Fulbright Visiting Professorship in Hungarian Language and Culture at CSU

Written by Fulbright on 12/05/2013. Posted in News

Cleveland State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, together with Fulbright Hungary and Cleveland’s United Hungarian Societies held a joint press conference on Saturday, November 30th, 2013, at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland, site of the 53rd Hungarian Congress of Cleveland’s Hungarian Association.

Greg Sadlek, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Cleveland State University
Károly Jokay, Executive Director, Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission, Budapest
Endre Szentkirályi, Vice President, United Hungarian Societies, Cleveland

The press conference featured the signing of a cooperative agreement establishing a Fulbright Visiting Professorship in Hungarian Language and Culture at Cleveland State University.

Cleveland State University has a history with Hungarian Studies. The university first offered courses in Hungarian language and literature in the 1980’s, and also published Susan Papp’s exhaustive history in 1981, Hungarian Americans and their Communities of Cleveland. To honor this support of Hungarian culture, the university was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Award by the American Hungarian Foundation in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
It is appropriate to reestablish Hungarian Studies in Cleveland, because it is home to one of the largest Hungarian communities outside of Hungary. Indeed, Cuyahoga County, in which Cleveland resides, boasts around 44,000 people of Hungarian ancestry. Moreover, according to the latest census figures, around 3,500 of those speak Hungarian in their households. When adjoining counties are added, that yields about 105,000 people of Hungarian ancestry and about 6,000 who speak the language in their households. Cleveland’s Hungarians have a rich local history and a vibrant current community, with many churches and social organizations, each with strong pride in their cultural heritage. A program at Cleveland State would build upon this extraordinary regional support. Important first steps had already been taken. In the summer of 2011, Cleveland State University and the University of Szeged signed a Memorandum of Understanding to chart future cooperation between the two universities. In October of 2011, Dean Sadlek and several others from the university met with Hungarian Ambassador György Szapáry. Moreover, the Michael Schwarz Library at Cleveland State has taken possession of the archives of the late Miklós Kossányi, an audiovisual collection of Cleveland’s Hungarian community events from the 1970’s through the present day, and once finalized, will offer scholars and researchers access to its many sound recordings, video footage, and print material.

Finally, after receiving pledges from eight Cleveland Hungarian community organizations, including the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society, the Cleveland Hungarian Development Panel, the Hungarian Association, the American Hungarian Friends of Scouting, the Hungarian Cultural Center of Northeastern Ohio, the Cleveland Hungarian School, the William Penn Association, the Hungarian Community of Friends, and a private donor, Cleveland State University invited a Fulbright lecturer from Hungary for an entire academic year to start fall of 2014. In addition, according to terms signed by the university and the Fulbright Commission (Hungarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange), the Fulbright Visiting Professorship in Hungarian Language and Culture was established to run for three academic years starting 2015/2016.
Following the press conference, a roundtable discussion was held, featuring local and international Hungarian language instructors reflecting on Hungarian Studies at North American universities. Taking part in the roundtable discussion were Susan Papp, lecturer at the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Imre Márkus, instructor at Lakeland Community College in suburban Cleveland, and Mártha Pereszlényi-Pintér, chair of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures, John Carroll University.

Press release (Sajtóközlemény) in Hungarian

Media coverage in Hungarian
Tanulj magyarul az egyetemen! | bocskairadio.org | 2014.03.26
Beszámoló az 53. Magyar Találkozóról | bocskairadio.org | 2013.12.07
Újraindítják a magyar tanulmányokat a Clevelandi Állami Egyetemen | hirado.hu | 2013.12.03
Magyar oktatás indul a clevelandi egyetemen | hvg.hu | 2013.12.03