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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 71118 views
National University of Ireland, Galway
History paper by Zach, Lili (all papers)
Irish Images of Hungarian National Identity in the Interwar Years
Late 1918 saw the complete transformation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from a Dual Monarchy into a number of independent, self-declared “nation-states”. Drawing on contemporary Irish newspapers, journals and diplomatic accounts, this paper aims to investigate the formulation of national identity in interwar Hungary, as perceived by the newly independent Irish Free State, since both small states shared border-related challenges after gaining independence following the end of the Great War. Tracing what factors defined the Irish image of independent Hungary, in contrast to Hungarian self-image, is of primary importance, in addition to determining the impact of Hungary’s historical past on Irish opinion. This paper concentrates on the changing identities in Central Europe from a transnational perspective, with special attention to Hungary, arguing that investigating Irish perceptions of Hungary may provide insights into not only the transformation of Habsburg Central Europe, but also into the development of Irish national identity. Altogether, the paper aims to add to our current understanding of Hungarian identity in the interwar era, providing an additional dimension to the Hungarian self-image built around resenting the “truncated” nature of the independent small state, in contrast with the perceptions of the small Irish state in the early 1920s.
Brief Professional Bio:
Lili Zách received her Masters Degrees in English (Irish Studies specialisation) and History at the University of Szeged, Hungary, in 2006. She completed a Diploma in Irish in 2010 at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and is currently undertaking a PhD in History. Her research interest lies in the field of Irish foreign policy and intellectual history, focusing on Irish links with Central Europe before 1945. At present she is investigating the role of small nations in Irish political discourse from a transnational perspective, with special reference to the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1914-1945.