Get to Know the American Hungarian Educators Association

The Association provides opportunities for those interested in Hungarian studies and Hungarian heritage.

The American Hungarian Educators Association (AHEA), founded in 1974, is a non-profit academic and scholarly organization devoted to the teaching and dissemination of Hungarian culture — history, folklore, literature, language, fine arts, music and scientific achievements.  It seeks to reach the broader American and international public and thus chose English as its basic language of communication.  

The Association provides opportunities for those interested in Hungarian studies and Hungarian heritage. AHEA actively supports ethnic and multicultural programs to broaden awareness, within the United States, of Hungarian contributions to civilization. Furthermore, the Association makes efforts for deepening the appreciation for Hungarian culture among Americans of Hungarian origin encouraging the maintenance of the Hungarian language and Hungarian studies in English.

Programs

Annual Conferences at North American universities have provided for an exchange of ideas and presentation of topics on Hungarian culture in the broadest sense for over forty years.  Since 2000 the conference is held in the Carpathian basin every fifth year: Budapest (2000, 2005), Szeged (2010), and Kolozsvár in 2015.  These events provide a scholarly forum and opportunity for workshops and discussion groups devoted to topics of special interest.  They also foster a community of scholars devoted to Hungarian studies across national and continental divides.

Publications

The American Hungarian Educator is the newsletter of the Association. It reports on the conference and the annual meeting and carries announcements about books, programs, scholarships and general news. Supplemented by an e-mail list, member are alerted to up-to-the minute information on scholarships and fellowships in Hungarian and East/Central European studies, programs in Hungary and elsewhere of interest to those in Hungarian studies, including folklore and folk music, conferences and publication opportunities, etc. The E-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association (renamed Hungarian Cultural Studies; E-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association as of the 2014 issue) publishes peer reviewed  articles of interest to  Hungarian Studies, including selected papers from the yearly conferences. Started Iin 2008, a grant from the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation has made it possible from a journal available on the web via our home page or the Library of Congress catalog, to one that is fully indexed and searchable internet journal which has credibility as a scholarly publication.  The website (ahea.net) publishes information on upcoming conferences, including call for papers, abstracts of papers, and programs.

Activities

The AHEA has been awarding scholarships to students in Transylvania (originally also in Slovakia) of up t $1000.00.  The grants go to ethnic Hungarian students to assist them in attending a university, or at one of the private Hungarian universities to help them complete their studies.  The requirement is a commitment  to the Hungarian community;  majors in any area are accepted.  The AHEA organizes the Hungarian Picnic for students and young professionals in the Washington, DC area; the Homecoming Forum (with the Hungarian Embassy and the HungarianAmerica Foundation): a forum for exchange of ideas and the problems and questions of Hungarians studying and working in the US. AHEA also supports sessions at professional organizations on Hungarian topics, notably the Modern Language Association where language, linguistics and literature are the focus.. They were also liaisons for the Smithsonian Institution 1976 Festival of American Folklife and the Hungarian participants – one of only two Eastern European country able to participate because local support was forthcoming.  The Association also supports the work of the American Hungarian Folklore Centrum which reaches  out to the larger American community through music and dance programs.  In 1997 co-spondored with the European Division of the Library of Congress and the Library’s LCPA Hungarian Language Table a day-long symposium on 1100 years of Hungarrian statehood with distinguished speakers from American universities.

The AHEA has received the American Hungarian Foundation’s Abraham Lincoln Award in 2013.  Executive Director Enikő Molnár Basa received the Gold Medal of the President of the Republic of Hungary in 1997 for the her activities on behalf of better relations between American Hungarians and Hungary.

Governance

The Executive Board of the Association is made up of the Officers, the Advisory Board, the immediate Past President, and the Executive Director.

Officers 2012-2014

President: Julia Bock, Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, New York.
Vice-President: Judith Olson, American Hungarian Folklore Center, New Jersey,
Secretary: Katalin Vörös, University of California, Berkeley.
Treasurer: Enikő M. Basa, Library of Congress.

Special Fora and Conferences

Symposium on Transylvania, Kent State University, 1979
Conference on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Kent State University, 1981
Conference on the Culture of Hungarians in the USA, Montclair State University, 1982
Hungary in the 1990’s: New Possibilities in a New Context, University of Maryland, 1993