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Intellect and Power Amid Populism and Pandemic

Online Event
CEU Budapest
Saturday, October 10, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

International Event Organized in Solidarity with the Theater and Film Arts School Students in Budapest

While anti-intellectual forces replace or dismiss science and broadly knowledge in many places around the globe, occupied spaces like the Theater and Film Arts University in Budapest open new critical areas for claims of autonomy, set new examples of resistance against state power and likely give rise to countercultures that oppose dominant complex societal structures. As a tribute to David Graeber’s intellectual activism or activist intellectualism of our century, this solidarity event will engage with some of the most pressing issues concerning Central Europe, as well as the world as a whole.  What are the claims of academic autonomy? What is the role of solidarity? Will the pandemic affect populism and if so, will it weaken it or will it strengthen it? If division and fear are the main political weapons of populism, how may we exit this vicious circle and enter a virtuous one? These are only some of the questions addressed on this occasion, while the aim of joining together is to create a horizontally inclusive and non-hierarchical space for discussion, promoting the free engagement of ideas, between academics, artists and activist students and alumni as well as resigning faculty of the university. Joining in a declared display of solidarity with the students of the presently occupied university will lead - we may hope - to a better understanding of our past, present and future.

Moderators:  Georgiana Turculet & Nanna Taszarek Holm & Kitti Baracsi


14.00 - 14.10   Georgiana Turculet & Nanna Taszarek Holm & Kitti Baracsi: Welcoming Note

14.10 - 14.40   Ildikó Enyedi (former SZFE, Hungary) in dialog with András Bozóki (CEU, Austria) - Opening Speech: On the Meaning of Faculty Resignation and Students’ Occupation

14.40 - 14.50   Michael Ignatieff (CEU Rector and President, Austria) - Solidarity Statement

14.50 – 15.00   Éva Fodor (CEU Democracy Institute Co-Director, Budapest) - Solidarity Statement

15.00 – 15.05   Peter Molnar (European and Hungarian European Champion Slam Poetry Performer, Budapest) – 3 Minutes and 15 seconds on SzFE Students Occupation

15.05- 15.15 BREAK

Tribute to David Graeber’s Intellectual Activism

Moderator & Chair: Kitti Baracsi

15.15 - 15.30   Enzo Rossi (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands): Speech A Tribute to David Graeber’s Thought on Occupation and Autonomy

15.30 - 15.45 Miklos Sukosd (Copenhagen University, Denmark): On the Strategy of Solidarity against Authoritarian Populism

15.45 - 16.00 Judit Gárdos & Márton Zászkaliczky (former Hungarian Academy of Science, Hungary): Politics, Science and Money. The Case of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Parallels to other Endangered Species

16.00 - 16.15 Vittorio Bufacchi (Cork University, Ireland): Will Coronavirus Weaken or  Strengthen Populism?

16.15 – 16.30 Georgiana Turculet (CEU, Hungary) Populism: Social Division versus Unity

16. 30 – 17.00 Q & A Follow up Session with the participation of all students, and concluding Note of Organizers

BIO List

Dr. Georgiana Turculet is a Visiting Faculty and Researcher at Central European University and a Mentor for Women in Philosophy, a program based in Copenhagen University. She was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award from CEU, a Marie S. Curie (ESR) grant within INTEGRIM and an H2020 Grant RESPOND, both founded by the European Commission before receiving her PhD from CEU. Her research covers extensively topics on migration and the 'refugee crisis'. She is more broadly interested in movement of people, states borders management, democracy and more recently in contemporary debates on gender discrimination and populism. 

Nanna Taszarek Holm is a member of the Women in Philosophy program based at Copenhagen University. While heading towards the completion of her M.A. degree in Philosophy, Nanna is interested in a variety of topics in areas of philosophy, such as feminist philosophy and adaptive preferences, as well as contemporary debates at the crossroad of policy and philosophy about sex workers. In addition, Nanna is passionate about politics and policy making, and a Copenhagen-based activist.

Kitti Baracsi is an educator, researcher and activist, specialising in critical pedagogies and collaborative methodologies. She is the co-founder and learning coordinator of TuTela Learning Network and is currently a non-residential Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity at the LSE's International Inequalities Institute. She holds Master's degrees in communication and in aesthetics, and has studied at the Education and Society Doctoral School at the University of Pécs in Hungary.

Dr. Ildikó Enyedi is an award-winning Hungarian film director and screenwriter. In 2017 she won the Golden Bear for her film On Body and Soul at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, the film also being nominated for a Foreign Language Academy Award. She has been a jury member for the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival and the 29th Moscow International Film Festival. Ildikó Enyedi is a former student of and teacher at the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest, now known as the University of Theatre and Film Arts. She received her doctorate from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2011.

Dr. András Bozóki is former Minister of Culture, and presently Professor of Political Science at the Central European University. His main fields of research include democratization, political regimes, ideologies, Central European politics, elites and the role of intellectuals. He has been the chairman of the Political Science Committee at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He also served as president of the Hungarian Political Science Association.

Dr. Michael Ignatieff is President and Rector of CEU. He comes to CEU after serving as Edward R. Murrow Chair of Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. An international commentator on contemporary issues of democracy, human rights, and governance and a Canadian citizen, Ignatieff is also an award-winning writer, teacher, former politician, and historian with a deep knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe. Ignatieff received his doctorate in history from Harvard University.

Dr. Éva Fodor is associate professor of Gender Studies and the Co-Director of the Democracy Institute based in Budapest, and former Pro-Rector for the Social Sciences and Humanities at the CEU. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California in Los Angeles and works in the field of comparative social inequalities. She is interested in how and why gender differences in the labor market and elsewhere are reshaped, renegotiated and reproduced in different societies.

Dr. Peter Molnar is a free speech independent scholar, a Hungarian and European champion slam poetry performer, a former member of the Hungarian Parliament (1990-1998), a writer, and a radio host of Courage of Thought since 2013 on Radio Tilos (Forbidden). He has lectured and taught courses and convened international conferences at numerous universities around the world since 1994.

Dr. Enzo Rossi an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, the co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory, and the principal investigator of the Dutch National Science Organisation-funded Vidi project 'Legitimacy Beyond Consent' (2016-2021). His PhD is in philosophy, from the University of St Andrews. His main focus is the relation between the descriptive and the normative study of society.

Dr. Miklos Sukosd is a media researcher, sociologist and political scientist, and associate professor at the Department of Communication at the University of Copenhagen. Previously he served as associate professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong. He has also worked as academic director of the Center for Media and Communication Studies at CEU (Central European University), where he also taught as associate professor of political science. His research interests include media in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and China; and environmental communication. 

Dr. Judit Gárdos is sociologist at the Centre for Social Sciences, former Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is a Board member of the NGO "Academy Staff Forum", fighting for the freedom of science, culture and education in Hungary. She studied German Language and Literature and Sociology in Budapest, Vienna and Berlin. She is head of one of the biggest social scientific data archives in Hungary. Her main research interests include the anthropology, ontology, history and methodology of social sciences.

Dr. Márton Zászkaliczky is a historian and literary historian, and former fellow of the Institute for Literary Studies, formerly (until 2019) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is a lecturer at the Károli University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, and board member of the NGO "Academy Staff Forum".

Dr. Vittorio Bufacchi is a Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at University College Cork, Ireland. He did his PhD at the London School of Economics, under the supervision of Professor Brian Barry. His thesis concerned contemporary social contract theories of justice. His main research interests are in contemporary political philosophy, especially theories of social justice; human rights; political violence; and the idea of injustice.

Event Organizers Dr. Georgiana Turculet; Assistant organizer Nanna Taszarek Holm; coordinated with Students of Occupied Theater and Film Arts University in Budapest, and supported by CEU, Kriszta Zsukotynszky