A bilingual publication in honor and memory of the great Hungarian traveller

The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Debrecen and Sunway University in Malaysia are to expand their bilateral cooperation through a new joint research and academic programme. Faculty members from the two institutions are currently processing material on the trip to Borneo by János Xántus in 1870, documenting the experiences of the famous Hungarian traveller and naturalist in two volumes both in English and Hungarian.

Following the signing of a frame agreement for cooperation in 2022 between the University of Debrecen (UD) and Sunway University (SU) in Malaysia, one of the leading private universities of the former Fedration of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, a number of teaching and research projects have been launched between SU’s Centre for English Language Studies (CELS) and the Institute of English and American Studies of the Faculty of Humanities at UD.

“Coordinated by Nicholas Lee and Tamás Kiss (CELS) from Sunway University and Balázs Venkovits and Fruzsina Szabó (Institute of English and American Studies) from FoH, UD, several joint teaching, learning and research projects and have been introduced in order to develop and improve intercultural communication, while mutual visits and scholarly publications by the partners have also been implemented,” said Péter Csatár to the portal hirek.unideb.hu.
The Vice Dean for Strategy and Economic Affairs of the Faculty of Humanities at UD highlighted that the elaborate system of relations with Sunway University and Malaysia would also strengthen the international reputation of our university.

As the latest step of the cooperation, the two universities, coordinated by Tamás Kiss and Balázs Venkovits, will work on the 1870 Borneo journey of János Xántus, a famous Hungarian traveller, naturalist and ethnographic collector.

The Hungarian readers can get to know this unique journey and work from both a Hungarian and Malaysian point of view through Xántus' writings published in 1880.

- This report will be published in a bilingual volume by Sunway University Press, through the work of researchers from both universities. In addition to the original Hungarian, the publication will also include an English translation of the hitherto little-known account, along with other letters from Borneo, in-depth explanations, additions, introductory scholarly studies and special illustrations.

In addition to the two universities, experts from the Budapest Museum of Ethnography and the Borneo Cultures Museum will also be involved in the work, extending the existing cooperation, so that an exhibition is planned to open in 2025, the 200th anniversary of the birth of János Xántus, in Sarawak through the international university-museum cooperation.

The latter news was recently mentioned by the Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industries and Performing Arts, who underlined the importance of the jointly organised exhibition.

Press Centre - BZs