In her project Between centres and peripheries: Transnational Hungarian Intellectuals, Emilia Palonen discusses the way in which the national context and transnational identifications played a role in the life and work of Hungarian left-wing intellectuals. She investigates the politicisation of these identities as local or foreign, Jewish or cosmopolitan, Marxist and national, through the examples of Lajos Kossuth, George Lukács and Agnes Heller, in particular. The Internationals and the postwar and postrevolutionary movements to the West brought a multilayeredness to the identifications of the thinkers, whether in expatriot communities, in the home country or in the global academia and politics. How do the intellectuals’ self-perception and the public perception nationally or internationally meet? What is the role of the centres and peripheries? Which are the centres and which peripheries?
Emilia Palonen is a political theorist or scientist trained at the Universities of Essex (Ideology and Discourse Analysis) and London (School of Slavonic and East European Studies). She has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Universities of Jyväskylä (Cultural Policy) and Helsinki (Political Science). While looking to the past, she also reflects on the present ant the future. As the contemporary Hungarian political sphere is dominated by a certain version of political truth, this topic is ever more actual. Palonen links to this new project her previous work on canonisation of heroes in official commemoration, street names and memorials in particular, and populism, especially polarisation in Hungarian politics. She will be employed in the project full-time from March 2014 to February 2016.