Dr. Basa’s background is in literature, and she received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. After teaching at various universities, she took a position at the Library of Congress from which she retired in 2004. In 1974 she founded the American Hungarian Educators Association and served as its Executive Director since 1980. In 1979 she secured Discussion Group status for Hungarian Literature within the Modern Language Association, now styled as a Forum, thus ensuring that Hungarian Literature is represented in at least one session at each of the MLA’s Conferences. At the MLA she has organized and presented papers at many of the conferences, and with the AHEA she has had the task of developing and growing the Association. She edited the Newsletter for several years and also organized conferences, presenting papers at many of these.
Enikő has held numerous editorial positions, including being the Editor of the Hungarian Section for the Twayne World Authors series. In this capacity she published monographs on Imre Madách, Mihály Vitéz Csokonai, Ferenc Molnár, and Kálmán Mikszáth, and also wrote the volume on Sándor Petőfi. She was also the Editor for Hungarian Literature in the Review of National Literature series. In addition to numerous articles in academic journals and presentations at academic conferences, she has also contributed chapters in several books. She has been active in numerous literary associations, generally representing Hungarian literature and culture. From 1982 until her retirement, she was active in the Library of Congress Professional Association where she served as Vice President, President, Board Member, Language Table Coordinator as well as coordinator of the Hungarian Language Table. In 1996 she organized a Symposium at the Library of Congress, co-sponsored by the LCPA entitled “1100 Years of the Hungarian State.” Dr. Basa is an External Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 2002-2003 she was the recipient of a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress. For the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife in 1976 she served as liaison to the Hungarian Community in the US, and in 2013 was a volunteer and translator.
Among the prizes she received are the Presidential Gold Medal from Árpád Göncz (1997), the Péter Basa Award of the AHEA (2010), the Arany János Medal from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the Magyar Érdemrend Lovagkereszt (Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit) of the Republic of Hungary (2020). Dr. Basa is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the East and the Hungarian publications: Magyar Nemzetközi Ki Kicsoda, Ki Kicsoda, Borbándi Gyula: Nyugati magyar irodalmi lexicon és Bibliográfia (1992), Magyar emigráns irodalmi lexikon (1990) and Contemporary Authors (1991).