Romani Studies Program Remembers Professor Júlia Szalai

November 22, 2022

  

Professor Júlia Szalai passed away on November 21, 2022. She leaves behind a vast array of scholarship which has contributed enormously to the advancement of social sciences in Hungary and Europe. A significant body of her work focused on mapping the processes and impact of educational segregation. She also studied the concept of “othering” in relation to Roma people and the consequent policies that would be a stem from its proliferation. We are fortunate that Professor Szalai devoted her research to Roma realities, equity research, and policy formation and that we had the chance to invite her to share her findings at the Roma Studies Program annual Critical Approaches to Romani Studies Conference. Many of us in the RSP community had the privilege of having her as a mentor. In addition, many of our Roma Graduate Preparation Program (RGPP) alumni also took Professor Szalai’s classes during their MA/ PhD studies. 

Today, we remember her by highlighting some of her most influential publications. This list is by no means at all a complete account of Professor Szalai’s scholarly contributions.  

Edited Books: 

Egymás szemébe nézve - Az elmúlt fél évszázad roma politikai törekvései [Looking Into Each Other’s Eyes: The Roma political movement’s goals over the past 50 years]. Edited by Kóczé Angéla, Neményi Mária, Szalai Júlia (2017) 

This book addresses the Hungarian Romani movement’s challenges and achievements over the past 50 years. It contains valuable original documents, including edited transcripts from professional roundtable discussions, interviews, and speeches from key figures of the Romani movement: Ágnes Daróczi’s Roma Holocaust memorial event speech, Ernő Kállai’s speech addressing hate crimes and unprecedented wave of murders of Roma people known as the “Roma Killings” in the 2010s, and a Phralipe magazine article from Zsigó Jenő. Szalai Júlia and Neményi Mária set the pace for this volume with their introductory article Narrated Decades: The story of contemporary Roma movement through the lens of Roma politicians, Key Figures. 

  

Book Chapters: 

The Roma and Their Struggles for Identity in Contemporary Europe. Edited by Huub van Baar and Angéla Kóczé. Chapter 2. The Impact of Multi-faceted Segregation on Roma Collective Identity and Citizenship Rights, by Júlia Szalai (2020) 

Comparative Perspectives on Early School Leaving in the European Union, Edited by Edited By Edited By Edited By Lore Van Praag, Ward Nouwen, Rut Van Caudenberg, Noel Clycq, Christiane Timmerman. “Pathways to early school leaving in Hungary Ethicized inequalities in education and the case of Roma youth” by Ágnes Kende, Júlia Szalai (2018)  

In this chapter, the authors demonstrate  how the increasing school failures and frequent symptoms of educational disengagement of low-income Roma students are shaped by the multiplicity of intersecting structural, institutional and personal factors. The discussion reveals that ethno-social segregation within and between schools deprives Roma students of quality education and also of equal opportunities for a successful educational career.” 

Faces and Causes of Roma Marginalization in Local Contexts: Hungary, Romania, Serbia by Eniko Vincze, Julia Szalai, Monika Varadi, Slobodan Cvejic, Tunde Virag, Violetta Zentai. “Roma Marginalization and Exclusion in a Comparative Perspective , Violetta Zentai, Júlia Szalai (2014) 

This study explored basic local social services and infrastructure provisions, conditions of Roma participation in political life, and local interventions targeting Roma inclusion in Hungary, Romania, and Serbia. 

  

Articles: 

"On Civil Society and the Social Economy in Hungary” by Júlia Szalai, Sara Svensson (2018) 

The authors provide here an “overview of the ambiguities surrounding civil society in Hungary, with the aim to assess the potential of the civil society to spur the growth of a solidarity-based social economy through its own activities and policy influence.” 

Az esélyegyenlőség esélytelensége” [Inequities and Ethnic selection in Elementary School] by Júlia Szalai (2013) 

In this article, the author shows how biased grading plays a role in the segregation of Roma student and how it impedes any sort of mobility for Roma people. 

Abortion in Hungary by Júlia Szalai (1988) 

This article provided an overview on the development of the abortion law in Hungary.  

 

Critical Approaches to Romani Studies Conference:  

Panel 7: Education, segregation, empowerment 
Title: Some Thoughts on the Romani Movement   
Presenter: Júlia Szalai (Hungarian Academy of Sciences / Central European University) (29.00 min-46.00 min)

 

Classes: 

POLS 5117 - Roma Exclusion: Education as a Domain of the Racialization of Poverty  
(Various Academic Years at CEU)

The course offered insights into the main structural factors and currents in education in local communities that contribute to the significantly lower educational attainments of low-income Roma students as compared to their, equally impoverished, non-Roma peers. 

  

RSP will always remember Professor Júlia Szalai and remain grateful for her contributions. 

  

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To learn more

The Roma and Their Struggles for Identity in Contemporary Europe. Edited by Huub van Baar and Angéla KóczéChapter 2. The Impact of Multi-faceted Segregation on Roma Collective Identity and Citizenship Rights, by Júlia Szalai (2020) 

https://romanistudies.ceu.edu/The%20Roma%20and%20Their%20Struggle%20for%...

On Civil Society and the Social Economy in Hungary by Júlia Szalai (Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Central European University) and Sara Svensson (Central European University) http://intersections.tk.hu/index.php/intersections/article/view/471 

Pathways to early school leaving in Hungary. Ethicized inequalities in education and the case of Roma youth by Ágnes Kende, and Júlia Szalai https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315170404-3/pathways-early-school-leaving-hungary-%C3%A1gnes-kende-j%C3%BAlia-szalai  

Az esélyegyenlőség esélytelensége by Szalai Júlia https://edit.elte.hu/xmlui/handle/10831/79135 

Roma Marginalization and Exclusion in a Comparative Perspective by Violetta Zentai, and Júlia Szalai https://cps.ceu.edu/publications/books/roma-marginalization-comparative  

Szalai, Judit (1988). Abortion in Hungary. Feminist Review, 29(1), 98–100. https://doi.org/10.1057/fr.1988.27 

Egymás szemébe nézve - Az elmúlt fél évszázad roma politikai törekvései [Looking Into Each Other’s Eyes: The Roma political movement’s goals over the past 50 years]. by Angéla Kóczé, Mária Neményi, Júlia Szalai  https://mek.oszk.hu/17500/17552/17552.pdf 

  

 

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