History of the International Association of Hungarian Studies

The International Association of Hungarian Studies was born of the recognition that Hungarian philology or, more broadly speaking, Hungarian studies in general had already come to represent an international scholarly discipline in the same way as the study of other languages, literatures and national civilizations had developed into coherent disciplines like Germanistics and Turkology etc. Each individual national civilization represents an autonomous, yet constitutive part of our universal human culture. It also embodies its own individual colour and value, the cultivation and study of which lies in the general human interest. It was with this idea in mind that international scholarly organizations for the promotion of Hungarian studies were established in the widest possible range of countries throughout the world.

After repeated recommendations from scholars involved in Hungarian studies all over the world, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences took the first steps towards the foundation of the Association in 1977. At the Academys invitation, approximately one hundred Hungarian and non-Hungarian specialists came together in Nyregyháza and the provisional general assembly held on August 25, 1977 agreed upon the foundation of the International Association of Hungarian Studies, set down its constitution and elected its leading officers. (President Bo Wickman, General Secretary Tibor Klaniczay, Deputy Secretary-General Miklós Béládi.) Thus an international organization was born which following the principles of similar well-established associations would bring together scholars of various nationalities from all over the world, united by their interest in Hungarian studies.

The new association enables the regular exchange of information between the scholars of the various countries involved and in this way promotes wide-ranging research into the Hungarian language, literature, ethnography and culture, free from any national bias.

Through this new organization, Hungarian studies has been able to become an integral part of international scholarship and to secure representation within the scholarly organizational structure of UNESCO. After its foundation, the International Association of Hungarian Studies applied for membership of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes, the highest organizational body of international philological societies. After the presidium of FILLM had established that the Association met with the requirements for international scholarly associations stipulated by UNESCO, the Association was registered as the 20th member organization of FILLM in 1979. Thus the International Association of Hungarian Studies took its place among similar UNESCO-recognized and registered international scholarly organizations.

The Aims and Activities of the Association

According to points II and III of the Associations constitution its aims are: to support scholarly or public-interest activity in the fields of Hungarian language, literature, ethnography and cultural history to assist scholars, teachers and other specialists working in these fields, and to encourage cooperation.

Towards the achievement of its aims, the Association will

  • establish contacts with institutions and individuals interested in Hungarian studies

  • hold scholarly lectures, discussions, conferences and congresses

  • contribute to the support of the specialist work of scholars and teachers in the specified disciplines through the involvement of Hungarian higher education institutions and research centres

  • report on international achievements in the specified disciplines in regularly appearing publications

  • keep in touch with international organizations as a member of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes.


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