on the mini-conference of the Hungarian Canadianists
organised between 27-28 September 2001
On 27-28 September 2001 the Institute of English and American Studies and the Canadian Studies Centre of the University of Debrecen organised a mini-conference on "The Future of Canadian Studies in Hungary" whose primary purpose was to inform Mr. Yon Turcotte, the new Cultural Attaché of the Canadian Embassy in Budapest about the achievements and future plans of Canadian Studies in Hungary.
The venue of the conference was Hotel Nagyerdő in Debrecen and the event was generously sponsored by the Canadian partner.
The participants of the conference were as follows:
Abádi Nagy, Zoltán (Debrecen)
Fekete, Gyöngyi (Debrecen)
Halmi, Gábor (Debrecen)
Kádár, Judit (Eger)
Kenyeres, János (Budapest)
Kniezsa, Veronika (Budapest)
Kovács, Fruzsina (Debrecen)
Kürtösi, Katalin (Szeged)
Lantos, Enikő (Canadian Embassy)
Marosvári, Mária (Debrecen)
Marthy, Barna (Debrecen)
Molnár, István János (Miskolc-Budapest)
Molnár, Judit (Debrecen)
Morgan, Alíz (Budapest)
Pődör, Dóra (Budapest)
Rodé, Eszter (Canadian Embassy)
Simonffy, Zsuzsa (Pécs)
Szaffkó, Péter (Debrecen)
Tóth, András (Budapest)
Vígh, Árpád (Pécs)
Virágos, Zsolt (Debrecen)
Turcotte, Yvon (Canadian Embassy)
As for the future the participants discussed the following three topics in detail:
1. The Association of Central European Canadianists: The participants agreed that they would not support the formation in Bucharest this October of a formal and legally registered association because of the legal, financial and administrative problems involved in the matter.
Instead, they proposed the setting up of a Central European Research Centre headed by Don Sparling, which would act as a formal institution not only for individual research but for the coordination of applications, cooperation, joint projects as well as seminars for the member states of the region.
In case the planned association came to existence in Bucharest, the participants agreed that Hungary should join it and asked those attending the Bucharest conference to stick to the establishment of adequate representation of the relevant countries in the board of the association. This means that the participants will not support the idea of one country being represented by one person but suggest that representation should be based on the number of established Canadian Studies programs and/or research centres at universities in the respective countries.
2. Cooperation of the Hungarian Canadianists: The participants agreed that in the future there will be a need for a closer cooperation, mutual information and regular meetings of the Hungarian Canadianists. Accordingly, the participants expressed their intention to consider their community as an informal professional society of the Hungarian Canadianists. This informal society does not wish to operate within a legally registered form but rather emphasise the importance of actual work and will try to find the possible ways of cooperation. In order to achieve that Péter Szaffkó undertakes to act as a coordinator to facilitate the regular flow of information and realisation of plans and suggestions among the members by establishing an electronic mail connection.
If in the future the number of the Hungarian Canadianists of this informal society should grow considerably, the participants will consider the formation of a Hungarian professional organisation.
3. International Conference for Canadianists in Debrecen in 2002: The Institute of English and American Studies and the Canadian Studies Centre of the University of Debrecen intends to organise a conference on "Canada in the European Mind" between 24-27 October 2002 in Debrecen, expecting 200-250 participants from Hungary, Europe and Canada. If the conference proves to be successful, Debrecen is willing to regularly (every 2-3 years) organise a similar event which would certainly contribute to the further strengthening of Canadian Studies in Hungary and Central Europe as well as to this region becoming part of the international professional community of Canadian scholarship. The participants unanimously supported the idea of such a conference which would be supplemented with the international Graduate Seminar for postgraduate students dealing with Canada.
30 September 2001
This memorandum has been compiled by
Péter Szaffkó (email@example.com)