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Eötvös Loránd University

PhD Program in Gender Studies at ELTE

Gender in English and American Literature and Culture

Introduction in Hungarian


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.

Program Director

Enikő Bollobás, PhD, DLitt, Professor of Literature, 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, Professor of Literature (ELTE, Budapest)
Éva Federmayer, PhD, Associate Professor (retired) (ELTE, Budapest)
Judit Friedrich, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Anna Gács, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Pál Hegyi, PhD, Assistant Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Katalin G. Kállay, PhD, Associate Professor (KRE, Budapest)
Géza Kállay, PhD, Professor of Literature (ELTE, Budapest)
Natália Pikli, PhD, Assistant Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Veronika Ruttkay, PhD, Assistant Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Balázs Sipos, PhD, Associate Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Andrea Timár, PhD, Assistant Professor (ELTE, Budapest)
Andrea Velich, 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)

Gender representation in modern literatures in English: A gender-based discussion of primarily contemporary British fiction or fiction in English, especially written by Commonwealth authors. (Dr. Friedrich)

Feminist and gender-based critical theories in literary analysis: Exploration of literary works with a focus on literary and cultural theory. (Dr. Friedrich)

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)

Responses to the Holocaust in Literature - from a Gender Studies Perspective: several basic questions concerning the literary representation of the tragedy of the Holocaust that have a lot in common with the main points of interest of gender studies, e.g. problems of the relativity of centralized or linear thinking, the varieties of space- and time-perception, the changes in one’s relation to the human body and identity, and the rearrangement of social roles. (Dr. K. Kállay)

Gender Philosophies and Literary Interpretation: The topic may be interpreted in two ways: the Candidate may give an account of how literature has been read by e.g. certain feminist philosophical schools (e.g. Judith Butler, Toril Moi, etc.), or the Candidate herself interprets literary texts using various aspects of gender-philosophy. (Prof. G. Kállay)

Gender in early modern English literature and culture: the study of literary and non-literary evidence and iconographical evidence from early modern England yields a varied field of research regarding norms concerning male/female identity. Norm-setting as well as different forms of breaking norms, stigmatization of “unruly women” in shrew-taming and witchcraft discourses offer a complex background to a better understanding of even well-known texts like Shakespearean plays, while also commenting on gender problems in a wider context. (Dr. Pikli)

Gender and identity in contemporary English drama: since the 1970s gender problems have been a major concern of contemporary English drama, often in relation with the potentials of political theatre and theatrical experimentation. Caryl Churchill’s plays have set the stage for the 1990s generation of “in-yer-face theatre” (Sierz) playwrights such as Sarah Kane, Jezz Butterworth, and Martin McDonagh, whose plays (and films) offer a wide filed for research concerning gender problems. (Dr. Pikli)

Gender and sexuality in 18th and 19th-century gothic literature: The research is aimed at the study of the oeuvre of an 18th or 19th-century British author or of a literary phenomenon from the perspective of gender and the gothic; candidates may focus on issues of gothic authorship, narrativity and gothic corporeality, or the crises of masculinity, femininity and queerness in selected gothic texts. (Dr. Ruttkay)

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)

Gender and the representation of English monarchs in postwar British cinema: shifts in the representation of famous English kings and queens from the Middle Ages till today in popular, award-winning and profitable British heritage films and series. Popular heritage films as part of our popular culture and cultural memory. The representation and reception of various famous and ill-famous monarchs in postwar British films examined in the context of history, culture and gender. (Dr. Velich)

The representation of postwar England (city, economy, society, culture and gender) in the postwar British socialist-realist cinema: the various representation of cities, economy, society, culture and gender in postwar British socialist-realist cinema, “kitchen sink” dramas. Shifts in representation. Different representation, visual language by different generations of British film directors. Interdisciplinary or comparative approach in the context of history, culture and gender. (Dr. Velich)

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)

Study unit list

In English:

Course catalogue

To be announced

Application and Admission

Hungarian students: For details of application and admission to the PhD Program in Gender Studies for the year 2017/2018 see

- the web page of the Doctoral School (
- and the web page of the Faculty (
or contact the Program Director, Professor Enikő Bollobás (

International students: If you wish to apply to this Program, please fill out this admission form and send it to

- the Executive of the Doctoral School, Dr. Krisztina Bodnár (
- the Head of the International Office, Faculty of Humanities, ELTE, Dr. Rudolf Sárdi (
- the Director of the Program, Professor Enikő Bollobás (

News and information

For news and information about the Doctoral School of Literary Studies check