Hungarian Studies Newsletter, 1980 (8. évfolyam, 23-26. szám)

1980 / 23-24. szám

\tt / VJ I AMGRICAN HUNGARIAN FOUNDATION HUNGARIAN STUDIES NEWSLETTER A.C.L.S. and H.A.S. FORM JOINT COMMISSION The American Council of Learned Societies and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences formed a joint commission to promote studies in the humanities and humanistic aspects of the social sciences (see HSN no. 18, p. 6). The commission held its first meeting in September 1979 to plan joint activities to be pursued by scholars from both sides. Reports were made on past and current activities in the several academic fields represented. The two sides agreed to confine their recommendations to projects involving only scholars of the U.S. and Hungary, though occasional involvement of scholars of a third country were not ruled out. The following research programs and colloquia were agreed upon: (a) COMPARATIVE LITERATURE: the reception of American literature in Hungary since 1945: a quantitative and qualitative approach; a joint conference and publication is planned in new methodological approaches to comparative literature; and on interdisciplinary aspects of comparative literature. A collaborative volume on more specific aspects of Hungarian-American literary relations is at the discussion stage. (b) ETHNOGRAPHY AND FOLKLORE: a joint project is planned on the ethnography and folklore of a Hungarian community in North America. Colloquia will include a small conference with historians at Indiana U. in September 1980, and a second conference in Budapest in 1982. (c) HISTORY: a joint project in ethnicity, social class and cultural change in Hungary and the U.S., a study in com­parative history. A small meeting in New York in January 1980 and a conference in 1982 are included. (d) LINGUISTICS: a small symposium is to be held in Hungary in 1981 to coordinate terminology and discuss current state of the art. Another project concerns psycho­linguistics, the acquisition of Hungarian by Gypsy children. (e) SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: a joint project in decision­making processes, and another on perceptions and inter­pretation of social interaction in literature, theater and film are planned. Colloquia are projected for the Spring of 1980 and 1982. The commission took note of the extensive collaboration which has taken place between Hungarian and American scholars in thefield of semiotics and invites furtherproposals to be submitted through the section on ethnography and folklore. No. 23-24, Spring, 1980, Hungarian Studies Newsletter BOOKS Sakmyster, Thomas L. HUNGARY, THE GREAT POWERS AND THE DANUBIAN CRISIS 1936-1939. U of Georgia Press, Athens, GA 30602, 1980. 284 pages, maps, biblio. $20.00 cloth. The author has contributed an important volume to Central European history, focusing on the crucial years immediately preceding World War II. He points out that most of Hungary’s leaders of the period were “conservatives, whose social and political attitudes had been formed in the decades before World War I. In the late 1930s they were confronted with a range of foreign and domestic problems that they were, by temperament and experience, ill prepared to solve.” However, their reluctance to pursue a more aggressive policy avoided taking risks which were contrary to national interest in the minds of the majority. The author found that ‘‘the events of 1936-39 demonstrated that Hungary’s national interest, as defined by her conservative leadership, simply did not coincide with those of any of the great powers. A review of the policies of the great powers in this period demonstrates that, for the most part, those powers whose assistance Budapest would have welcomed showed scant interest in Danubian Europe, or pu rsued a policy that seemed inimical to certain cherished Hungarian beliefs or in­stitutions; whereas those powers that did proffer support were typically regarded by Hungary’s leaders as undesirable allies.” He concludes in observing that it is difficult "to imagine some other Hungarian foreign policy in the Danu­bian crisis that would have better served Hungarian and European interests, and that Hungarian statesmen could reasonably have been expected to pursue. Moreover, when one takes into account the cynicism and indecisiveness of the British in thelate1930s, thepusillamityof theFrench.and the militant opportunism of the Poles, the rather cautious, restrained policies of Kalman Kanya and his colleagues would seem, on the whole, to compare favorably.” The author is assoc, prof, of history at the U. of Cincinnati. (Continued on Page 2) Representing the ACLS on the commission are Morton Deutsch, prof, of psychology, Teachers Coll., Columbia U.; Alan Dundes, prof, of anthropology, U. of California, Berkeley; Robert M. Lumiansky, president of ACLS; Henry Remak, prof, of comp, literature, Indiana U.; Carl Schorske, prof, of history, Princeton U.; and G. Richard Tucker, di­rector, Center for Applied Linguistics. Representing the HAS are Bela Koepeczi, deputy secretary general of HAS; Academician György Rénki, deputy director, Institute of History, HAS; Tibor Bodrogi, director, Research Group in Ethnography, HAS; Academician Péter Hajdú, director, Institute of Linguistics, HAS; and Ferenc Pataki, director, Institute of Psychology, HAS.