Gender Studies Research Group (TNT)
The Gender Studies Research Group at the Department of English, Institute of English & American Studies, University of Szeged is responsible for the postgraduate program “Gender Through Literatures and Cultures in English” as one of the three tracks that students admitted to the MA in English Studies degree must choose for their specialization. The program was launched in September 2009. To our professional and personal pride, it is the first (and yet the only) one of its kind in the educational program of the Hungarian University Faculties of Humanities. The Unit was also in charge of the Gender Studies Stream called GLASS (Gender in Language And Literature Specialization Stream) in the old, outgoing five-year MA program (last graduates in 2010). GLASS served as the foundation for our new Bologna-type MA degree program. For the history of teaching Gender Studies in the Department discussed in the context of the changes in the Hungarian higher education policy after the system change in 1989 please read the research article by Sarolta Marinovich, the founding convener of the GLASS program and Ezsébet Barát, convener of the new MA Track, “Is There a space for Teaching gender studies in Hungarian Higher education?” in Teaching Gender Studies in Hungary, edited by Pető Andrea, 13-21 (Budapest: Ministry of Youth, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity, 2006). The Faculty members of the Gender Studies Research Group are also involved in supervising research in the British & American Lit/Cultures and Applied Linguistics PhD Programs run by the IEAS.
In addition to the graduate level educational activities, the Research Group serves as an organizational base for the annual conference Language, Ideology, Media: Gender/Sexuality Relations in Hungary. The conference was first launched in September 2005. The interdisciplinary and critical approach to each year’s particular theme has made it possible for the conference to emerge and function as the only regular research forum for feminist scholarship concerned with Hungarian practices of gender and sexuality. A selection of the conference papers is published each year in the Spring issue of the TNTeF: Interdisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies. The Unit has also applied for membership in ATHENA4, the Advanced Thematic Network in European Gender and Women’s Studies.
Our individual research seek to bring together and integrate from a critical theoretical perspective scholarship in gender studies, queer studies and women studies from a wide range of disciplines predominantly in the field of humanities and also in social sciences. We are committed to the production of socially relevant knowledge on differential collectives of women’s life and its representations in literature and popular culture. We challenge dominant patterns of knowledge production and global hierarchies when revisiting various theoretical concepts and debates at the intersection of disciplinary boundaries. Our aim is to redefine and argue for the relevance of a feminist perspective and feminist cultural politics against the emerging popular and academic discourses of post-feminism prevalent both in the global context of late capitalism in the USA, UK and Ireland as well as in the local contexts of transitions in Hungary and Eastern Europe since 1989.