Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century

Ágnes Katalin Kelemen

Ágnes is a social historian with a research focus on East Central Europe, migration and Jewish history. Her Ph.D. dissertation at the Central European University in Budapest investigated the connection between academic antisemitism, social mobility and migration through a sociological study of the “numerus clausus exiles” (students who left interwar Hungary due to the antisemitic law restricting Jewish access to higher education). Examining this interwar migratory movement of Jewish youth who were seen as refugees escaping antisemitism brought Ágnes to the topic of refugees in a more literal sense.

In the framework of the ”Unlikely refuge?” project, she has conducted research on the historiography of refugee reception in 20th century Hungary, the memory of Polish WWII refugees, Hungarian artistic representations of Greek Civil War refugees and on the memory of interwar Czechoslovakia as a refuge for some Hungarian Jews. Currently she is working on writing a monograph based on her dissertation and on the conceptual history of refugeedom in Hungary.