller in 16th-century Italy; contemporary accounts, however, never fail to mention her accomplishments as an exemplary mother, too. She was the Angelina Jolie of her time. The presence of women on stage in 16th-17th century Italy was nothing out of the ordinary, but actresses of commedia dell’arte were viewed with contempt by the rest of society. Nevertheless, contemporaries of Isabella Andreini described her as a ’virtuous’ and ’honest’ woman. Have honesty and virtue ever been seen as the best qualities of a male actor?

In my presentation, I would like to talk about Andreini’s life and contemporary perceptions of her, with special regard to her work La Mirtilla, which is the first nativity play in world literature from the women’s perspective.

Ágnes Teplán

Susan Sontag’s camp-sensibility

Susan Sontag(1931-2004) was one of the most influental writer in America. Her first essay Notes on Camp came out 1964. Sontag described camp as an aesthetical category: „Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It’s not a lamp, but a „lamp”, not a woman, but a „woman”. To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as Playing-a-Role.”

Notes on Camp is a self-reflexive essay considering Susan Sontag’s extravagance, high-intellectualism, and her androgynity or open bisexuality. In her writings she often promblematized the differences between feminine and masculine aspects. The connection between women and military is a common topic of her later essays Regarding the Pain of Others (2004) and Fascinating Fascism (1975). The introduction of Regarding the Pain of Others is highly critical of Virginia Woolf’s feminist theory on the roots of war, and her other essay Fascinating Fascism analyzes the sexual temptation of nazism in Leni Riefenstahl’s films. This paper aims to study camp sensibility in Susan Sontag’s essays. This sensibility appears in her new way of thinking on feminist and sexist topics.

Katalin Bódi
PhD, Debreceni Egyetem Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Cultural Studies and Hungarian Literature

Object and Subject: Artemisia Gentileschi and the Female Sight

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – c. 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter, one of the most accomplished artists in the generation following Caravaggio, her father was the famous painter Orazio Gentileschi. She painted the traditional themes from myths and the Bible, but many of her pictures perform the story of strong and suffering women (victims, suicides, warriors like Judith, Susanna or Jahel). Does the female perspective exist in her works? Can she represent a different woman concept from male painters? It is well-known that Artemisia Gentileschi was raped by his tutor Agstino Tassi.  When Tassi refused to marry her, her father pursued a legal case against him and the trial took several months. The court exiled Tassi from Rome, but the order was never enforced. Artemisia was ashamed during the legal action for long. Can we use these facts in the interpretation of her paintings? How her biography and her sexual abuse tranform the ideas about the female roles in he european art history?

Bea Kovács
MA student, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

“Woman’s view” – The women’s freedom in the couple dances of Magyarózd

The results of Hungarian researches which are in connection with folk dance have not dealt with women and gender studies yet. The main parts of my presentation are: demonstrate the past – incomplete – researches (the analysis of the shortage and importance of women’s experience in folk dance) and to trace a possible way through the couple dances.of Magyarózd.

The apperance of cultural memories of women in the folk dances of village societies in the 19th – 20th century of Transsylvania are sufficiently minimal, but unstitchable. It is well known, that the Hungarian Ethnology has fine results in this case, but in Hungarian folk dance-research this is a nonexistent field.

I have researched in Magyarózd (can be found in the region of Maros-Küküllő) in the past one year and the informants were predominantly women. We talked a lot and saw some archive movies together and I wrote them their memoir related to dance. The results are shown in a possible way and the presentation is being displayed some selection of them.

Artur Lóránd Lakatos, PhD
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Strong and also vulnerable: depiction of female characters in Gulácsy Irén’s historical novels

This presentation is dealing with the depiction of female characters in three historical novels – King Lajos the Great, Jezabel and The Grooms in Black, written by Irén Gulácsy- in the mirror of historical verity and literary presentation. The presentation introduces the female characters of these novels, is placing them in the environment of the respective age, and analyzes their character from psychological point of view. An important accent receives the description of these personalities as symbols, through which the Author conveys a message toward her readers. The presentation will also use an approach from the direction of comparative studies, through which the female characters of Gulácsy will be analyzed in comparison with female characters of other significant Hungarian novels, and in the conclusions, the specific characters of Gulácsy’s depiction of female characters will be brought into prominence.

Ilona Endes
MA student, University of Debrecen Faculty of Humanities

Cri-women-ology – The disfunction of the masculine approach in crime stories of Vavyan Fable

Related to female writers, the suspicion of feminism’s negative connotations regularly emerge.

Heroines of contemporary novels are in account for thinking about genders; and this way of thinking is where diversity reveals itself in the collision with the popular literary genre.

The contemporary writer, Vavyan Fable’s characters and stories are the mirrors of humans – same goes for women and men. She reflects with critical sense of humor to the actual technological and political changes and to the everydays or turning points of the human life. She tries to release her mostly female protagonists from the traditionally expected features and characteristics, meanwhile keeping them in that proud, assertive effeminacy which has to be the part of every image of women, despite of the fact that it’s deficit in literature – maybe with these we can call the Fable novels as female crime stories.

Also, she bares both genders in her works – motivating her readers to let go of the traditional approaches while reading her novels. Definitely this could be one of the reasons behind her books’ popularity: she builds upon the idea that the readers have the understanding of irony, so she reveals to the reader and the other gender too.

Szilvia Éva Ruszkai
MA student, ELTE Társadalomtudományi Kar

Hannah Arendt – the most influential female political philosopher of the twentieth century

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a German philosopher and the most outstanding female political theorist of the twentieth century. In my presentation I would like to present her life and her most influential works, which can be an example nowadays, because she is still the only prominent female political philosopher. At the beginning of her career she was interested in Existentialism, however the experiences of the Second World War and the Holocaust permanently changed both her life and her philosophical interest. She also experienced the horrors of the age because of her Jewish origin, therefore she aimed to describe and understand the totalitarian regimes. She became widely well-known because of The Origins of Totalitarianism and the Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, but her views caused a considerable controversy, and some of her theories are still contested. She formulated a sharp criticism of the modernity in The Human Condition. This work has got a feminist interpretation by Mary Dietz, which I also would like to discuss in my presentation.

Zsolt Beke
Researcher, ELTE School of English and American Studies, Department of English Studies

The Woman: Irene Adler in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Scandal in Bohemia” (1891) and in the episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” (2012) of BBC’s Sherlock

One of the most interesting aspects of the relatively womanless Sherlock Holmes-universe is that one of its most famous characters is Irene Adler, The Woman, who has risen to this emblematic position despite appearing in only one short story, “The Scandal in Bohemia”. In my presentation, I will analyse what factors have contributed to her iconic status. Comparing the original short story and its most recent TV-adaptation, her character will be examined in the light of her origins, her role as a villain, her role as a feminist character, and to what extent she can be regarded as an archetypical femme fatale.

Dóra Fehér

The slim woman. Diet, as the femininess determining daily habit

The topic of my presentation is the habit(s) of the body’s culture which is universally the modern women’s feature. These are the organic parts of everyday life. The diet based on the women’s ideal of beauty and slimness, which are connected with social normals. The stereotypes of beauty which included happiness, health and youth caused that the diet became a profane ritual as illusions of happiness. If we look at this like a „rites de passage” the woman by shaping their body, they expect a change in judgement of their life situation. The habits which are connected with it, not only a certain time part of woman life, however many times it is already a mentality or habit. These are manifested in controlling their bodies constantly, and compared to ideals.

But why are these so important for us? As a women the society find fault at first with our outside looks, and they control it, with media.

Katalin Fleisz
PhD, University of Debrecen Faculty of Humanities

The woman as a stranger in Gyula Krúdy’s works

This lecture presents the female figures in literature, since Krúdy’s texts of female figures created an emphatic male point of view. From this perspective the figures are turned into the stranger. We can ask: what archetypical patterns do you perform female characters created by Krúdy? How does the narration play the raised patterns? How the Author is reading his own literary characters using the parody and stylization tools? These are the main issues of this lecture.

Krúdy female representation is important to consider because Krúdy is an integral part of anecdotic tradition of Hungarian literature, completing the traditions of Jókai Mór and Mikszáth Kálmán. Krúdy’s representation of women on the other hand is parallel with the one of the writers mentioned, but in the same time, it is different from those.

Orsolya Máté
PhD student, Selye János University, Komarno, Slovakia

Problematising the body and gender in Magda Szabó’s The Moment

The study deals with the interpretation of Magda Szabó’s novel A pillanat (The Instant/Minute). Its main questions refer to the socio-critical approach as well as the themes of body and sex. The novel is the recreation and reinterpretation of Virgil’s Aeneid. Contrary to the original story Creusa, and not Aeneas, is going to become the founder of the nation. Creusa takes over Aeneas’s place, this is why the role of sex becomes so important. The theoretical background to the study is based on Thomas Laqeuer, Judith Butler and Simon de Beauvoir’s works. As far as the body is concerned, the writer of this treatise takes the writings of Merleau-Ponty, Mihail Bahtyin, and Péter P. Müller as a starting point. The bottom line from the perspective of the conceptualization of performativity and sex as a construction is Péter P. Müller’s Test és teatralitás (Body and Theatralism).

Zsuzsanna Zeke
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

Lived roles: Boncza Berta Bimbi, Csinszka, Ady Endréné, Márffy Ödönné

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of her death, I would like to present the life of Csinszka, and the roles that she has played, from different points of view. She created her own image shown to the outside world, she put on a mask. Sometimes she wore strong make-up, sometimes she used her androgynous form to highlight the “Csinszka-boy” characteristics. Besides her appearance, she also put great emphasis on her writing, which becomes apparent in her letter written to Géza Tabéry. “When I write a letter, my intention is not to write a pile of dry truth and bore the reader—but between the lines I steal joy, art, sensual melodies and a very piquant women’s parfume, I lie […].[1] According to Zsófia Dénes, “Her letters were still literature, but her talk was herself.[2] I will argue that Csinszka’s correspondence deserves more attention than it has received so far. Based on her unpublished letters, I will present Csinszka as the modern woman of the 20th century that she was, and I will emphasize that she deserves attention on her own, irrespective of her famous husbands.

[1]Rockenbauer Zoltán: A halandó múzsa, Ady özvegye, Babits szerelme, Márffy hitvese., Noran Kiadó, Bp., 2009.

Tabéry Géza: A csucsai kastély, NAT Könyvek, Nagyvárad, 2004.

[2] Dénes Zsófia: Élet helyett órák, Magvető Könyvkiadó, Bp., 1967.

Anna Klára Haiser
MA student, Univerity of Pécsi Faculty of Humanities

First Ladies – The Comparison of Batthyány Lajosné Zichy Antónia’s and Széchenyi Istvánné Seilern Crescence’s Biography

The Reform Era was a period of development from the viewpoint of emancipation. With the help of Crescence’s and Antonia’s biography I would like to introduce the different roles of women in the Reform Era. Through the comparison of this two ladies, I pay attention to their ancestry, bringing-up and personality. After this, I plan to present their participation in the Hungarian public life. We can discover two types: on one hand, the modest, stay-in-background Crescence, who got married to the conservative Széchenyi; and on the other hand, the busy Antonia, who became a significant organizer along with her husband, Batthyány. She played a huge role in the Hungarian public and political life. For my research I used not only diaries, letters and memoirs, but also newspaper articles.

Nataša Pivec
PhD, Independent Researcher, Slovenia

Barbie Deconstructed: the contemporary doll photography art of Mariel Clayton

The doll photography art of Mariel Clayton revolves around Barbie doll, a cultural icon of white, western, heterosexual, ageist and middle-class femininity, placed into different social contexts and roles that are much more thought-provoking that its producer, Mattel company have done it through decades of its massive toy production. By putting Barbie into a deliberately imposed context, the semiotic messages and its discoursive naratives of Barbie are therefore becoming intentionally political. Artist’s constant play with gender roles, conventional taste, sexuality, social conventions and newly emerged social phenomenon (e.g. rape culture) situates M. Clayton into a role of subversive social commentator.

Szilvia Szép
PhD student, University of Debrecen Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Cultural Studies and Hungarian Literature

Sophie Török, the wife of literature

Her name has become a trope; the type that predestinates the features of the reffered character/person. The name implies that the woman solves her husband’s all sorts of problems; that she supports his obsession and consoles him. She is faithful and loyal even when her husband’s problems seem irrational. The name refers to a woman who doesn’t mind when her husband isn’t home and spends money on literature as writing and aesthetic experience are the most important for him. Nonetheless, their home becomes the organizational centre of the republic of letters whenever he is there. However, the wife isn’t a subordinate person in this particular world but an equal partner. For Sophie Török it was not unusal that her husband found the same aesthetic satisfaction both in love and in an ingenious epigram or in a fine translation.

I take these aspects into account in my presentation and I study how the wife of literature appears in our cultural memory from the nineteenth century up until these days.

Edit Otilia Balog
PhD candidate, University of Debrecen Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

An introduction to Klára Vályi’s volume „Magyar Tempe”(1807)

We know hardly any facts about Klára Vályi’s (1770 – after 1807) life; even her date of birth and the day of her death cannot be recorded. However, it is known that she worked as a midwife in Hont county. She was among those women who started writing for the public at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. She intended to have a place in the Hungarian literature system. I my presentation I focus on her volume titled “Magyar Tempe” which was published in Vác in 1807. I am interested in the genre(s) and the topics of the texts. Furthermore, I would like to show that she can be connected to other women writers (Julianna Fábián, Borbála Molnár) of the era. Vályi was able to publish the book on her own cost which was extremely unusual from a woman in the Hungarian enlightenment. I am eager to interpret how the language is affected by the absence of the patron.

Ferenc Barna
PhD candidate, University of Debrecen Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Programme in Classical Philology

Magnia Urbica, a lesser known empress

According to the Historia Augusta Carinus: “By marrying and divorcing he took nine wives in all, and he put away some even while they were pregnant” (SHA, Carus, XVI.7 – translated by David Magie). From other sources we only know about one wife, about Magnia Urbica who was represented on Roman coins. In my presentation I focus on her character, I deal with the question how she was displayed in the Roman coinage. I am interested in the “meaning” Magnia Urbica intended to emphasise towards her subjects with the exact coins. I also would like to compare and contrast her figure with other emperors’ wives from the age of the 3rd century AD and also from the tetrarchic era.

Biljana Purić
MA, Independent Researcher

“De me faire imprimer”: A feminist reading of autobiographical works of Milena Pavlović Barilli

Milena Pavlović Barilli—a Serbian artist who worked in the first half of the 20th century—produced a number of poems and paintings in which she critically grafted elements of personal and political into a grid of her intimate expressions. In this endeavor, she modified well- known iconographic solutions and sought to establish herself as an author equally recognized as her male colleagues. This paper analyzes a selected number of her poems and self-portraits as autobiographical accounts which reflect the precarious position of female author in the first half of the 20th Europe.

Zsuzsa Török
Research Fellow, Institute for Literary Studies, RCH, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Migration and the Business of Culture. Flóra Majthényi in Spain

With the innovations in transportation the physical journey came to be closely related to the intellectual one in the second half of the nineteenth century. The concept of modern travel thus also permitted other journeys: that of the mind and the imagination. Travel became a major tool in cultural mediation, in the circulation of ideas and information in the form of marketable goods. The advanced technology, along with the improved schooling, contributed to the spread of literacy and of ideas. This phenomenon also gave women expanded opportunities to participate in an information and publishing industry which could afford them financial independence. They could locate professional carriers as writers, translators, journalists and editors becoming thus engineers of culture and cultural exchange. Mediation between Hungarian and Spanish cultures was quite exceptional and the case of Flóra Majthényi rather special in the 19th century. Majthényi spent a longer period of time in Spain and sent her articles from here to Hungarian newspapers during the 1880s. The lecture examines the role of Flóra Majthényi as cultural mediator and her carrier strategies in the context of migration as cultural phenomenon.

Brigitta Hudácskó
PhD student, University of Debrecen, Department of British Studies

How to Make a Feminist

Probably one of the most controversial contemporary feminist icons is British writer and critic, Caitlin Moran. With her highly influential volume of autobiographical essays, How to Be a Woman, her first novel, How to Build a Girl, and her activism both in print and social media, she has become a major influence in what could be dubbed as “popular feminism.” Although some of her more recent comments have gathered a significant amount of criticism from feminists, Moran’s highly formative works are definitely worth discussing as cornerstones of 21st century popular culture and feminism.

Éva Hutvágner
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

Within the Intersection of Pedagogy and Art – Memorandum about the Exploration of Terez Sed’s Legacy

Director of puppetry and designer, Terez Séd’s oeuvre is rather invisible for our times, even despite that a prize has been named after her. The aim of my lecture is to reveal the possible reason of her being forgotten tracing her invisibility back is to the genre she was the master of (puppetry). One reason might be the special art process of puppetry and it is invisible to cultural memory. The other , that Terez Séd’s oeuvre is also comlex, as she attempted to extend her art towards pedagogy and psychology.

In my lecture I intend to offer a new reading of Terez Sed. For this purpose I will give insight to the legacy, which has been compeltely neglected so far. My target is firstly to point out – besides the innovative pedagogical side of the oeuvre – a new way to regard Sed’s art, in witch puppetry is not merely funcional (as in the case of pedagogical puppetry) and then to show how the two aspects coincide.

Dóra Kovács
PhD student, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

“Woman’s view” – The women’s freedom in the couple dances of Magyarózd

The results of Hungarian researches which are in connection with folk dance have not dealt with women and gender studies yet. The main parts of my presentation are: demonstrate the past – incomplete – researches (the analysis of the shortage and importance of women’s experience in folk dance) and to trace a possible way through the couple dances.of Magyarózd. The apperance of cultural memories of women in the folk dances of village societies in the 19th – 20th century of Transsylvania are sufficiently minimal, but unstitchable. It is well known, that the Hungarian Ethnology has fine results in this case, but in Hungarian folk dance-research this is a nonexistent field.

I have researched in Magyarózd (can be found in the region of Maros-Küküllő) in the past one year and the informants were predominantly women. We talked a lot and saw some archive movies together and I wrote them their memoir related to dance. The results are shown in a possible way and the presentation is being displayed some selection of them.

Eszter Zsófia Tóth – Márta Pintér
PhD, VERITAS Research Institute for History

Inci, a textile industrial woman worker comes back after 30 years

Inci was a young textile industrial worker in 1985. She met a photographer, Márta Pintér. They worked together: one day of a woman worker was teh title of serie. Márta emphasised the tramsformation of a woman worker: after work she cahnged her dress and went for a walk into the city as a lady. Inci was one of the young girls, which migrated to te city from small villages. At that time was a popular sog about these girls: „ I am omly a girl amongst lot of girl, who came to the city and decided to leave in the city. The symbol of succesful process of integration was: work hard int he factory, to have a flat and to have a husband. Inci was succesfull. After 30 years we decided to find Inci and, make new photos and do oral history interview. Our project was successfull, we will show the results.

Szilvia Czingel
PhD, Centropa Foundation

Changes of Hygienic Conditions in Budapest between 1900 and 1945 of the middle class Jewish families

 The presentation describes the hygienic conditions of Budapest between 1900 and 1945 with a special focus on middle class jewish families and their maids and laundresses. The changes in hygienic culture were all reflected in the quickly spreading habit of building bathrooms, the increasing choice of toiletries (especially soaps and washing powders), or employing staff particularly for these tasks (maids and people who had specialised skills like laundresses and ironing women). The presentation analyses the process of changes along the double lines of tradicionalism and modernity, focusing on the development of social values, norms, the rules of penetrating social layers and the modifications in mentality in the half ot the 20th century, which can also be detected in hygienic and cleaning practices and washing culture.

Izabella Grexa
PhD student

A hard worker women’s relationship network in Budapest from second part of 20 th century

In the lecture I would present a contry born, hard worker women’s (weaver-women, factory hand of communication engineering and barmaid) relationship network in Budapest by the help of her memoir, fragmentary diary, photographs and the archival sources. The reminiscences are sensitive her social life, her social relationship network, which is suitable to present every day life of a special peripheral social class and which is matched the archival sources well, primarily the document of judicial.

In the lecture I would primarily sketch in the friend – associate and man – women relationship network. By Erzsébet Király’s relatioiship network were appeared the factory workers, repining finishing hard-worker and previously ex-comissioned officer, housebreaking perpetrator first husband, brother-in-law and mother-in-law, the reputable architect lover, the aggressive second husband and other several character from Budapest’s second part of 20th century.

The reminiscent confesses total truly to her relationship with different man, in which we know how she get from a shy and country girl to a wanton, pleasures pursuing, one-night adventure going, cool women in a metropolis.

Ágnes Kanizsai
PhD student, University of Szeged Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

Another Avalon – The Other of Avalon

The stories of the Arthurian legend remained popular in the following eras for they recurred in countless adaptations since the Middle Ages. Among the contemporary female fantasy writers the work of Marion Zimmer Bradley can be taken as one of the most significant ones: she rewrites the traditional Arthurian stories from a female point of view and a lot of times not in a traditional way at all. The Mists of Avalon is usually read as a feminist novel. Its female characters illustrate the conflict between Avalon and Christianity, the ideological differences and the opposition of suppression and acceptance.
In my presentation I am going to analyse the text of Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which the experimental field of fantasy gives place to feminist elements, at the same time the central characters and their roles can also serve as objects of scrutiny. Some parallels with the adaptations of Mark Twain and T. H. White will also be among the foci of the presentation.

Csilla Németh
PhD student, Selye János University, Komarno, Slovakia

The title of the lecture: The Aesthetics of the “Tormented body and Torn Clothes” (Marina Abramović)

The purpose of the lecture is to demonstrate the aesthetic effect of the terrorized bodies in ferocious depictions of feminist performance artists, focusing on M. Abramović’s inhuman body portrayal. The initial rhythms and later performances (Lips of Thomas) of the artist are prefect examples of displaying the body as a means of message mediator. The feeling and bleeding body becomes “the subject and instrument of art, the protagonist, the text and the fabric of the performance” (Kérchy A.). The aesthetics of performativity cannot be interpreted by the conventional notions of aesthetics, because it is not beauty anymore that stands in the center, but the notion of joy and its values, its unique system of connotations. Born in Serbia, the artist M. Abramović created a self-revealing body art consisting of provocative meaning constructions, where pushing the limits of self-reflection, mental and physical existence are all presented.

Polona Sitar
Young Researcher, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art

Standing on her own: Negotiating the identity of working women in socialism

Through researching the achievements of ordinary unknown women in socialist Slovenia we will try to explore their everyday life experiences and changes that employment in socialism brought to them. Through the prism of the life story of one informant, who was working in one of the biggest Yugoslav companies, we will try to establish what it meant for women to earn their own money. By understanding how they administered their earnings and how their appearance changed according to their workplace, we will try to understand how they responded to state policies and patriarchal practices as working women.

Fanni Petrák
MA student, ELTE School of English and American Studies, Department of English Studies

A woman in glasses – Lydia Davis

“I looked like a woman in glasses, but I had dreams of leading a very different kind of life, the life of a woman who would not wear glasses, the kind of woman I saw from a distance now and then in a bar.” Although Lydia Davis was the winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2013, her work is still relatively unknown in Hungary. Davis is especially attentive to craft, and her critics compare her to writers such as Kafka, Proust, and Nabokov. Her writing goes against generic classification, balancing on the edge of the expressive power of language. Her stories are sometimes extremely short, and question just how short a short-story can be.

Balázs Mórász
MA student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Translator and Interpreter Training Department

Preachin’ to the choir: Mahalia Jackson’s role in music and beyond

The importance of Mahalia Jackson is undoubtedly considerable; the fact that she is called „The Queen of Gospel” is no accident, and one could scarcely find a better phrase to express her musical prowess. However, her magnificent contralto voice is not the only thing one should remember, for her role as a civil rights activist regarding African-Americans in the US is outstanding. She toured the segregated South with Martin Luther King, Jr., and performed before his famous “I have a dream” speech. I shall present Jackson’s early life, musical career, and success alongside the main events of her life. In connection with her music, I shall briefly talk about gospel and gospel classics, as well. Her role as an activist and information on its background (the era, its main issues, etc.) will also be mentioned.

Borbála Jász
PhD student,  Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Doctoral School in Philosophy and History of Science

The Role of Women in Leibniz’s Philosophy Sophie Charlotte and Caroline of Ansbach

During his life Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz spent a lot of time in aristocratic circle in the Continent and in Britain and he met a lot of aristocratic women. In my presentation I will argue that these women were not just duennas but the active participants of the social sphere of science. In 1704, Caroline of Ansbach met Leibniz, who was visiting Sophie Charlotte of Hanover. Leibniz – already enjoyed a close friendship with Sophie Charlotte and her mother the Electress Sophie – became Caroline’s good friend and tutor, and they corresponded until The most important point to get adequate picture of Caroline’s role in science we have to inquire the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence. In my paper I will examine the role of Caroline in this debate between the Leibnizian and Newtonian tenets.

Júlia Orosz
PhD student, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Arts, History and Ethnography Doctoral School

The “wandering dog”

The World War II caused the humanity enormous damages and losses. Thousands of women got familiar with the horror of concentration camps, with the pain of prisons, tortures and executions. However the women of Transcarpathia experienced these things and the atrocities after the war, the everyday woman as historical personality is absent from the historical discourse of the 20th century. Thus the aim of the study is to present the walk of life of an extraordinary woman.

In the study I used the most common micro-historical method, oral history. I created a biographical interview with a woman who lived through the World War II and the communism. The interview was conducted in three occasions, each time the conversation took 1,5-2 hours.

Personal life stories contribute to the understanding of the social processes of the period and the real situation of women in the society.

Kinga Varga
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Department of Slavic Languages

Enikő Eszenyi: the role of cultural leader and female identity

Born in a small Hungarian village, Enikő Eszenyi has reached national and international renown as an actress and director, currently the director and manager of Vígszínház in Budapest. Her status is special inasmuch as there are very few women in leading positions in Hungary’s theatrical world. It may be interesting to find out how her world view differs from that of her male colleagues. Her press interviews reveal that she does not consider herself a feminist, yet she is naturally susceptible to the problems of her own gender, she is starting a whole season focusing on female subjects, and yet she is adamant in protecting the tradition and the personnel of her theatre. This lecture aims to investigate how Enikő Eszenyi can combine the role of a woman and the role of a leader in society within the framework of today’s Hungary.

Adrienn Kocsis
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

Crossings of authority and sexuality in work of Joanna Bator Homokhegy

Subject of my lecture is examination of novel Homokhegy by Joanna Bator, contemporary polish writer, from the aspect of authority-conception by Foucault. The novel follows the story of 3 female members of a family (grandmother, daughter, grandchild), and contains more separate episodes, which are not in chronological order. The characters are members of a complicated network, in which hierarchical relationships define their lives, everydays and human contacts. Psychoanalytic signs can be found in the story of novel, since the authoress is intrested in the motivation of characters, of which origo and result should be looked for and can be found in their past, and they define the position in the authority-system.

Andrea Zsigmond
PhD student, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Ariane Mnouchkine’s Theatre Approach

Ariane Mnouchkine is a French theatre director, leader of the Théâtre du Soleil (The Theatre of the Sun). This year they celebrate a jubilee: Mnouchkine founded her ensemble exactly 50 years ago. Apart from the high quality of their performances, Mnouchkine’s work may interest us for another reason, too. The medium of theatre is very hierarchical and male-centered –when looking up theatre history books, in the titles of their chapters one may find almost exclusively the names of male playwrights, directors and leaders of theatre groups or companies. This is typical both at an international level and in the Hungarian theatre field.

Mnouchkine and her company create their works in ensemble, using freqvently improvisational exercises. This non-hierarchical technique in which the personality and the creativity of the actors of the performance is accepted and used as a source of inspiration, is in Mnouchkine’s opinion of female nature. She thinks that her role as a director and a company leader is like the role of a mother.

In my presentation I would like to deal in more detail with the social aspect of her performances, too, especially of the one entitled 1789.

Dóra Egri
BA student, Partium Christian University, Faculty of Humanities

Suggestions of the war and men for women’s self-construction in Alaine Polcz’s autobiography Woman on the Front

Alaine Polcz’s autobiography Woman on the Front has aroused my interest as it answers in a particular way questions like how women experience war, how it is possible to remember everything after traumatic experiences, taking into account that the war is predominantly depicted from men’s perspectives. In my paper I would like to analyze how the self in the text sounds due to these experiences, and the way it formulates itself. Furthermore, besides the presentation of the war experience it is important to mention the relationship between the writer and her husband, more specifically how and by what means the husband can influence his wife and to what extent this may affect the woman’s personality, and how it influences her life.

Annamária Halmi

The Staus of Disabled Women in society – Stella Young

The subject of my lecture is Stella Young, a disability advocate and comedian, and her significance, with emphasis on one of her speeches given at a TED Conference. Young has a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta and is a wheelchair user, she first took part in activism at 14 years of age, regarding an accessibility issue. She intends to raise awareness about the dual nature of how disabled people are perceived by society, and campaign for equal treatment. Having the same goals, I’ll also briefly touch upon the crimes and violence committed against disabled women, and their vulnerability, the risks and dangers they have to face.

Réka Kosztrabszky
PhD student, Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

The role and significance of body in The Fawn by Magda Szabó

The approach to the representation of body (experiences) can afford new ways of interpretation to Magda Szabó’s second novel which received positive reviews in Hungary and abroad. In my lecture I point out how could Esther and Angela’s body representations form the poetic process of novel. My first hypothesis is that the body carries “readable” signs that reflect to someone’s lifestory and can be interpretable to its perceptive. My second hypothesis is that the body can be a mediator between past and present. The third hypothesis is that the body, as the basis of identity, can representate the fragmentation of identity and someone’s internal qualities as well. I also examine the significance of listening, avoid talking and gaze in the novel.

Ágnes Strickland-Pajtók
PhD, Eszterházy Károly College, Department of Communication and Media Studies

Agnes Strickland and the rise of female historical writing

Agnes Strickland’s twelve-volume piece entitled the Lives of The Queens of England (1840-48) was one of the best-sellers of the age. The significance of the work is twofold: on one hand by directing attention to the human factor, it reveals the depths of unparalleled female achievements; and on the other hand – and this latter feature seems to bear even more significance today – Agnes Strickland was capable of not only entering the realm of a male dominated discourse and discipline, but also rising to the pinnacle of it. This unique position allowed her to lead a life, which was both financially and intellectually uncompromising and independent.

Edit Jeges
PhD student, Central European University, Gender Studies

Does the story of a Polish female half-Jew matter? A comparative analysis of Anita Janowska’s narratives of traumatic pasts

A considerable number of women writers narrated autobiographical accounts about the traumatic events of the twentieth century, however their stories have been systematically sidelined by historiography and literary studies, especially in Poland. This paper attempts to ameliorate this neglect by analyzing autobiographical works written by a half Polish, half German Jew Anita Janowska, later a doctor of sociology and esteemed writer. This comparative analysis of Janowska’s autobiography and Holocaust video testimony (written and recorded in 1996) focuses on the interconnection between national belonging and gender suggesting that the cultural memory of the Holocaust is shaped by gendered and national imaginaries.

Henrietta Trádler
MA student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities Department of Economic and Social History

The Real Édes Annas

When hearing the word “maid” most Hungarians would associate to the famous story of ‘Anna Edes’, a novel written and published by Dezső Kosztolányi in 1926 as a sequel in the literary journal, Nyugat. The reader might believe that the events recounted by Kosztolányi are the products of imagination however, this is not true. A letter sent in 1926 by Henrik Vámos, an attorney to Dezső Kosztolányi, detailing the story of Anna Schmidt, a real murderer, might have constituted as the basis for the novel.
This letter was the starting point for my research. In my presentation I aim to reconstruct the events behind “Edes Anna” by outlining the life stories of two real criminals, Magdolna Kovács and the aforementioned Anna Schmidt. By reconstructing their life paths I shall analyse their motivations behind the events and what punishment they received after being captured by the authorities. This presentation is part of an ongoing research.

Andrea Habodász
PhD student, Selye János University, Komarno, Slovakia

The Muse of Komárom – The Literary Dovetailing of Private and Public Life in the Oeuvre of Julianna Fábián

József Péczeli’s famous statement “smart women raise smart children” was most unorthodox in the 18th century; therefore one could consider it as the cutting edge idea of a time when the society was traditionally led by men. Despite such culture the participation of women in the artistic life as well as the growing number of their literary works indicates a significant feminine presence and women’s intention to take part in the literary life. One of the prominent members of this era is Julianna Fábián whose civil occupation was dressmaker, yet she run a literary saloon in the town of Komárom. She can be considered as one of the major promoters of women’s literature in Hungary. Fábián’s saloon was known for her remarkable clientele; even the famous poet Mihály Vitéz Csokonai honoured visits there. The aim of my research is to introduce Fábián’s poetic work and simultaneously to that to determine the creation of the female subjectivity. In my presentation, I also wish to characterize the relationship between the subject itself and the canon.

Eszter Hidasi

The Iconography of Calamity Jane

My presentation shall focus on a heroine of the Wild West, Calamity Jane, who differed from her contemporaries due to her transgressive conduct. Having lived on the frontier she wore men’s clothes to protect herself. According to her autobiography she not only did scouting for the army but nursed the victims of smallpox as well, making her comfortable in both gender roles. I will not research the credibility of these legends but would rather concentrate on the gender related motives of her representation in literature, film and cartoons; using the theoretical research of Judith Butler and Laura Mulvey.

Anna Menyhért
PhD. habil.

The First Hungarian Women Medical Doctor in Cultural Memory: Vilma Hugonnai

Vilma Hugonnai (1847–1922) is the first Hungarian woman physician who fought for years for the naturalization of her medical doctor’s degree she had received in Switzerland, and for being able to pursue her profession in Hungary. Her name is more or less known, there are two fictional biographies written about her which appeal to female readership, women and grirls respectively. (Lenke Nagy:  Nyitva az út. Az első magyar orvosnő életének regénye [The Open Avenue. The life story of the first women physician], 1944, Erzsébet Kertész: Vilma doktorasszony [Lady Vilma, G. P.], 1965)

My paper examines how the issues of career/profession in relation to private life/role of mother and wife as well as the interpretation of body, illness and cure are presented on the one hand in the fictional biographies mentioned above, on the other hand the autobiography of Vilma Hugonnai and her works on health and popular medical science, and thirdly in the framework of the 1899 public debate initiated by the MP Samu Papp about the societal role of women and women’s education Vilma Hugonnai participated in.

Anna István
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities Institute of Slavonic and Baltic Philology

The topic of the lecture is a brief analysis of the novel My Children from Elena Maróthy-Šoltésová

Elena Maróthy-Šoltésová (1855-1939) was one of those female authors who dominated the character of the culture and literature of the 19th century. She stood up for women’s education in spoken and unspoken ways, not just as a writer but as an editor and a critic too.

Her novel, entitled My Children (Moje deti), is a diary novel, which she started writing when her daughter reached age three and his son turned one. She documented their development and eventually, their death. She started publishing her diary novel only after the death of her second child but the foreword proves that she had intended to share it with the wider public all along.

The lecture seeks to explore the different aspects of interpretations of the novel and compare how the postmodern and classical views on the book differ, of which the latter fundamentally defined the position of this work in the Slovak literary canon.

Kornélia Steinmacher
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

Variants of a story: the figure of Báthory Anna in cultural memory

In my presentation, I will explore the figure of Anna Báthory based on various types of texts, historical resources, and the products of 20th century and contemporary literature. The main goal of the presentation is to examine how the propaganda against the Báthory family used the contemporary beliefs and norm-breakings during the construction of negative representations of Anna. My interest is in the relationship between this negative image and the modern literary texts. One of the main reasons (beside political interests) of the contemporary assessment of Anna Báthory is the problematic relationship between the contemporaries and the renaissance mentality, lifestyle. and education which belongs to the figure of Anna. How do they vary in the different types of texts about Anna, especially the tales about Erzsébet Báthory? What can we say about „the real Anna Báthory” who is lost in the propagandistic texts of her contemporaries?

Márton Károly Ngy
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities Doctoral School of Literary Studies

A Woman’s Fate in a Masculine Role. Contradictions of widowhood in the letters of Kata Bethlen the ‘Orphan’

Although the autobiography and prayers of Kata Bethlen (1700-1759) are well known among the lovers Hungarian literary history, her letters are rarely in the forefront of their attention. But the second widowhood of the autobiographer, her most independent and most active period can only be truly seen through her letters.

We can witness such a social order unfolding before our eyes, which defines and influences the people living in it: this is a family of aristocrats; with all its hereditary, legal, economic and clerical aspects; personal likes and dislikes. This big family (the Teleki family of Szék) has the childless widow, Kata Bethlen in it, as an odd-one-out, living as such for a quarter of a century. Her situation was rather contradictory as she held all the rights to her dead husband’s wealth, she had to defend herself in court during all her life; due to her wealth, she was able to be a mentor and supporter of church and culture; doing all these in the midst of family members who were impatiently waiting for their share of the heritage.

The social role is that of a man; the self-representation is that of a woman; the revealing of the soul is human in all its aspects – in my lecture, I intend to portray the various faces of the widowhood of Kata Bethlen, based on her letters.

Nikolett Móricz
MA, Evangélikus Hittudományi Egyetem

Bathsheba, the subject who was raised to queen: tempter, conquered, victim or co-perpetrator? – Filling the gaps of a biblical narrative (2Sam 11,1-12,25) in the reception history

To the adultery of David and Bathsheba was stratified multitudinous blotch, tradition layer, theological interpretation and touch, overtone of the art history during the centuries. The scandal of the royal court that historically was reconstructed barely, has aroused not just the interest of theologians, commentators and historians, but has motivated and has inspired many creators in the various periods from the visual arts to the music adaptations and bestsellers.

Aim of the lecture: to make aware of the reception history as a hazard source and sensitisation to the biblical-historical stereotypes

Thesis: The possible theological and art interpretations of the story of Bathsheba take effect in the collective memory by the history of tradition and nowadays, as well, in the light of the topics of gender and power/ gender and violence in the social discourse.


*image’s source: Kunstnerforbundet (downloaded: 06-10-2014)

Tímea Jablonczay
PhD, King Sigismund Business School, Institute of Communication and Media Studies

Marginality and the practices of border-crossing: hybrid forms of identity in Erzsi Senesh’s works

I plan to focus on a Czechoslovakian-Hungarian-Jewish woman writer, Holocaust survivor, Israeli writer and journalist Erzsi Szenes (1902, Rajec -1981, Jerusalem) giving an introduction to her life; her literary and cultural texts. My paper examines the social, intellectual and political contexts of her texts; it aims to consider her literary and cultural identifications, her marginal position and her hybrid identity in interdisciplinary frame. Erzsi Senesh was known for her poetry in Hungarian and Czechoslovakian literary circles in the interwar period and had a favorable reception among her contemporaries however her life and her works have yet remained at the margins of literary canon. My project contributes to literary history by positing her poetry (Selyemgombolyag, [Silk Roll] 1926; Fehér kendő, [White Kerchief] 1927; Szerelmet és halált énekelek [I Sing of Love and Death] 1936 ) into an alternative female literary modernity. My paper also examines her Holocaust ghetto-diary (A lélek ellenáll [The Soul Resists], 1939-41, 1966) and the postwar stories as memoirs of displacement dealing with traumatic experiences during the Holocaust written in Israel from the 1950s to the 1970s (Van hazám [I Have a Home Country], 1956, 1959). She has many essays, short stories published only in journals (in interwar Czechoslovakia and in postwar Israel), these scattered materials are to be collected as part of my recent project. Her diary and Israeli narratives pose questions about identity and belonging as a double identity of belonging to Hungarian and to Jewish cultural identities. In her essays – that can be read as testimonies and memoirs – she describes her family life and the communal life in the pre-Nazi period.

My paper contributes to scholarship on Hungarian and Jewish-Hungarian literary history, Holocaust and gender studies by investigating a forgotten woman writer’s life and works.

Károly Vajda
PhD, Selye János University, Komarno, Slovakia

Gender Game – Playing with Gender. Conflicts of Fiction and Reality in the novel Erinnerungen von Ludolf Ursleu dem Jüngeren by Ricarda Huch

Ricarda Huch is a unique figure in the history of women’s emancipation in many respects. She was the first women to obtain a university degree and the first women author who was able to establish a writing career both as a fiction writer and as an academic at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. This paper examines on the one hand the relationship of the narator of the partly autobiographic novel to its author, focusing on the question whether the fact that the author is a women can be taken into account in any sense by the male narrator speaking in first person. On the other hand the paper investigates the ways gender identity and generation-related identity is connected to the ontological perspective of the reader’s own literary identity.

Anna Bátori
Young Researcher, Institute for Literary Studies of Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Who was the first hungarian female writer in the 18th century history of literature?

One of the most interesting novelty in the late 18th century literature is the emerging presence of female writers. This means, on the one hand, that there are much more women writers working and publishing in the field of literature than before. On the other hand female writers of the time were just started to be noticed in history of literature and gain a more important role. However, the two canons – the one we know and retell today and canon of the late 18th century – are quite different from each other. For example, Krisztina Újfalvy, and her literary penfriend, Julianna Fábián, nowdays mentioned as the first poetesses, were reviewed only in 1833, while Judit Újfalusi, a nun translating works on the life of Jesus could be found in several sources already at the end of the 18th century.

In my presentation I will illustrate, when, and by which phases was the category of female writers created and elaborated by the late 18th century history of literature. How did the canon of female writers and the elements of knowledge of female writers change? What kind of social and literary movements can be related to the varying canon?

And the opening question: who was the first female writer? This is the question having the most different answers according to the changing canons.

Nóra Ujvári
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

The Travel Diary of Polixena Wesselényi

Polixena Wesselényi shared her experiences gathered abroad in the form of travel journals. In her preserved work − published in 1942 in Kolozsvár − she organized the notes taken during her tenmonth-long “Travels to Italy and Switzerland” into volumes. The piece − which has been assessed by István Gál and Zoltán Jékely in accordance with its artistic merit − was discovered more than hundred years later.

In my opinion, Polixena Wesselényi, a remarkable figure of the Hungarian Reform Era − and the first female hiker to set an altitude record − is worth remembering because she reported about her travels abroad in a professional style and with a sense for beauty beyond her era.
One of the focus points of my research is that Polixena Wesselényi was not merely a traveller − in the strict sense of the word, documenting her journeys from one place to the other − but someone
getting closer to understanding herself better through her travels to remote parts of the world. Since by travelling, her personality was altering continuously, she was able to re-establish her selfknowledge through encounters, thus allowing her personality to emerge as the real subject of her travel journal.

Travelling is one of the most frequently used and discussed motifs of literature that spans eras. Even though it stands for going from one place to another, the traveller’s personality changes along with the place, trying to establish contact with the then unknown living conditions. Therefore, the experience of new surroundings and perspectives of discourse empower the traveller with a mobile ability of self-definition. Travelling fosters the rather significant cultural re-interpretation of how one depicts herself and her world, thus becoming the unique medium of self-creation in time and space alike.

Reading her travel diary, we get to know the various faces of Polixena Wesselényi. A wide array of characterizations, which are in line with those found in the numerous studies written about her: “adventurer”, „the first Hungarian aesthete”, the „early embodiment of women’s emancipation”, „a proud woman, adhering to her country”, “the most intriguing woman figure of the Hungarian Reform Era”, and “the Vénusz Murányi of the 19th century”. When introducing her preserved work, I am going to reflect on this as well, assuming a connection between travelling and the fulfilment of her personality, which eventually made her a truly remarkable, enlightened − and therefore − noteworthy woman through her gathering experience abroad.

Györgyi Földes
PhD, Institute for Literary Studies of Hungarian Academy of Sciences

“The acrobat of the podium”. Jolán SIMON’s performing art 

In Hungary, Susan Rubin Suleiman’s affirmation about similarity of avant-garde’s and women’s positions seems to be true: both of them are marginalized, and the situation of women participating in avant-garde movements is doubly marginalized. Jolán SIMON, reciting artist is a very important representative of Hungarian avant-garde. After the Rózsahegyi Kálmán’s theatre school diploma, she played remarkable roles of Maeterlinck’s, Strindberg’s and Hauptmann’s dramas in Belvárosi Színház (City Theater), then formed a new and specific manner of representation with expressionist, futurist and Dadaist strains for propagate Hungarian and international avant-garde literature (although her activity is remarkable as autonomous artistic result, too), and finally, she organized reciting choruses. My lecture’s aim is to reconstruct the most important moments of the work of this performance artist, mainly known yet as Lajos Kassák’s wife.

Eszter Balogh
MA student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities

Edit Takács, Szigliget’s mistery


Erika Kapus
PhD student, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral School of Literary Studies

In the period between 1908 and 1943, two women live in Anarcspuszta, a small village 280 kilometres away from Budapest. One of them is a painter, the other one is a writer. One of them has exhibitions, the other’s poems and short stories are published in the papers, her books are on the shelves in bookstores. The German painter lives in the house of the Hungarian writer for 35 years. They are both unmarried, and they are both outside the prescriptive norms available for women of their time. Minka Czóbel, the writer, creates female figures who transcend boundaries: nuns, witches, fairies, queens, sadistic wives, and withering virgins emerge on the pages, never fitting into society.

In a world constructed around fallogocentric and heterosexual norms, where the only valuable role for women is that of the mother, Czóbel’s heroines are taking positions far from the center. Otherness is a key organising point in her writing. My presentation, therefore, is not about the two women’s assimilation into the literary tradition, rather, something other.

Tamás Lénárt
PhD, ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Cultural Studies and Hungarian Literature

Preservation – a cultural practice and women’s task. About Edit Hajós

In my paper I attempt to pose the question whether it is possible to talk about „feminine” models or roles along the lines of certain cultural practices, „culture-techniques”, that is how the feminine principle of the Other is built into the processes of cultural production organized around the masculine centrum in practice.

The stake of the question is whether it is possible to mention the cultural significance of certain forms of „femininity” in a way that is not only pointing out the importance of certain figures and oeuvres that were previously ignored – trying to compare the nature of „femininity” to existing, typically masculine models – but also reconsidering the structure of the whole cultural field, approaching from activities typically associated with women.

My paper focuses on female figures appearing in Hungarian cultural life during the first half of the 20th century– far from being untouched by feminism – with particular attention to the „Vasárnapi Kör” (Sunday Circle) and Edit Hajós, the wife of Béla Balázs, who was forgotten by Hungarian cultural history.

Absztraktok magyarul


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