Gender in English and American Literature and Culture- Phase out

Gender in English and American Literature and Culture (GEND)-phase-out program

Head of the Program: Dr. Enikő Bollobás



Part of the Doctoral School of Literary Studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, this multidisciplinary and comparative PhD Program in Gender Studies (the first accredited in Hungary), focuses on literature, culture, and society from a gender perspective.

We understand this gender perspective as a meta-paradigm of sorts, always framing our discussions, whether we conduct literary or cultural critique, study representations of sexuality in literature, or explore connections between the genre of horror and gender, to name just a few activities. We address a variety of theories and methodologies of gender studies, such that can be applied to the wider study of literature and culture.

Students work closely with their advisors during the four years of their studies, of which two years are devoted to classroom work and directed studies, and two to writing. Publishing being a requirement, our students are encouraged to publish parts of their dissertations already during these four years, with direct assistance from their advisors in terms of both the writing and the publication process.

We invite students with a background in the humanities and social sciences— among them, primarily, students with MA degrees in English and American Studies—and a high level of proficiency in English. Students with an active interest in gender issues are encouraged to apply: find a topic and a possible advisor, write to this instructor, get his or her consent and letter of support.


Head of the Program:

Enikő Bollobás, Professor of Literature, corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Department of American Studies, Eötvös Loránd University



Instructors and thesis advisors

Zsófia Bán, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)

Vera Benczik, PhD, Assistant Professor (ELTE, Budapest)

Enikő Bollobás, PhD, DLitt, CMHAC, Professor of Literature (ELTE, Budapest)

Éva Federmayer, PhD, Associate Professor (retired) (ELTE, Budapest)

Anna Gács, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)

Pál Hegyi, PhD, Assistant Professor (ELTE, Budapest)

Balázs Sipos, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)

Edit Zsadányi, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)


Research topics

Gender and visual culture: investigations in the field of contemporary and 20th century American visual art forms from the perspective of manifestly or potentially present gender issues at the crossroads of new art history, visual culture studies, cultural studies, urban studies, gender studies, and philosophy. (Dr. Bán)

Gender and sexuality in popular culture: the analysis of gender aspects in various products and trends of popular culture. (Dr. Benczik)

Gender and sexuality in modern Canadian literature: aspects of gender in modern and contemporary Canadian literature. (Dr. Benczik)

Women Writers—A Comparative Approach: grounded in literary historical, feminist critical, and genre critical approaches, doctoral research focuses on 19th and 20th century women writers as we conduct a comparative analysis of the various processes of gender construction (discursive, performative), the relevant cultural scripts (normative/subversive), and the applied genre conventions (Bildungsroman, Künstlerroman, autobiography, roman à clef). (Prof. Bollobás)

Embodied and Narrative Subjectivity in Literature and Culture: framed by theories of the subject, embodiment, and autobiography, this research centers on the discursive-narrative processes at work in the construction of the gendered, relational, and embodied subject. (Prof. Bollobás)

Boundary Crossings in American Literature: informed by theories of passing, doctoral research focuses on textual locations and processes of transgressions between various binary oppositions (man/woman, white/black, or heterosexual/homosexual), thus creating transgressive and often hybrid identities. (Prof. Bollobás)

Race/Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in American Literature: projects are supposed to focus on the power dynamics inflected by race/ethnicity, class and gender in specific literary texts in various rhetorical spaces including life-writing, utopias/dystopias, travel writing, immigrant narratives, passing and postpassing narratives, neo-slave narratives (Dr. Federmayer)

African American literature: projects are to be engaged with the operation of gender and race in specific African American authors, genres, traditions of African American writing. (Dr. Federmayer)

Autobiographic acts in contemporary culture: An interdisciplinary analysis of the contemporary culture of self-narratives, this research combines perspectives of literary and art studies, the history of the public sphere, media theory and media history to understand the context in which self-narratives are born, published, consumed and discussed today. Research topics should focus on the role gender plays in these mechanisms. (Dr. Gács)

Gendering Genre: the Case of Horror: the topic invites explorations in the intersection of uncanny fiction and gender studies. An insistence of recurring returns to the lack of a fixed essence will be analyzed within social, psychoanalytical, narratological frameworks unraveling unhomely identity and gender constructions. (Dr. Hegyi)

Gender and Cinema: A wide variety of topics showcased in a vast array of classics are offered for investigation when addressing major gendered themes in speculative movies and cinema in general. Recent trends such as digimodernism and Neo Noirs seem only to enrich these research possibilities by opening up deep vistas of current developments in film industry. (Dr. Hegyi)

Women in public sphere in the interwar Hungary: framed by the theories of public sphere this research centers on the activities of the female politicians and female journalists in Hungary. (Dr. Sipos)

Queer Identities and Queering as Research Concept: This research topic focuses on the different concepts of the queer. We investigate how artistic representations of queer sexual identities have led to the scholarly approach of the “queering” in the human sciences. (Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Kathy Acker, Jeffrey Eugenides) (Dr. Zsadányi)