International relations

The international relations of Hungarian studies

It is the intention of the doctoral school to continue to play a significant role in the work of the International Association for Hungarian Studies. Several faculty members and one PhD student read papers at the Hungarian studies conference in Rome (1999), which rate of participation increased by the next such event in Finland, and at the INTERNATIONAL Congress of Hungarian Studies in Debrecen (2006) and in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), there were already a significant number of PhD students, including those still doing their coursework or already past their comprehensive examinations, just as at the various thematic conferences organized by Association at the doctoral schools. The closest cooperation is with Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj, but our programme also has students from Partium Christian University, from Kárpátalja (Transcarpathia) and the Felvidék (Upper Hungary) regions. Many of them have already received their PhD degrees.

There is also a close relationship with scholars in Hungarian studies at the University of Naples. There is ongoing professional cooperation with Prof. Dr. Amedeo di Francesco, who is an honorary doctor of our university (he was earlier a professor at the University of Naples “L'Orientale”, and currently at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio); he gave several lectures in Debrecen, published papers in our annals, and one of our doctoral students spent an academic year on scholarship at his department. Dr. István Bitskey also gave lectures in the doctoral programme in Naples. Further, we have a link with the Institute of Danube Swabian History and Regional Studies in Tübingen, Germany; several members of the doctoral programme gave lectures at their conferences, and their works were included in their publications.
 
The international relations of modern philology (sub)programmes

The extensive international relations of the modern philology (sub)programmes have included faculty exchanges, memberships and offices in international societies, participations in international conferences, study trips and papers presented abroad by students, as well as publishing in international forums. All of these are definitely worth continuing and further extending in the future as well.

Scholarly workshops of philological studies in foreign languages include periodicals published in Debrecen, which have, for many decades, constituted important links between the University of Debrecen and international scholarship. Within the framework of the Doctoral School of Literary and Cultural Studies, these include: Slavica, Studia Romanica de Debrecen, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, Arbeiten zur deutschen Philologie, Italianistica Debreceniensis, Acta Neerlandica. These journals also regularly publish papers by foreign scholars, and similarly, works by faculty members from Debrecen have appeared in the publications of the partner institutions. It is worth extending this practice also to papers by PhD students meriting attention, thereby introducing them into international scholarship.

Further important international links also include book series published and successfully distributed abroad in which the works of Hungarian authors are made accessible to the international scholarly community (these include, for example, the 12 volumes of Patrimoine littéraire européen published in Brussels, as well as the series Debrecener Studien zur Literatur published in Frankfurt).

Yet another important form of cooperation is participation at conferences, which is an ongoing activity, and it is the duty of all dissertation supervisors to help their PhD students to actively participate at international conferences. Many doctoral students have presented papers at international conferences organized in recent years in Debrecen, and especially at the international HUSSE and HAAS conferences in English and American studies, held at alternating locations in Hungary. For students enrolled in the British and the North American literature and culture sub-programmes, it is a requirement to present papers at least at one HUSSE conference, where their performance is evaluated not only from the point of view of content, but also form. Over the years, numerous students in the British literature and culture and the North American literature and culture sub-programmes have presented their work at these conferences, and also at conferences in Great Britain, and the biennial, pan-European conferences of ESSE.

Texas Christian University offers an opportunity for two students per academic year to conduct research in its library; it has also provided scholarships to PhD students for full-time doctoral programmes, delegated opponents for defence committees, and their faculty members have offered block-taught courses at the Doctoral School of Literary and Cultural Studies. There is also regular faculty exchange with Ferris State University in Michigan.

Professional links cultivated with scholarly workshops of similar profiles in neighbouring countries have played an important role in the work of the British and the North American literature and culture programmes, in the framework of which doctoral students also regularly participate at conferences. In recent years, on the basis of institutional links, our students have read papers at conferences at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj, the University of Timişoara, Partium Christian University, the University of Oradea, and the Catholic University of Ružomberok. (As a result of a successful joint grant, a symposium was also organized together with the English Department of Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj.)

As invited keynote speakers, our faculty members have presented papers at conferences in Hungary and abroad (e.g. in Timişoara), and as invited speakers at universities in the UK (Surrey University, Cardiff University, Bristol University), Germany (Regensburg), Turkey (Hacettepe, Canakkale), Slovakia (Prešov, Bratislava, Ružomberok). Our faculty members organized seminars at the ESSE conferences, for example, two at the Košice conference in 2014. In the framework of international projects, they also presented papers in Brno and in Austria. The Institute of English and American Studies participates in several ERASMUS cooperation programmes that also includes doctoral student exchange (e.g. Hacettepe University in Ankara, Humanities, Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj, University of Udine in Italy), and we also wish to extend our other – numerous – active ERASMUS cooperation programmes (with the University of Sligo in Ireland, as well as universities in Joensuu, Dortmund, Granada, Canakkale, Paderborn, Poznań, Maribor, Oradea, Ljubljana, etc.) in this direction. The Erasmus cooperation concluded in 2014 with the University of Gdansk resulted in faculty exchanges as early as in the autumn of that year.

An important role in the scholarly work of the British and the North American literature and culture programmes is played by the five research centres operating at the Institute, which are the following: 
Since 2007, the Institute of English and American Studies has been officially designated as an Australian Studies Centre, and it is the founder of the Australian Studies Regional Network. One of the faculty members of the Doctoral School of Literary and Cultural Studies (Dr. Gabriella Tóthné Espák) has been active (as member of the executive board and conference organizer) in the work of the European Association for the Study of Australia. She is a member of the editorial board, as well as a reviewer and web master of JEASA, the journal of the Association.

The research centre for Canadian Studies (Canadian Studies Centre) was established within the Institute of English and American Studies in 1984. Its head is Judit Molnár, who is a member of the advisory body of the Central European Association for Canadian Studies. Since 2002, the University of Debrecen has been the venue of three international conferences in Canadian studies. The centre works in close cooperation with the Central European Association for Canadian Studies, which is a member of the International Council for Canadian Studies.

A research centre for Irish studies also operates at the Institute, which is a member of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS). There is continuous contact with the embassy of the Republic of Ireland; visiting lecturers regularly arrive at the Institute, and there is also an ongoing cooperation with other research centres of Irish studies both in Ireland and in Europe. In 1989, the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures held its international conference in Debrecen.

The Gender Studies Centre, an inter-departmental research centre, has a wide range of relationships domestically and internationally. In 2012-2013, together with four other institutions from neighbouring countries, five members of the Centre worked on a two-year research project with support from the TEMPUS-Grundtvig life-long learning public foundation (other participants: Burgenländische Forschungsgesellschaft, Eisenstadt, Austria; Univerzita Komenského, Filozofická fakulta, Centrum rodových štúdií, Bratislava, Slovakia; Masarykova Univerzita, Brno, Czech Republic; Societatea Română pentru Studii de Anglistică și Americanistică, Centrul Interdisciplinar de Studii de Gen, Timişoara, Romania. A new international project was launched in 2014, with the participation of the University of Osnabrück University (Germany), Victoria University in Vancouver (Canada) and Corvinus University (Hungary). 

The Center for International Migration Studies was established in 2013 at the North American Department, in the work of which faculty members from the Dutch, German and Italian literature and culture sub-programmes also participate, in cooperation with the Centre for Travel Writing Studies at Nottingham Trent University (Professor Tim Youngs has visited the research centre in Debrecen), and the University of Maribor (Professor Matjaž Klemenčič taught a Ph.D. course here). Several faculty members in the programme serve on editorial or advisory boards of foreign journals (European Journal of English Studies, Journal of the European Association for the Study of Australia, Canadian Literature, Confluente).

Faculty members in the French literature and culture sub-programme regularly participate at international conferences (France: Université de Limoges, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Paris I Sorbonne-Panthéon, Université de Nanterre, Norther Ireland: Queen’s University, Belgium: Université de Louvain, Spain: Université de Lleida, Italy: Université de Bologna). The papers presented at these conferences are also published in the proceedings volumes. They also regularly read papers at the conference series organized by the various French Departments of Hungarian universities (Journées d’études françaises). In addition, our students have also participated at the annual conferences organized for doctoral schools of French studies in the countries of the Visegrád Group (Prague, Poznań, Piliscsaba, Szeged, Krakow), with proceedings published from the papers presented at these conferences. This opportunity will also continue in the future. Over the years, several students in the French sub-programme have been recipients of Erasmus and Campus Hungary scholarships. On 8-10 June 2017, AIZEN (Association Internationale Zola et Naturalisme), jointly with two departments of the University of Debrecen (Department of Communication and Media Studies and the French Department), organized a conference at the University of Debrecen on Zola, Mirbeau, and naturalism. The conference was also part of the series of international scholarly events organized on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Octave Mirbeau. The principal organizers of the conference were Anna Gural-Migdal, professor at the University of Alberta and president of AIZEN, as well as Sándor Kálai, head of the French literature and culture sub-programme, while the guest of honour was Brigitte Émile-Zola, the great-granddaughter of Émile Zola, who has been a member and supporter of AIZEN since its foundation.

The international relationships of the Dutch literature and culture sub-programme include the universities of Utrecht, Leiden, Amsterdam (UvA, VU), Leuven, Antwerpen, Vienna, Wroclaw, Olomouc, Belgrade, Zagreb, Bucharest, and Bratislava, as well as the University of Groningen.

Members of the media and cultural studies sub-programme also regularly participate at international conferences aboard (France: Université de Limoges, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Paris I Sorbonne-Panthéon, Université de Nanterre, Norther Ireland: Queen’s University, Belgium: Université de Louvain, Spain: Université de Lleida, Italy: Université de Bologna). In addition, they have professional relationships with Inalco University (Paris) as well.

Through the active membership of its faculty members, the Italian literature and culture sub-programme has a continuous relationship with the following scholarly institutions and international research societies in Italy: Associazione Internazionale degli Studiosi di Lingua e Letteratura Italiana, Associazione Internazionale dei Professori di Italiano, Istituto per la Storia del Risorgimento Italiano di Roma, Associazione Centro in Europa di Genova, Mazzini Society, Associazione Culturale Italoungherese del Friuli Venezia Giulia “Pier Paolo Vergerio”, International Comparative Literature Association. This network of international relations can facilitate a more organic international integration of the research conducted by our doctoral students, as can also the fact that one of the faculty members teaching in the sub-programme is a member of several editorial boards in Italy (Collana Storia d’Europa, Sapienza Università di Roma; Jouvence, Mimesis Edizioni, Milano). Further enriching the international relations of our sub-programme is Italianistica Debreceniensis, the scholarly journal using blind peer review, published by the Department of Italian Studies, through the many prestigious members of the board of editors of the journal, representing the following universities and academies: Universiteit Antwerpen, Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Università di Catania, Universitatea din Craiova, Turun Yliopisto, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The City University of New York, Accademia della Crusca, Latvijas Kultūras Akadēmija. Faculty members of the sub-programme are regularly invited to read papers at international conferences (Milan, Roma, Asti, Venice, Cagliari, Brno, Trieste, Genova, Livorno, Padova, Fratta Polesine, Paris–Sorbonne). The biennial international conferences organized by the Italian Department allow the doctoral students in our sub-programme to present their recent research, and what is perhaps even more important, they also receive opportunities to publish their papers in conference proceedings published in Italy (La storia nascente, L’Italia degli anni Settanta, Franco Cesati Editore, Firenze, 2016; Scrittura fantastica in Bonaviri, Sampognaro e Pupi Edizioni, Siracusa, 2017), which gives them better access to become part of the international scholarly community.

The Russian literature and culture sub-programme has living professional relationships with several institutes of higher education in Russia (Saint Petersburg State University, Herzen State University, Moscow State Social University, the Russian State University for the Humanities, the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Voronezh State University, the Chekov Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute, Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University) and in other countries (University of Prešov, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University), as well as with research institutions (Institute of Slavic Studies and Institute of Art History at the Russian Academy of Sciences, A. Solzhenitsyn Centre of Russian Emigré Studies, Institute of Translation Research) and scholarly journals in Russia (Voprosi Tiorii Literaturi, Novy Mir, Znamia).

These forms of cooperation have provided the framework for faculty and student mobility, participation at conferences, and mutual publication opportunities. Using Erasmus+ and other research scholarships, faculty members of the sub-programme have given lectures to students and doctoral candidates at the Saint Petersburg State University, Herzen State University, Moscow State Social University, the Russian State University for the Humanities, Voronezh State University, the Chekov Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute, Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Colleagues from Saint Petersburg State University, Herzen State University, Moscow State Social University, the Russian State University for the Humanities, Voronezh State University, the Chekov Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute, and the Minks College of Humanities and Economics also gave lectures and courses for students and doctoral candidates at the Institute of Slavic Studies.

Faculty members and students of the sub-programme regularly participate at conferences in Russia (e.g. the narratology conference of the Russian State University for the Humanities, the conferences of the Voronezh State University on romanticism and Mandelstam, the Chekov conferences at the Chekov Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute, the Moscow State Social University, the Saint Petersburg State University, the Hygiene of Culture conference organized at the Institute of Art History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as the conferences on the theory of translation organized at the Institute of Translation Research. Since 2014, our institute has been organizing an international conference on contemporary Russian literature, titled “The Present and Future of Russian Literature”, where the faculty members and researchers in the sub-programme read their papers alongside many prestigious foreign and Hungarian scholars from elsewhere. The written versions of the conference presentations appeared in the proceedings published in Russia, while the material of the conference series titled “The Present and Future of Russian Literature”, including papers by the faculty members and students of the sub-programme, was published in 2019.

Doctoral students in the sub-programme have participated in study trips and trainings in Russia, at such institutions as the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, Voronezh State University, Moscow State Linguistic University, Tyumen State University, and also participated at the International Young Writers Forum in Ulyanovsk, where they attended seminars on contemporary literature and presented their own works of literary criticism.

Documented forms of cooperation with foreign institutions and researchers
Although it is increasingly difficult to invite guest lecturers from abroad due to the lack of financial resources, the international relations of the British and the North American literature and culture sub-programmes are still extensive. Fulbright visiting professors arriving at the university, mainly in the field of American studies, are involved in the doctoral programme on a continuous basis, and other, well-renowned experts in their fields are also invited to offer block-taught courses, both in the British and the American sub-programmes. The majority of the Fulbright visiting professors remain in a professional relationship with the institute (e.g. serving as reviewers for HJEAS, or helping our work as opponents or recommenders of opponents for the doctoral defences).

An agreement has been concluded with Texas Christian University in Fort Worth under the terms of which we can receive external experts from them as opponents on dissertation defence committees (Alan Shepard, who specializes in contemporary American drama, has already performed such a function in our doctoral school); they also provide one-month-long library research grants for two doctoral students a year, and we can request professors from them to offer block-taught courses in Debrecen. The old relationship between the University of Debrecen and Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) can also be put to use. Several of our students have had a chance to conduct doctoral research in Indiana. In other cases, they were able to apply for scholarships in the Fulbright and the ISEP programmes. The professional links and faculty exchanges with Ferris State University in Michigan and SUNY Brockport in New York states have also continued for many years. The British studies sub-programme has had a professional relationship of over ten years in duration with University College Dublin. There is also a working relationship for over a decade with the London Network of Modern Fiction Studies, one of the leaders of which in England (Philip Tew, currently a professor at the University of Northampton) has visited Debrecen on several occasions. Since 2012, there has been a link with the travel literature research group at Nottingham Trent University (led by Professor Tim Youngs), and professional relationships also with the media studies department at Kingston University London. One of the dissertation supervisors in the sub-programme (Marianna Gula) has maintained a professional relationship with the Zurich James Joyce Foundation, where she also gave a lecture. In 2012, Eric Weitz, a professor at Trinity College in Dublin – whose professional relationship with the institute started in 2009 – offered a PhD course in Debrecen. In June 2013, Tatjana Jukić, professor at the English Department of the University of Zagreb taught a doctoral course in the framework of a TÁMOP grant project. In 2014, we established closer links with the University of Bristol in England, where one of our faculty members, Ágnes Györke gave a guest lecture. We have had continuous professional links for fifteen years with Ann Heilmann, who is currently a professor at the University of Cardiff, Robert Eaglestone (Royal Holloway College, London University) and Richard J. Lane (Malaspina University College, Vancouver, Canada). We have professional relationships with numerous scholarly workshops in British and American studies also in non-English-speaking countries. In addition to the already mentioned ERASMUS links, these include, for example, the Catholic University of Ružomberok in Slovakia. An important venue where international relationships are established are the international organisations (in British, American, Irish, Australian and Canadian Studies) already mentioned. 

The Hungarian literature, modern philology and cultural studies programme (and within that specifically, but not exclusively, the Dutch and German literature and culture specialization) continues to maintain its international cooperation with German and Dutch partners. (Germany: Bielefeld; Frankfurt; Freiburg; Greifswald; Paderborn; Rostock – faculty and student exchange programme; Austria: Vienna [Dutch programme]; Graz; Klagenfurt; Salzburg – faculty and student exchange programme; the Netherlands: Leiden, [cooperation based on the Dutch programme, which includes – in addition to full-time courses for students – academic cooperation as well, with particular attention to scholarships for PhD students]).

The French literature and culture sub-programme currently has an institutional cooperation programme with the Institute of French linguistics and literature at the University of Angers. The doctoral programme has been sending PhD students for study-abroad semesters and study trips in Angers for a long time, and the department also welcomes visiting professors from that university on a regular basis. In the invitation of visiting professors, the programme can also continue to rely on the support provided by the cultural and scientific department of the Embassy of France, one form of which cooperation is the course jointly offered for French doctoral programmes in Hungary. A few years ago, Pierre Brunel (Université de Paris IV) and Henri Mitterand (Université de Paris IV) offered such courses on literary myths and the application of the methods of myth criticism, as well as on the poetics of space, respectively. Faculty members in the French sub-programme are active in a number of scholarly societies, as listed below. France: Société d’Histoire littéraire de la France (Paris), Société des Études romantiques et dix-neuviemistes, Société Octave Mirbeau (Angers), Association des Amis du roman populaire (Amiens), Association internationale des chercheurs en littérature populaire et culture médiatique (Limoges), International Crime Fiction Research Group, AIZEN (Association Internationale Zola et Naturalisme).

The Institute of Germanic Studies and the German literature and culture sub-programme have Erasmus contracts with several universities abroad (University of Salzburg, University of Augsburg, University of Münster, University of Paderborn, University of Rostock, University of Trier Necmettin, Necmettin Erbakan University (Konya, Turkey).

The Department of Italian Studies has Erasmus contracts in effect with 15 universities, which support student and faculty mobility as well; all of these programmes are also open to students enrolled in the Italian literature and culture sub-programme: Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione di Milano, Università Cattolica di Milano, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Università degli Studi di Cassino, Università degli Studi di Catania, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Università degli Studi di Messina, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Università degli Studi di Udine, Università degli Studi G. D’Annunzio – Chieti, Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Katolícka Univerzita v Ružomberku.

The Russian literature and culture sub-programme has contractual relationships with the Saint Petersburg State University, Moscow State Social University, Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Voronezh State University, and Chekov Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute.

Updated: 2020.09.16.


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