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As professional organizations representing thousands of scholars of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies around the world, we are writing to express our alarm at legislation that would eliminate and effectively ban gender studies as a field of intellectual inquiry at Hungarian universities. The proposed law denying both financing and accreditation to programs in gender studies at the Central European University and Eötvös Loránd University represents a disavowal of academic freedom and a dangerous closing off of vitally important social scientific and humanistic research. The law is also an affront to gender studies researchers and teachers in every corner of the globe, including Hungary.
The study of gender and sexuality represents a critical area of legitimate research, and passage of the proposed law to remove gender studies from the Hungarian academy would violate the basic tenets of academic freedom that are the foundation of education in a democracy. We call upon you to consider the global reputation of Hungarian higher education and the social repercussions of such a regressive law. We urge you to reject the proposed legislation and to continue your Ministry’s support of the two reputable and accredited Masters programs in gender studies currently under threat, along with their respected scholars and students.
Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS)
Society for the Promotion of LGBTQ Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (Q*ASEEES)
cc: European University Association, European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics
As an organization that promotes research on women and other marginalized groups in Russia, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, AWSS supports work that will create a more equitable and humane world through our scholarship, teaching, service, and ways of life. We are concerned about the hostile rhetoric and hate crimes, among other things, that have followed the recent election. We pledge to promote safe and productive learning environments for all marginalized groups, including women.
Furthermore, we will neither tolerate nor support any form of expression that by design or default inflicts harm upon our communities. Nor will we allow for people made vulnerable by the enduring legacy of racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, class inequality, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, or any intersection of these subordinating processes to be ridiculed, shamed, or otherwise harmed by the outcome of this election, which has emboldened individuals and groups to incite violence through words or actions.
We stand in solidarity with our students and colleagues in opposition to any system of subordination and promise to struggle against threats to our values of inclusion, tolerance, respect, and equality.
We will not be silent.
We will not be silenced.
AWSS Board members
22 November 2016