Women Authors with/without Gender Studies: the Gendered Regimes of Authority in Hungarian Literary Criticism Today


  • Györgyi Horváth Balassi Institute and ELTE




gender studies, authority, Hungarian literary criticism, modernity, women authors


While in contemporary Hungarian literature women authors are constantly emerging and make themselves much more visible than ever before, the gender bias underlying literary evaluations seem to remain nearly intact. In her study Györgyi Horváth discusses three aspects of the gendered regimes of authority in order to give deeper insights into how gender bias re-produces within the Hungarian context. First, she focuses on lists of literary prize winners and critical rankings of published works (showing how many women writers are present on such lists in absolute numbers and in what percentages, and how their numbers have changed over time). Secondly, she explores the practice of critique writing itself, by analyzing the book review pages in two literary journals between 2007 and 2009 focusing on cases when the issue of “gender” itself comes up in the rhetoric of critics trying to underpin their aesthetic judgments on a given work. And finally, she examines briefly the attitude of contemporary women writers towards Gender Studies. Horváth concludes that Gender Studies in Hungary has not contributed significantly to increasing the prestige of contemporary women writers, most of whom, in turn, do not want to be involved with Gender Studies or feminism at all. She also points out that at present in Hungary there is a general blindness in understanding how gender/power relations permeate aesthetic judgments.

Author Biography

Györgyi Horváth, Balassi Institute and ELTE

Györgyi Horváth (1974, Pécs) is literary historian, critic, and translator of literary theory. After graduating in Linguistics & Literature (MA) and Italian Studies (MA) from Szeged University, Aesthetics (MA) from Pécs University, and Doctoral Support Program in Gender from CEU, Budapest, she completed a doctorate on “The Identity-Forming Function of the Historical Narrative in American Feminist Literary Criticism” in 2006, Pécs University. Up to know she has worked in several positions: journalist, translator, World Literature Series editor, free-lance literary critic, university lecturer, and post-doc researcher. Most recently she taught Gender Studies at the Department of Comparative Literature and Culture in Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest, and Hungarian literature to international students in Balassi Institute, Budapest. She is the author of A hiányzó B (literary essays; Budapest: Anonymus, 2005), Nőidő (monograph on feminist historiography; Budapest: Kijárat, 2007), co-editor of Hide and Seek. Contemporary Hungarian Writing (an English-language anthology of Hungarian literature today; Budapest: JAK, 2004), and Kortárs Irodalmi Olvasókönyv (an anthology of contemporary Hungarian literature; BBI: Budapest, 2005). Her special field of research includes 20th and 21st century Hungarian literature, literary modernity, identity and literature, gender studies, poststructuralism.






Gender Cluster - Articles