Highlights of Hungarian Literature, Cinema, and Art

Highlights of Hungarian Literature, Cinema, and Art

The course fee for 2-week courses - that includes tuition fee, accommodation (student residence halls with shared rooms 2-3/ room), meals (breakfast and lunch), local transport and the cost of the leisure time programs - is 750 EUR. All applicants are required to pay 100 EUR (out of this 750) as registration fee within 10 days of submitting their application. The registration fee is non-refundable.

Credits: 6 EC
Our course offers ECTS points, which may be accepted for credit transfer by the participants' home universities. Those who wish to obtain these credits should inquire about the possible transfer at their home institution prior to their enrollment. The International Strategy Office will send a transcript to those who have fulfilled all the necessary course requirements and request one.

Venue: ELTE Faculty of Humanities, (Trefort Campus), 1088 Budapest, Múzeum körút 4/A, Building A, Room: 150, subground floor

Venue on the last 3 days will be different, it'll be the same building, just a different room: ELTE Faculty of Humanities, (Trefort Campus), 1088 Budapest, Múzeum körút 4/A, Building A, Room 34

Opening Ceremony venue: ELTE Faculty of Humanities, (Trefort Campus), 1088 Budapest, Múzeum körút 4/A, Building A, Faculty Council Room, ground floor


For students who do not need a visa to travel to Hungary: https://www.elte.hu/en/highlights-bsu2023

For students who need a visa to travel to Hungary: https://www.elte.hu/en/highlights-bsu2023-visa

For students applying through DAAD scholarship - available only for students studying in Germany : https://www.elte.hu/en/highlights-bsu2023-daad

Course description

This course is designed to offer a comprehensive introduction to Hungarian culture through some representative literary and art works. Students will be acquainted with some of the most fascinating manifestations of Hungarian art and will be invited to look into the social and historical circumstances under which they were created. Participants of the course will read short stories and poems by renowned Hungarian authors in English translation and will watch and discuss the most influential and captivating movies of the past few decades. Representative works of Hungarian painting, photography, and music will also be integrated in the investigation, and some of the emblematic sites of Hungarian culture in Budapest will be visited to give a wide range of perspectives. While the course is designed to reveal art against the backdrop of historical and social processes, the discussions will also explore the internal world of art and the ways in which works are constructed and linked. Ethical and aesthetic questions raised by the works will be highlighted as well. Besides, placing the literary texts and films into relevant regional and European contexts will contribute to their deeper understanding. The joint examination of the autonomous yet interconnected art forms – literature, cinema, the fine arts, and music – and the combination of theory and practice will enable students to immerse in aspects of Hungarian culture and explore the culture of a Central European nation.  

The course is open to all who are studying or graduated in the humanities or social sciences, and also to anyone interested in the culture of the Central European region with a focus on its literature, film, and other arts.

Academic leaders:
János Kenyeres, associate professor
Katalin Szlukovényi, senior lecturer

Highlights of Hungarian Literature, Cinema, and Art - Schedule

  • Day 1 Monday – An Introduction to Hungarian History and Culture
    • Opening Ceremony: 10:00
    • Class 1 An Overview of Hungarian History and Culture
    • Class 2 Film: Mom and Other Loonies in the Family, directed by Ibolya Fekete
    • Class 3 Group discussion
  • Day 2 Tuesday – The First Half of the Twentieth Century
    • Class 1 Film: 1945, directed by Ferenc Török
    • Class 2 Group discussion
    • Class 3 Literature: “Seven Pennies” by Zsigmond Móricz, “A Holiday Swim” and “Omelette à Woburn” by Dezső Kosztolányi
  • Day 3 Wednesday – Life and Art after World War II
    • Class 1 Film: The Witness, directed by Péter Bacsó
    • Class 2 Group discussion
    • Class 3 Literature: “Love” by Tibor Déry, “Report on Five Mice” by Miklós Mészöly, “A Sentence about Tyranny” by Gyula Illyés
  • Day 4 Thursday – Recent and Contemporary Art and Literature
    • Class 1 Film: Hukkle, directed by György Pálfi
    • Class 2 Group discussion
    • Class 3 Literature: “The Miraculous Life of Prince Bluebeard” by Péter Esterházy, “Sworn Statement” by Imre Kertész
  • Day 5 Friday Art and Cultural Memory – Visiting Sights
    • Class 1 Visiting the Hungarian National Museum
    • Class 2 Visiting the Hungarian National Museum (cont.)
    • Class 3 Walk to Szabadság Square
  • Day 6  Saturday
    • Weekend program
  • Day 7 Sunday
    • Weekend program
  • Day 8 Monday – Hungarian Literature and Folk Music
    • Class 1 Introduction 2: A Brief Survey of Major Themes and Genres in Hungarian Culture
    • Class 2 Film: Sing by Kristóf Deák & discussion of the film
    • Class 3 “Barbárok” by Zsigmond Móricz
  • Day 9 Tuesday – Jewish Culture in Hungary
    • Class 1 Film: Son of Saul directed by László Nemes
    • Class 2 One-minute stories by István Örkény
    • Class 3 Walk to the Dohány Street Synagogue
  • Day 10 Wednesday – Female Points of View in Hungarian Culture
    • Class 1 Film: Diary for my Children directed by Márta Mészáros
    • Class 2 Discussion of the film & poems by Ágnes Nemes Nagy
    • Class 3 Short stories from Pixel by Krisztina Tóth
  • Day 11 Thursday – Minorities in the Carpathian Basin
    • Class 1 Film: The Outpost directed by Péter Gothár
    • Class 2 Discussion of the film & poems by Győző Ferencz
    • Class 3 Short stories by Ádám Bodor
  • Day 12 Friday – After the Change of the Regime in 1989
    • Class 1 Film: Kontroll directed by Nimród Antal
    • Class 2 Discussion of the film & poems by Anna Szabó T.
    • Class 3 Walk to the Petőfi Museum of Literature
  • Day 13 Saturday
    • Weekend program
  • Day 14 Sunday
    • Weekend program

Course requirements & evaluation

  • Reading set texts for the class (provided online)
  • Active participation in class discussions
  • Short oral presentation(s) on topics chosen from the reading list