Transylvanianism, Nationalism, Folklore: The Academic Career of Olga Nagy in the Light of her Posthumous Book, Vallomások (2010)


  • Kata Zsófia Vincze Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest



Transylvanianism, Romanian feminism, Hungarian minority in Romania, Hungarian folklore in Romania, rural women


The volume Vallomások [‘Testimony’], published posthumously in 2010, is the folklorist Olga Nagy’s (1921-2006) last book. In this paper I will analyze Nagy’s academic significance in the light of her own last self reflection presented in Vallomások. This volume provides an exciting overview of the internal dynamics of East-Central European culture and interethnic relations. While I examine Nagy’s life work, especially her academic work on rural women and her new ideas regarding the alive folklore, I will also reflect on the ideology of so called Transylvanianism that constitutes the framework of many Hungarian writings from Romania. Transylvanianism is a complex ideology rooted in the Hungarian national movement of the nineteenth century, one that later turned into a complex manifestation of the Hungarian minorities in Romania through literature, culture, politics and self-definition. Elaborated by writers, historians and journalists, Transylvanianism after 1918—and even more vehemently after 1947—aimed to preserve and reinforce Hungarian national pride and identity in the region through cultural activities, education and political action.

Author Biography

Kata Zsófia Vincze, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest






Cluster Articles: Teaching and Translating Hungarian Language and Culture