Department of American Studies ELTE
Department of American Studies US flag
Eötvös Loránd University

Zsófia Bán Zsófia Bán, PhD,
Associate Professor

Phone: +36 1 485 5200 / 4215
Office: Room 313


Zsófia Bán, PhD is Associate Professor at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, Department of American Studies. She studied English, French and Portuguese in Budapest, Lisbon, Minneapolis and New Brunswick. She was a Research Fellow for three years at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, a visiting Fulbright Fellow at Rutgers University, New Jersey, and a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute in Berlin, among other places. Besides ELTE, where she teaches American literature, American art, visual culture and critical theory, she has also taught at Central European University in Budapest (gender and visual culture) and Lasalle College in Singapore (visual theory). Her professional interests include modern and postmodern American literature, word and image studies, visual culture and visual theory, 20th-century American and Hungarian art, photography, film and architecture, gender studies, Holocaust studies, Hungarian literature, and theories of postmodernism.

Her books include Desire and De-Scription: Words and Images of Postmodernism in the Late Poetry of William Carlos Williams (Amsterdam, Rodopi, 1999), Amerikáner - essays on cult works of American literature and art (Budapest, Magvető, 2000), Próbacsomagolás [Test Packing] – essays and studies on literature, art and travel (Budapest- Bratislava, Kalligram, 2008), and Exposed Memory: Family Pictures in Private and Collective Memory (Zsófia Bán – Hedvig Turai, eds., AICA-CEU Press, 2010). Her book, Turul és dínó (Magvető Publishing House, Budapest, 2016) is a volume of essays, studies and criticism on visual culture covering fields as diverse as literature, art, film, photography, cultural anthropology, as well as the art of political demonstrations. Her most recent book in German is a collection of essays on the visual representation of historical memory (Der Sommer unsres Missvergnügens, transl. by Terézia Mora, Matthes&Seitz und DAAD, Berlin, 2019). Her essays, studies and reviews have appeared in Hungarian and international scholarly journals and books.

Zsófia Bán’s opinion pieces regularly appear in international and Hungarian written and electronic media on topics as varied as the politics of visual culture, women’s literature, queer culture, gendered language use, American and Hungarian literature and art, as well as human rights and democracy. Among other public appearances, she gave a lecture in the prestigious televised series “Mindentudás Egyeteme” (L’université de tout savoir) sponsored by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on literature and gender, which was one of the first introductions of the topic of gender studies to a non-professional, general public in Hungary.

She is also an internationally known prose writer whose short stories have appeared in various Hungarian and international literary journals and anthologies (most recently in Asymptote, Epiphany, The Kenyon Review and Best European Fiction 2012, Dalkey Archive Press), The Guardian, World Literature Today, Sinn und Form, Osteuropa, among others). Her first book of short stories, Night School: A Reader for Adults, was published in 2007 (Budapest-Bratislava, Kalligram) for which she received the József Attila literary award, and which was recently published in the U.S. by Open Letter Books (2019, translated by Jim Tucker). Her volume of essays Próbacsomagolás [Test Packing] was awarded the Palladium Prize in 2009, and the German translation of her most recent book, Amikor még csak az állatok éltek (Magvető, 2012; Suhrkamp Verlag, 2014, translated by Terézia Mora) was shortlisted for the prestigious International Literature Prize (Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2014). Her works have been translated into English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Slovenian, Russian, and a number of other languages. Her most recent book of short stories, Lehet lélegezni! (Magvető Publishing House, 2018), is forthcoming in German in 2020 (translated by Terézia Mora, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin).

Selected Research Grants and Awards, Visiting Professorships

  • Venom , with Péter Forgács, Acquisition Award, Barcelona LOOP Video Festival
  • DAAD writer-in residence (2015/16)
  • Tibor Déry Prize (2012)
  • Fulbright Fellow, Harvard University (2010)
  • Palladium Prize (for Test Packing, essays) (2009)
  • József Attila award (2008)
  • Balassa Péter prize given by the Hungarian Ministry of Culture for outstanding work in essay writing and criticism (2007)
  • Visiting Professor, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore (2001)
  • Visiting Fellow, J. F. Kennedy Institut, Freie Universität, Berlin (1998)
  • Visiting Scholar, English Dept., Rutgers University, New Brunswick (1996)
  • Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Rutgers University, New Brunswick (1992-1993)
  • Exchange Program of Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Education, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1987-1988)
  • Research Fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1985-1988)
  • Exchange Program of Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Education, University of Lisbon (1980)

Research Areas

Early modern American literature and art
Word and image studies
Visual culture
Visual theory
Gender studies
Postmodernism in theory
Art and literature
Literature and art of the Holocaust
Trauma and visuality


For a selected list of publications see the Wikipedia article on Zsófia Bán and her own web page.
For a full list of publications, complete with journal articles and book chapters see the SEAS bibliographic database or

Courses in American Studies at ELTE

For courses taught in American Studies at ELTE see the course catalogue of the School of English and American Studies.