Welcome from the Head of Department

I would like to extend a warm welcome from the History Department at Central European University, a young but well-established university that has won international recognition in the two decades since its founding. We invite you to spend a few minutes on our website learning about our programs and the research interests and accomplishments of our faculty and students. You may explore our extra-curricular offerings as well, which include international and departmental colloquia, public lectures, and other events sponsored by the department and its various research centers and programs.

Our department puts great store in the search for innovative directions in research and teaching. I draw your attention to our internationally renowned faculty, whose expertise extends from the history of the Habsburg, Romanov, and Ottoman Empires to comparative study of totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century, from comparative religious studies to numerous aspects of cultural history. While our department is known for its academic strength in and focus on Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe, we have more recently added the Eastern Mediterranean as another area of strength. Our interests are distributed across a broad array of subfields, including but not limited to social, cultural, intellectual, political, and religious history. In this sense the department supports and encourages innovation. While also training students in conventionally defined fields of history, we are nationally and internationally recognized as a center for cutting-edge research advancing transnational and comparative history on empirical and theoretical grounds.

While students from the former East Bloc countries initially formed our core constituency, in recent years our department has attracted an ever-growing number of graduate students from all over the world – a clear indication for us that the talent and dedication of our faculty as teachers is well received. We are proud that our graduate students are pursuing successful carriers in academic and professional fields or continuing their PhD education in the leading universities of the U.S. and Europe (see our alumni link). At our department students find an environment that encourages them to develop independent, innovative, and critical open minds, based on rigorous training of analytical skills and uses of sources and archival materials.

Budapest is an exciting place for study. Central European University holds the largest English-language research library in the region, while the city offers a number of important libraries and archives. It lies at the crossroads of Europe, and is in close physical proximity to major centers for historical research such as Bucharest, Vienna, Kraków, Munich, Zagreb, Venice, and Istanbul, to name but a few. Intellectual discussion and cultural life continue after class lets out as well. CEU frequently hosts talks by distinguished visitors as well as international conferences and workshops, and conversations between students and faculty go on in our hallways and in the many public spaces and cafés that surround the university.

I invite you to look through these pages and learn more about us and our department. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions. I hope you will follow up by contacting our staff and/or arranging a visit.

Nadia Al-Bagdadi

Head of the History Department