László Koppány Csáji was appointed acting director of the MMA MMKI

2022. July. 12.

Based on the decision of Hungarian Academy of Arts, the writer, cultural anthropologist and lawyer László Koppány Csáji will assume the position of director of the Hungarian Academy of Arts Research Institute of Art Theory and Methodology from June 1, 2022.


László Koppány Csáji is co-chairman of the SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore) Young Scholars Working Group, which deals with the mentoring and organization of students and young researchers, and the replenishment of the international scholarly community; member of the Hungarian Writers’ Association, the Hungarian Ethnographic Company, the Budapest Lawyer Association, FilmJus and Napút-kör; also a supervisory board member of the Hungarian Cultural Anthropology Company (MAKAT).

In 2021, FilmEU worked on setting up a new European art university organized and financed by the European Union. The European Union project of organizing Irish, Belgian, Portuguese and Hungarian universities into a joint European university consortium started in 2020. On the Hungarian side, he led the QA working group dealing with quality assurance and accreditation (WP9), and was also a member of the Future Governance working group developing the new international organizational structure (WP7). He was an editor and co-author in the writing of the „international good practices” volume of both working groups, and also participated as an active organizer and speaker in several topics at the EU FilmEU summit in Lisbon in September 2021.

Short biography

In 1996, he obtained a law degree from the ELTE Faculty of Law.

He graduated from the Bolyai János Military Technical College as a reserve lieutenant majoring in military nutrition (1996).

Between 1996 and 1999 he was a lawyer candidate for lawyer dr. Tibor Strasser, passed the legal examination in 1999 and founded his own law firm (Dr. Csáji Law Office).

At the University of Pécs, Department of Ethnography – Cultural Anthropology he obtained a bachelor degree, then a master degree, and a Doctor of Sciences (PhD) degree in ethnography and cultural anthropology (2020).

As a lawyer, he works in the field of classical civil and economic law, and since 1999 he has been the managing attorney of the Dr. Csáji Law Office.

He continued his ethnological fieldwork in the Carpathian Basin (mainly Szeklerland, Vojvodina and Central Hungary), as well as in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Russia, Western China, Japan, Scandinavia and the Sahara.

By combining the methods of interpretive anthropology with the results of discourse theory and cognitive semantics, he developed a new anthropological theoretical and methodological framework in his doctoral thesis. He has lectured as an invited speaker at, among others, UCLA, Kyoto Sangyo University, Vyatautas Magnus University in Kaunas, the Humanities Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and dozens of scientific domestic and international scientific conferences, and has published numerous domestic and international studies on this topic. His anthropological specialties are ethnicity research, culture and community construction processes, and religious anthropology.

Editor of the Napút magazine (VoltJelen section), member of the Napút-kör.

He is the editor of the series Ómúltunk Tára published by Napkút Kiadó.

More than a hundred of his essays, poems and short stories were published in Hungary and abroad in Napút, Magyar Művészet, Kalligram, Búvópatak, Lyukasóra, Szózat, Életünk, Ezredvég, Szcenárium, Kethalo Drom, Polísz, Lenolaj, Kapu, QuArtett and Muravidék magazines. Some of his writings have been translated into Russian, English and Serbian, and a Finnish translation of some of his poems is currently being prepared.

He has been making films about his ethnological collections since 2001, and his twenty-two documentaries, feature films, and a short film were shown by Duna Television, then by MTVA channels, and also shown in several cinemas (Uránia National Film Theater, Tabán).

In 2014, he was awarded the Sándor Csoma Sándor Kőrösi prize (memorial medal) for taking care of the Hungarian culture and the intellectual legacy of Sándor Csoma Kőrösi.

In 2018, he won the audience prize of the Aquincum Poetry Competition with his hexameter poem about Emperor Julian.

In 2018, he won the historical feature film competition of the Hungarian National Film Fund, and then the script (Beginnings and Ends) was accepted for support by the National Film Institute (2020).

His historical short film Szabadság, harc [Freedom, Struggle] (screenwriter: Csáji László Koppány and Ádám Gueth, producer: László Koppány Csáji and Balázs Sára, director: Balázs Sára, main actors: Balázs Dévai, János Gergely Tóth and Balázs Jerger) produced in 2019, is a historical short film by Savaria and it was also chosen as one of the finalists at the Ars Sacra film festival.

He was the producer and screenwriter of the documentary film Őseink nyomában [In the footsteps of our ancestors] (2014, MTVA), as well as the ten-part documentary series Lovasnomádok utódai Indiában [The Descendants of Horse Nomads in India] (2007, Duna Television), Lovasnomád hatások az indiai társadalomra és kultúrára [The Effects of Horse Nomads on Indian Society and Culture] (2006, Duna Television), Kasztrendszer az atomkorban I–II. [The Caste System in the Atomic Age I–II.] (2005, Duna Television), A fehér hunok nyomában Ázsiában [In pursuit of the White Huns in Asia] (2004, Duna Television), Viszontagságos út a khowárok földjére, az afgán–pakisztáni határon [The Rugged Road to the Land of the Khowars, on the Afghan-Pakistani Border] (2003, Duna Television), Ázsia elzárt szíve, Ujguria [The Closed Heart of Asia, Uyguria] (2003, Duna Television), as well as the Hunza mítoszok Belső-Ázsiában [Hunza Myths in Inner Asia] (2002, Duna Television) documentaries.


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