History Department Research

The Department’s faculty is involved in a large number of individual and collective research projects, as well as being members of international boards and European research teams. The faculty publishes and is translated in a wide range of languages. For full information please see faculty profiles.

Taking advantage of its location in Budapest, the Department of History is an active initiator of ambitious research projects of regional history (Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean), as well as bringing together research on larger geographical entities covering all of Europe and its near abroad.

Many of our departmental research projects are undertaken with the support of our sister institution, Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical StudiesDrawing upon our alumnae and distinguished international partners, we sponsor a range of lecture series, workshops, and conferences, especially geared to encourage communication among the junior scholars from the region. Some of our visitors attend courses sponsored by the Summer University; others stay longer with us to conduct research and teach, as Junior or Senior Visiting Fellows.

Current Research initiatives, Department of History, CEU, 2012 -2014

Eastern Europe and the Orient - Entangled Histories and Scholarships

One of the still unexplored fields of study is the history of Eastern Europe and the Orient in early modern and modern time. The Department of History seeks to establish a research platform in critical Orientalism studies, outside the confines of imperial and/or national perspectives and outside the traditional East-West divide. The project joins disparate research activities on the emergence of political, cultural, and ultimately nationalist ideologies and of disciplinary and academic knowledge production; and of forms and functions of orientalist discourses and representations and of self-orientalization. To this end the project links studies on the entangled histories and scholarships between Eastern Europe, including Central and South-Eastern Europe, and the Orient, comprising the Arab World, Western Asia to India to Tibet.

Contact: Nadia Al-Bagdadi

Labor History for the 21st Century in a Global Perspective

Research initiative, Department of History, CEU, 2012 -2015

The History Department at CEU pursues a cluster of activities around the theme of labor history from the early modern period to the end of the 20th century, with a special emphasis on Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and on comparative approaches beyond the region. The aim is threefold: to stimulate research and offer expertise in a field which has been greatly neglected in recent decades; to integrate the study of the history of labor in these regions into the transnational history of labor worldwide; and to contribute to and interact with the ongoing scholarly debate on the conceptual framings of trans-European and global labor history.

Activities so far:

  • We have organized a workshop “Labor and State Socialism” during which PhD students from different departments at CEU presented, and discussed with international scholars, their work in progress. The workshop was held at CEU on 2 and 3 November 2012.
  • We have organized, in co-operation with Gijs Kessler (International Institute for Social History,IISH, Amsterdam), one roundtable  entitled “Bringing Eastern Europe into Global Labour History”and three panels for the upcoming European Social Science History Conference in Vienna 2014. 
  • We have helped with the preparation for the 44th Annual Conference of the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI) “Opening Up Social History Repositories: New Technologies and New Methods”, organized by the Open Society Archives. The conference was held from 26 to 28 September 2013 at the Central European University.
  • We have participated in 2013 in the launch of, and contribute to, a new book Series “Labor and the Production of Value. Transdisciplinary Studies for the 21st Century” with CEU Press. 
  • We have assisted the formation of the Working Group “Labour and State Socialism”, involving at its core PhD students from CEU, within the newly formed European Network of Labour History (ELHN). The ELHN was established during a meeting at the IISH in Amsterdam on 12 October 2013. The meeting brought together some 35 scholars and professionals from more than 17 European countries and beyond, who are involved with labour history archives, journals and research institutions, and come from a variety of universities.
  • In spring 2015 we will co-organize and host one of the workshops/conferences of the Research Network on “Women, Work and Value in Europe, 1945-2015” (Principal investigator: Josie McLellan, Universityof Bristol), sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK)

Contact: Marsha Siefert siefertm@ceu.hu, Susan Zimmermann zimmerma@ceu.hu

The department has also over the years published its own yearbooks and working papers. These publications are available from the department by request.  Under the umbrella of Pasts, Inc., the refereed journal, East Central Europe/L'Europe du Centre-Est. Eine wissenschafliche Zeitschrift. As of 2008, the European Review of History / Revue Européenne d'histoire, an international refereed journal for the comparative and transnational history of Europe, also established a new editorial office in Budapest, hosted by our department.

Through CEU university Press, the Department and its Centers are editing book series: "Pasts Incorporated. CEU Studies in the Humanities," features new and emerging scholarship about the region, “ Comparative Studies in Religion, History, and Society”  publishes books with explicit comparative and historical perspectives, reflecting new research in the studies of monotheistic religions and society.

In the past  the largest network of scholars has grown out of the CEU-HESP Comparative History Project. This was a three-year project to introduce teaching and research in Comparative History into the curricula of target departments at universities in our Region -- Central Europe, South East Europe, Eastern Europe -- with CEU acting as the core and the coordinator of the group. As an outgrowth of this work we have also built a European Comparative History Network.