Alumni Books published in 2020

Written by Fulbright on 12/14/2020. Posted in Alumni testimonials

Books by Hungarian Fulbright Alumni

Miklós Vassányi ’16: From Alaska to Yucatan: An American travel diary (in Hungarian)

Balázs Lázár ’00 (ed.): In Refuge – American Diplomats at U.S. Embassy Budapest on Cardinal Mindszenty 1957-1970

Katalin Parti ’13 (ed.): Juvenile Justice and Schools: Policing, Processing, and Programming

Tamás Scheibner ’18: Conspiracy Theories in Eastern Europe: Tropes and Trends

Ágnes Hódi ’19: Editing Measurement Tasks and Questionnaire Items (in Hungarian)

Mónika Fodor ’17: Ethnic Subjectivity in Intergenerational Memory Narratives – Politics of the Untold

Csaba Lévai ’17: Transatlantic slave-trade and the emergence of the slave systems in colonial English-British America (in Hungarian)

Ákos Máthé ’86 (ed.): Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of North America

Géza Jeszenszky ’84: Lost Prestige – Hungary’s Changing Image in Britain 1894-1918

Gábor Turi ’13: American Jazz Diary (in Hungarian)

Veronika Kusz ’05: A Wayfaring Stranger – Ernst von Dohnányi’s American Years, 1949-1960

Péter Galbács ’18: The Friedman-Lucas Transition in Macroeconomics – A Structuralist Approach

Péter J. Sós ’90: #megértjükegymást: Conversations on PR (in Hungarian)

Katalin Sulyok ’15: Science and Judicial Reasoning: The Legitimacy of International Environmental Adjudication

 

Books by U.S. Fulbright Alumni

Frank Baron ’84: Stopping the Trains to Auschwitz, Budapest, 1944

Ronald Johnson ’04: Magic Happens! My Journey with the Northern Iowa Wind Symphony

Thomas Tobin ’17: Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers

Leslie Waters ’09: Borders on the Move, Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderlands, 1938-1948

Mary Henold ’19: The Laywoman Project: Remaking Catholic Womanhood in the Vatican II Era

Erika Sólyom ’03: Senegalodream of Mine (in Hungarian)

R. Chris Davis ’06: Hungarian Religion, Romanian Blood, A Minority’s Struggle for National Belonging, 1920–1945

Karla Kelsey ’10: Blood Feather

Jacob Lucas ’04: The Seed Vault (poetry collection)

Jan Marie Fritz ’16 (ed.): Clinical Sociology for Southern Africa

Bill Issel ’08: Coit Tower, a Novel of San Francisco

Learning about a City through its Literature: Reflections on a Fulbright Scholarship in Budapest

Written by Fulbright on 10/13/2020. Posted in Alumni testimonials

Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera, University of Puerto Rico

It’s March 2019. My family and I live at 64 Visegrádi utca, around the corner from Nyugati Railway Station. I’m a bit late for class. My son Santiago (5) and I hurry out the door to meet my wife Joanna and other son Alejandro (5 months), who were out for a stroll along the Danube.

Reflections on a Fulbright Scholarship in Budapest

My lecture in “Budapest in American Literature” that day is about Mark Twain’s visit to Hungary, the farthest east he would go in Europe. I’m thinking about my slides. It was 120 years to the day of Twain’s visit. He arrived on the train from Vienna to a gala reception at Nyugati.

Our neighbors pass us in the hallway. I nod and say, “Szia! Jó napot.”

As we get in the elevator, Santiago shakes his head and says firmly: “Daddy, nem. It’s sziasztok.”

“Sziasztok?” I was sure “szia” was “hello” in English. I had been saying it since we arrived.

My son’s formal training with Hungarian to that point involved soccer in the park, watching Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries in Hungarian, and post-it memos around our apartment that we recite each day. At campus I reviewed my notes from our language course during the Fulbright orientation. Yes, according to Annamaria Sas, “hello” is indeed “szia.”

But I asked my students anyway, out of curiosity: “Is ‘hello’ ‘szia’ or ‘sziasztok’?”

This was met with some polite laughter. “Well,” said Gergő Teglasi, “it’s actually both. ‘Szia’ is used to address one person. ‘Sziasztok’ is plural.”

“Ah, thanks,” I replied.

Hungarian is a superpower that my son has developed faster than me.

During my stint as Országh László Chair in the Department of American Studies at ELTE, I gave lectures at several Hungarian universities (University of Debrecen, University of Pannonia, and Károli Gáspár University) and was invited to speak at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies and at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford. But that misty morning with my son, a bit late for class, is one of my fondest memories.

I applied for a Fulbright in Budapest for the opportunity to learn about American Studies in a non-US setting, to develop a course (and eventually a book) on Budapest in American Literature and Film, and to learn more about the cross-cultural ties between Hungary and the US through critical studies of literature, film and the arts.

My Fulbright application was submitted just a few weeks before Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico. After those months of hardship, when the award notification arrived a February day in 2018, my wife cried—she always had a dream to live to Europe: before we knew it, we were packing for an unforgettable time in one of the continent’s most beautiful and exciting countries.

Aside the magnificence of the city and its rich history, something I love about Budapest is the importance given to literary and intellectual culture. Hungarians revere writers. While the US has a monument to an unknown soldier, the Hungarian capital has a statue dedicated to an unknown writer. (They also have a Mark Twain postage stamp!)

Learning about a city through its literature brings travel and scholarship and new friendships together. Fulbright provided many wonderful experiences and opportunities to do just that—and among the most fulfilling was collaborating with my students, whose insights and partnership have extended long after the grant term. In November 2020, two doctoral students from ELTE—Rabéb Touìhrí and Endah Sapturi—will give a guest lecture to my class in Puerto Rico.

Reflections on a Fulbright Scholarship in Budapest

I feel very fortunate to have been affiliated with ELTE, as some of the faculty scholarship—like Vera Benczik’s deft perspectives of space, place, and identity in post-9/11 films, and Orsolya Putz’s innovative book, Metaphor and National Identity: Alternative conceptualization of the Treaty of Trianon—have exciting intersections with language, sovereignty, migration, empire, war, and intercultural spaces, concepts that are seminal to my research. Working there pushed me to think about my scholarship in new contexts and to consider the role that literature and creativity have across many social and political axes.

“Last week I was going down with the family to Budapest to lecture,” wrote Mark Twain in 1899. “Had a great time. At the banquet I heard their chief orator make a most graceful and easy and beautiful and delicious speech—I never heard one that enchanted me more—although I did not understand a word of it, since it was in Hungarian. But the art of it! it was superlative. They are wonderful scholars.”

I have to agree.

***

Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera is a professor of Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico.