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Open Letter

Against the Ban of Gender Studies Programs in Hungary

Dear Minister of Education,

We have been notified about the Hungarian government’s proposed law to abolish the accredited MA program in gender studies in Hungary. According to The Hungarian Journal, “the part of the amendment which concerns gender studies provides no explanation whatsoever. Two universities are concerned: Hungary’s biggest state-funded university ELTE, and the Central European University. If the amendment becomes official, it will mean that nobody can attend gender studies courses in Hungary and get a degree in the subject.”

As directors and professors of gender studies masters and study programmes in various European states and worldwide, we would like to express our deep concern and protest this proposal. We also want to show our solidarity with our Hungarian colleagues. Gender studies are well established as a scientific discipline and Hungary enjoys an excellent reputation in the field. This discipline, which is taught in the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world, has significantly contributed to the advancement of science and the improvement of society. Perspectives from gender studies on questions of human wellbeing, equality, identity, difference, and diversity today are also recognized within many other scientific disciplines, from medicine, law, political sciences, economics, sociology to cultural, literary studies and history. Furthermore, gender studies embraces a plurality of theoretical perspectives and methodologies that cannot be reduced to one single framework or paradigm. Therefore, research, studies and graduates with the skills and expertise to tackle both global, but also specific local challenges relating to societal progress, rights and dignity remain important for future generations. This field is both intellectually and politically crucial, across Europe and within Hungary.

This measure also sets a dangerous precedent for state intervention in all other university courses. By denying to faculty and administrators the academic freedom that is the guarantee of the autonomy of higher education, the Hungarian government puts itself outside the community of democratic nations.

We call therefore upon the Minister of Education to refuse this amendment. We also call upon the European Union, of which Hungary is a member nation, to condemn this action as a violation of its principles. And we call upon academic institutions in our own countries to join our protest.

Best regards,

1.    Sanjam Ahluwalia (Northern Arizona University), Women’s and Gender Studies, United States of America
2.    Nadje Al-Ali (SOAS University of London), Master Programme in Gender Studies & MPhil/PhD in Gender Studies, Centre for Gender Studies, United Kingdom
3.    Gill Allwood (Nottingham Trent University), PhDs in Arts and Humanities, United Kingdom
4.    Fanny Ambjörnsson (Stockolm University), Bachelor Program, Master Program and PhD Program in Gender Studies, Sweden
5.    Karuppannan Annapuranam (Institute for Social and Economic Change), Gender Studies, India
6.    Milica Antic Gaber (University of Ljubljana), Doctoral Programme of Gender studies at the Faculty of Arts, Slovenia
7.    Ionela Baluta (University of Bucharest), Master în Ştiinţe Politice, Specializarea Ştiinţe Politice - Politicile egalităţii de şanse în context românesc şi european, Romania
8.    Lorraine Bayard de Volo (University of Colorado Boulder), Women & Gender Studies, United States of America
9.    Adriana Bebiano (University of Coimbra), PhD in Feminist Studies, Portugal
10.    Merike Blofield (University of Miami), Women’s and Gender Studies, United States of America
11.    Saskia Bonjour (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Bachelor Minor Gender & Sexuality, The Netherlands
12.    Flavia do Bonsucesso Teixeira (Federal University of Uberlandia), PhD Program in Public and Collective Health, Brazil
13.    Adriana Boria (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Doctorado en Género, Argentina
14.    Karen Boyle (University of Strathclyde), Msc Applied Gender Studies, United Kingdom
15.    Sarah Bracke & Marie-Louise Janssen (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Master of Science in Sociology, Gender, Sexuality, and Society (track), The Netherlands
16.    Melanie Elyse Brewster (Columbia University), Sexuality, Women, and Gender Program at Teachers College, United States of America
17.    Jude Brown (University of Cambridge), MPhil in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies & PhD Program in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies, United Kingdom
18.    Rosemarie Buikema (Utrecht University), Graduate Gender Programme, The Netherlands
19.    Rebeca Bussinger (Federal University of Espirito Santo), PhD Program in Psychology, Brazil
20.    Wendy Cadge (Brandeis University), Women’s & Gender Studies Program, United States of America
21.    Marina Calloni (University of Milano-Bicocca), EDV Italy Project, Italy
22.    Mary Anne Case (University of Chicago), Workshop on Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender, Law School, United States of America
23.    Sébastien Chauvin & Eléonore Lépinard (Université de Lausanne), Master en Sciences Sociales, Switzerland
24.    Sara Cohen Shabot (University of Haifa), Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Program, Israel
25.    Christa Craven (College of Wooster), Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, United States of America
26.    Kent Elizabeth Davis-Packard (Johns Hopkins University),  SAIS Women Lead Curricular Program, United States of America
27.    Francine Descarries (Université du Québec à Montréal), Réseau québécois en études féministes, Canada
28.    Juan F. Díaz Morales (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Máster en Estudios de Género, Spain
29.    Alessia Donà and Barbara Poggio (University of Trento), Centre of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Italy
30.    Lisa Downing (University of Birmingham), PhD & MRes in Sexuality and Gender Studies, United Kingdom
31.    Laura Lee Downs (European University Institute), EUI Gender Project, Italy
32.    Pascale Dufour (Université de Montréal), Mineure en études féministes des genres et des sexualités, Canada
33.    Daša Duhaček (University of Belgrade), Gender Studies Program, Center for Gender and Politics, Serbia
34.    Silvia Elizalde, Carolina Spataro & Carolina Justo von Lurzer (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Programa de Actualización en Comunicación. Géneros y Sexualidades, Argentina
35.    Yasmine Ergas (Columbia University), Gender & Public Policy Specialization, School of International & Public Affairs, United States of America
36.    Éric Fassin & Nadia Setti (Université Paris 8-Vincennes-Saint-Denis), Département d’études de genre, France
37.    Laura Frader (Northeastern University), Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, United States of America
38.    Katherine Franke (Columbia University), JD, MA and PhD programs, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, United States of America
39.    Susan Freeman (Western Michigan University), Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, United States of America
40.    Jennifer Freeman Marshall (College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University),Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, United States of America
41.    Nathalie Frogneux (Université catholique de Louvain), Mineure en Etudes de Genre, Belgium
42.    Linda Garber (Santa Clara University), Women’s and Gender Studies Department, United States of America
43.    Marie-Dominique Garnier (Université Paris 8-Vincennes-Saint-Denis), Doctorat d’études de genre, France
44.    Sabine Grenz (Universität Wien), Master in Gender Studies, Austria
45.    Inderpal Grewal (Yale University), Program in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, United States of America
46.    Gabriele Griffin (Uppsala University), Centre for Gender Research, Sweden
47.    Tamar Hager (Tel Hai College), Gender Studies Program, Israel
48.    Daphna Hacker (Tel Aviv University), Women and Gender Studies Program, Israel
49.    Jack Halberstam (Columbia University), Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, United States of America
50.    Nahema Hanafi (Université d’Angers), Master Etudes sur le Genre des Universités d’Angers, de Brest, du Mans, de Nantes et de Rennes 2, France
51.    Haldis Haukanes (University of Bergen), Master Global Development Theory and Practice, Specialisation in Gender in Global Development, Norway
52.    Clare Hemmings (London School of Economics and Political Science), Gender Studies, United Kingdom
53.    Jean-Philippe Imbert (Dublin City University), Masters of Arts in Sexuality Studies, Ireland
54.    Susan V. Iverson (Manhattanville College), Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, United States of America
55.    Katrien Jacobs (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Gender Studies Programme, Hong Kong
56.    Gabriele Jähnert (Humboldt-Universität), Bachelor of Arts (BA) Geschlechterstudien/Gender Studies & Master of Arts (MA) Geschlechterstudien/Gender Studies, Center for transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Germany
57.    Lena Karlsson (Lund University), Gender Studies Department, Sweden
58.    Mary Celeste Kearney (University of Notre Dame), Gender Studies Program, United States of America
59.    Catherine Lawless (Trinity College Dublin), Taught M.Phil. in Gender and Women’s Studies, Ireland
60.    April Lidinsky (Indiana University South Bend), Women’s and Gender Studies Program, United States of America
61.    Katerina Liskova (Masaryk University), Gender Studies Program, Department of Sociology, Czech Republic
62.    Mauricio List Reyes (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla), Maestría en Antropología Social, Linea de Sexualidad, Cuerpo y Género, Mexico
63.    Chia Longman (Universiteit Gent), Master Gender & Diversity, Belgium
64.    Denise Lynn (University of Southern Indiana), Gender Studies, United States of America
65.    Maria do Mar Pereira (University of Warwick), MA in Gender and International Development & PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies, United Kingdom
66.    Esteban Martinez-Garcia (Université libre de Bruxelles), Master en Sciences du Travail, Filière Genre et Inégalités, Belgium.
67.    Paula Sandrine Machado (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), PhD Program in Social and Institutional Psychology, Brazil
68.    Amana Matos (State University of Rio de Janeiro), PhD Program in Psychology, Brazil
69.    Sally McWilliams (Portland State University), Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, United States of America
70.    Maria Mesner (Universität Wien), Studienprogrammleiterin Gender Studies, Austria
71.    Marcos Mesquita (Federal University of Alagos), PhD Program in Psychology, Brazil
72.    Jacinthe Michaud (York University), School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Canada
73.    Liesbeth Minnaard (Leiden University), Minor Gender and Sexuality, The Netherlands
74.    Avigail Moor (Tel Hi College), Gender Studies, Israel
75.    Anne Mulhall (University College Dublin), Master Gender Studies (School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin) & Master Literature & Culture - Gender, Sexuality & Culture (School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing), Ireland
76.    Sally Munt (University of Sussex), PhD Program in Gender Studies/Humanities, United Kingdom
77.    Henrique Caetano Nardi (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), PhD Program in Social and Institutional Psychology, Brazil
78.    Laura C. Nelson (University of California, Berkeley), Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, United States of America
79.    Hélène Nicolas (Université Paris 8-Vincennes-Saint-Denis), Master d’Etudes de Genre, France
80.    Luciano Nosetto (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Doctoral Program in Social Sciences, Argentina
81.    Libora Oates-Indruchova (University of Graz), MA in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Austria
82.    Rachel O’Connell & Samuel Solomon (University of Sussex), Master in Sexual Dissidence, United Kingdom
83.    Vera Paiva (University of Sao Paulo), PhD Program in Social Psychology, Brazil
84.    Lorena Parini (Université de Genève), Master en etudes genre, Switzerland
85.    David Paternotte (Université libre de Bruxelles) & Tania Van Hemelrijck (Université catholique de Louvain), Master de specialisation en études de genre, Belgium
86.    Hélène Périvier (Sciences Po Paris), PRESAGE, Programme de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Savoirs sur le Genre, France
87.    Juliana Perucchi (Federal University of Juiz de Fora), PhD Program in Psychology, Brazil
88.    Deborah Philips (University of Brighton), Women’s Writing and Feminist Theory, United Kingdom
89.    Alison Phipps (Sussex University), Master in Gender Studies & Gender Studies PhD programmes, United Kingdom
90.    Valérie Piette (Université libre de Bruxelles), Certificat Genre, Sexualité & Société, Belgium
91.    Marco Aurélio Máximo Prado (Federal University of Minas Gerais), PhD Program Psychology, Brazil
92.    Elisabeth Prügl (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies), Gender Centre, Switzerland
93.    Mary Lou Rasmussen (Australian National University), MPhil Gender, Sexuality and Culture, Australia
94.    Emma L. E. Rees (University of Chester), Gender Studies MRes, United Kingdom
95.    Juliette Rennes & Matthieu Trachman (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), Master Genre, Politique et Sexualité, France
96.    Monika Rudaś-Grodzka (Polish Academy of Sciences), Gender Studies, Institute of Literary Research, Poland
97.    Katja Sabisch (Ruhr-University Bochum), Master Gender Studies, Women’s & Gender Research Network NRW, Germany
98.    Zdenka Šadl (University of Ljubljana), Doctoral Gender Studies Programme at Faculty of Social Sciences, Slovenia
99.    Kristen Schilt (University of Chicago), Gender and Sexuality Studies (BA & Graduate Certificate), United States of America
100.    Marianne Schmidbaur (Goethe University Frankfurt), BA Minor in Gender Studies, Germany
101.    Stacey Scriver, (National University of Ireland Galway), MA Gender,  Globalisation and Rights, Ireland
102.    Lynne Segal (Birbeck, University of London), Master Gender, Sexuality & Culture, United Kingdom
103.    Carisa R. Showden (University of Auckland), Gender Studies, New Zealand
104.    Vera Sokolova (Prague University), Gender Studies, Czech Republic
105.    Maria Juracy Toneli Filgueiras (Federal University of Santa Catarina), PhD Program in Psychology, Brazil
106.    Marco Antonio Torres (Federal University of Ouro Preto), PhD Program in Education, Brazil
107.    Aili Mari Tripp (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, United States of America
108.    Rivka Tuval-Mashiach (Bar Ilan University), Gender Graduate Program, Israel
109.    Marieke van den Brink (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Radboud Gender and Diversity Studies, The Netherlands
110.    Cristina Vega (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales), Department of Sociology and Gender Studies, Ecuador
111.    Tània Verge (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Minor in Gender Studies, Spain
112.    Luciana Vieira (Federal University of Pernambuco), PhD Program in Psychology, Brazil
113.    Paula-Irene Villa (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Minor Gender in Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, Germany
114.    Susanne Völker & Dirk Schulz (University of Cologne), Master Gender & Queer Studies, Germany
115.    Elisabeth Wesseling (Maastricht University), Centre for Gender and Diversity, The Netherlands
116.    Stephen Whittle (Manchester Metropolitan University), LLM European Equalities and Human Rights Law, United Kingdom
117.    Elizabeth A. Wood (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Women’s & Gender Studies, United States of America
118.    Bonnie Zare (Virginia Tech), Women’s and Gender Studies, United States of America
119.    Amalia Ziv (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), Gender Studies Program, Israel

David Paternotte (Université libre de Bruxelles), david.paternotte@ulb.ac.be
Chia Longman (Universiteit Gent), chia.longman@ugent.be