Budapest Crossroads (COLT 395w)

*Undergraduate applicants only, graduate students are not eligible*


Program Information

This course will allow you to get immersed in the vibrant urban space of Budapest. Through literature and film, social and cultural analyses, walks in the city, conversations with local students, artists, and academics, and other experiences in the city, together we will explore the issues that today form the backbone of social debate concerning democracy and citizenship in Hungary, and in the center of conversations around the globe, including the United States: the divide between liberal and illiberal visions of governance, the uses of history and politics of memory (including the legacies of imperialism, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and state socialism), the consequences of European Union membership and the rise of neoliberal authoritarianism, as well as lessons about the recurring appearance of censorship, surveillance, and propaganda. We will learn about efforts at reclaiming the city space for people without secure housing, the Roma, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and other marginalized groups; and the postsocialist transformation of the cultural industries with a special attention to media entertainment and runaway Hollywood production industries. In every encounter, whether a formal lecture, a city walk, or a spontaneous observation, we will put in comparison and evaluate the global implications of the recent transformations of economic, political, and cultural life familiar to the United States. These include the vast income gap, changes in the state’s role, the advance of nativist nationalism, the datafication of life, fake news, the resonances of the #metoo and Black Lives Matter movements in Eastern Europe and efforts at establishing Diversity and inclusion infrastructures across various industries.

Contact Information

Faculty Director: Antonia Szabari & Aniko Imre


Department Administrator: Bertha Arce