Optimistic Lectures

A discussion series of the Minor Media/Culture Research Group about the history of the Department of Media Studies at ELTE and its involvement in social justice issues.

The Research Centre for Minor Media/Culture was founded at the Department of Media Studies at ELTE in 2017. Our first research project, launched in Spring 2017, was a self-reflective one: the initiation of a discussion series entitled “Optimistic Lectures” organized in the framework of a university course, in which we intended to survey the ways in which the Department of Media Studies at ELTE had been involved in social justice issues over the thirty-five years since its foundation. Media studies had been taught at ELTE since 1992, but the Department was not established until 1997. Since, however, the founders had been active in the spirit of social justice and emancipation before the formal institutional beginnings, we decided to include relevant events of the preceding period in the department traditions. Guests of the course were typically professionals with some ties to ELTE Media Studies, as students, faculty or both. Sessions of the course had a uniform setup. The first quarter to third of the session was devoted to watching (or listening to) short segments related to the topic of the given session. This was followed by a discussion with the guest, focusing on role of the organization or initiative founded by the guest in contemporary Hungarian culture/society. Discussions were moderated by students who were interested in the topic and who had done some preliminary research. Students recorded audio and typed transcripts of the discussions.

Neoavantgarde Subculture and Freedom-Speech

Phralipe (1989) Roma human rights movement and magazine. Guests: Ágnes Daróczi, Aladár Horváth and Péter György

The Representation of Poverty. Public discourse and social justice (2004/2006). Guest: Ferenc Hammer

Advocacy Communication Agencies. Guests: Szilvia Varró

Yellow-Star Houses. Guests: Dóra Csernay, Orsolya Tiszai, Anna Gács

Women’s Interests/Rights (NANE). Guest: Lídia Balogh

Roma Visual Lab (2011-). Guest: Andrea Pócsik, Melinda Vajda

Mondo Card Game for People Living with and without Disability. Guests: Viktória Hitka, Éva Katona, Zsolt Végh