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NISE Lecture 2022: Attila Pók on ‘Asset or Liability for Europe? Faces of Hungarian Nationalism’

The NISE Lecture 2022 will be given by Professor Attila Pók on the subject of ‘Asset or Liability for Europe? Faces of Hungarian Nationalism’ at 0930CET on 6th April in Lecture Hall 1 in the Meerminne building on the City Campus of University of Antwerp at Sint-Jacobstraat 2, 2000 Antwerpen. Attendance is free and open to all.


“In the introduction I will ask a provocative question: if we assume that European integration is beneficial for the continent, is Hungarian nationalism an asset or liability for Europe in this process?

“I will then give a short survey of major turning points of Hungarian history from the perspective of continuities and discontinuities before presenting a number of influential representations and interpretations of the story of the Hungarian people and that of the Hungarian state. These two narratives do not overlap and their differences give a particular dynamism to Hungarian nationalism. This will take me to a number of case studies of the instrumentalization of Hungarian nationalism in Hungarian politics following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. I will conclude by setting up a balance sheet of Hungarian nationalism pointing out its, in my opinion, strong and weak sides. I will speak about the opportunities that it can offer for working out new strategies for strengthening Europe in the global context but will also warn: the same
energy could also contribute to the weakening of European integration. If we intend to strengthen the positive elements of Hungarian nationalism making it an asset for European integration we have to keep in mind that the future of Europe depends on the full integration of Central Europe but the success of the integration is by no means decided in Central Europe only.”

About Prof. Pók

A headshot of Prof. Attila PokAttila Pók is senior researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (Hungary). He was (1996-2018) deputy director of the Institute of History at the Research Centre for Humanities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Secretary General (2007-2015) of the Hungarian Historical Association and Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University in New York (1998-2013). His publications and courses cover three major fields: 19th-20th century European political and intellectual history, history of modern European historiography with special regard to political uses of history and theory and the methodology of history writing. His works in English include: A Selected Bibliography of Modern Historiography (Bibliographies & Indexes in World History, Number 24, Greenwood Press, New York Westport, Connecticut-London, 1992); The Politics of Hatred in the Middle of Europe. Scapegoating in Twentieth Century Hungary: History and Historiography (Savaria Books on Politics, Culture and Society. Savaria University Press, Szombathely, 2009); volume co-edited with Randolph L. Braham: The Hungarian Holocaust after Fifty Years (Columbia University Press, New York, 1997); volume co-edited with Stuart Macintyre and Juan Maiguashca: The Oxford History of Historical Writing (Vol. 4. Oxford University Press, 2011). Remembering and Forgetting Communism in Hungary. Studies on Collective Memory and Memory Politics in Context. Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (iASK) and The
Institute of History, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Kőszeg-Budapest, 2017.

You can find out more about Attila at his profile on the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg’s website.