Vienna, December 7, 2022 – Hungarian historian and CEU professor Andrea Peto received the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award for her defense of academic freedom and institutional autonomy on December 5 in Oslo, Norway, during the Oslo Peace Days celebration.
The awarded is given annually for personal efforts and active involvement in one or more areas related to human rights issues in a broad sense.
“Andrea Peto is a fearless defender of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. With her connection to gender studies and Holocaust research, she represents disciplines that come under attack when European regimes move in a more authoritarian direction. Academic freedom is fundamental when important human rights are to be protected,” said Pro-Rector Ase Gornitzka from the University of Oslo, who is chairing the prize committee.
Andrea Peto teaches at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Vienna, Austria, and is a Doctor of Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She conducts courses on European comparative social and gender history, gender and politics, women’s movements, qualitative methods, oral history, and the Holocaust. She is also a Research Fellow at CEU Democracy Institute.
“When in 2017 Hungary amended its national higher education law to restrict academic freedom for CEU, our university relocated to Vienna to be able to continue its teaching activities. Thus, we have a first-hand experience of defending university autonomy, academic freedom and upholding democracy under an authoritarian or soft-authoritarian government,” said CEU President and Rector Shalini Randeria. “CEU’s mission lies in the service of democracy, social justice, equity, academic freedom, rule of law and open society. We are proud that our faculty are internationally recognized for their work. Andrea’s work on memory studies and history of the Holocaust is a much-needed contribution. The critical gender perspective is needed to successfully resist hijacking the memory of the Holocaust by illiberal forces,” Randeria added.
“I am honored to receive this award for academic freedom as illiberal regimes are weaponizing education and knowledge for their political aims,” said Professor Andrea Peto after receiving the news of her award. For a 1:40-minute video with Professor Peto about the importance of the award, see this video.
Andrea Peto was also awarded the 2018 All European Academies (ALLEA) Madame de Stael Prize for Cultural Values and she is Doctor Honoris Causa of Sodertorn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Photo (from left to right): Professor Andrea Peto, CEU/ Rector Svein Stolen, UiO/Pro-Rector Ase Gornitzka, UiO
Photo credit: Jarli&Jordan/UiO
Notes for Editors:
Central European University (CEU) is accredited in the United States, Austria, and Hungary, and offers English-language bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in the social sciences, the humanities, law, environmental sciences, management and public policy. With a university campus located in the heart of Central Europe in Vienna, Austria; and a research venue in Budapest, Hungary, CEU has a distinct academic and intellectual focus. The university combines the comparative study of the region's historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on areas of critical enquiry including good governance, sustainable development and social transformation.