Letter Concerning Gender Studies in Hungary

Published August 30, 2018

Dear Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Minister of Human Capacities Dr Miklós Kásler,

As professional organizations representing thousands of scholars of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies around the world, we are writing to express our alarm at legislation that would eliminate and effectively ban gender studies as a field of intellectual inquiry at Hungarian universities. The proposed law denying both financing and accreditation to programs in gender studies at the Central European University and Eötvös Loránd University represents a disavowal of academic freedom and a dangerous closing off of vitally important social scientific and humanistic research. The law is also an affront to gender studies researchers and teachers in every corner of the globe, including Hungary.

The study of gender and sexuality represents a critical area of legitimate research, and passage of the proposed law to remove gender studies from the Hungarian academy would violate the basic tenets of academic freedom that are the foundation of education in a democracy. We call upon you to consider the global reputation of Hungarian higher education and the social repercussions of such a regressive law. We urge you to reject the proposed legislation and to continue your Ministry’s support of the two reputable and accredited Masters programs in gender studies currently under threat, along with their respected scholars and students. 

Sincerely,

Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS)
Society for the Promotion of LGBTQ Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (Q*ASEEES)

cc:  European University Association
       European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics