"The Social Roots of Ethnic Conflict in East Central Europe"
Dr. Balázs Szelényi received his Ph.D. and M.A. in European history at the University of California at Los Angeles and a B.A. in European history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was an independent scholar. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research, Dr. Szelényi conducted research for his project “The Social Roots of Ethnic Conflict in East Central Europe.”
Dr. Szelényi has been a lecturer in history at the University of California at Los Angeles and Pomona College in Claremont, California, teaching a spectrum of courses including Ancient and Medieval African Civilization; Eastern Europe in Transition; Prague, Vienna, Budapest: Society and Culture in the Hapsburg Empire; Soviet History; and Germans and Fascism, among others. He is the recipient of several prestigious scholarships and fellowships including a National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship, the American Council and Learned Societies Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Center Research Scholarship, and a Fulbright Minority Studies and Regional Research Program Scholarship.
During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Szelényi conducted research for his comparative study on German Diaspora in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Diverging from previous scholarship on ethnic-national consciousness, his research examined the roots of national minority struggles along social-economic lines in addition to “ethnic-political” lines, suggesting that a strong link exists between one’s social-economic status and ethnic-national consciousness. By canvassing the Museum’s archival collections on the role of ethnic Germans in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, Dr. Szelényi was able to assess the extent to which such attitudes about ethnic-national consciousness influenced the participation of these groups in the deportation and murder of Jews.
Dr. Szelényi was in residence at the Mandel Center from April 4 to August 1, 2003.