MA Students 2016-17

Academic Year 2016/17

One-Year MA in Medieval Studies

 Sibil Gruntar Vilfan | Slovenia
Topic at CEU: Quasi nani super humeros gigantum? Reusing Classical Quotations in Haiographic Discourse in the Area of Liège (900–1100)
Supervisor: Cristian Gaspar

Sibil obtained her BA and MA degree in English language  and literature and Latin language and  literature from the University of Ljubljana in 2014. She has worked on a project of cross-linguistic comparison of Latin phraseology based on Erasmus’s Adagia and translations of Erasmus and Sulpicius Severus. Her current research focuses on excerpts of Terence in Florilegium Gallicum.

Caroline Gurevich | Russia
Topic at CEU: The Image of the Cumans in Medieval Chronicles
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Katalin Szende

Caroline graduated from the National Research University’s Higher School of Economics, Faculty of Humanities, School of Philology. She is interested in medieval nomadic discourse and in Christian authors’ conceptualization of nomadic experience in medieval chronicles. Combining historical and textual (narrative) studies, her proposed MA thesis will focus on representations of the Cumans in medieval Byzantine, Georgian, Old Russian, and Hungarian chronicles.

Aglaia Iankovskaia | Russia
Topic at CEU: At the Edge of the World of Islam: Maritime Southeast Asia in the Eyes of Ibn Battuta
Supervisors: Istvan Perczel, Marcell Sebok

Aglaia earned her first degree in history and ethnology at St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Her research interests lie in the fields of medieval Arabic geography and travel literature as well the history of Indian ocean trade and contacts between the Middle East and Maritime Southeast Asia. As an undergraduate Aglaia focused on the accounts of medieval Arab traveler Ibn Battuta. After graduation she was granted several scholarships and completed three non-degree programs in culture and languages in Morocco and Indonesia.

Viktoriia Krivoshchekova | Russia
Topic at CEU: Signaculum secretorum: Episcopal Authority and Ritual in the Early Irish Church
Supervisors: Daniel Ziemann, Bela Zsolt Szakacs

Prior to her studies at CEU Viktoriia has earned a BA in History at the Perm campus of the Higher School of Economics (Russia). As an undergraduate student she worked on early medieval notions of sanctity and monasticism, primarily in writings by and about St Columbanus. Currently Viktoriia’s interest lies in the interaction between the monastic and episcopal organizations of the Early Irish Church which was a unique blend of the Roman tradition and insular developments.

Dora Lantos | Hungary
Topic at CEU: Anthropomorphic Aspects of the Rabbinic Tradition in Thirteenth Century Jewish-Christian Polemics
Supervisors: Carsten Wilke, Gyorgy Gereby

Dora obtained her BA degree in Hebrew Studies and Religious Studies from Eötvös Loránd University Budapest (ELTE) in 2012, and her MA degree in Jewish Studies in 2015. She also completed the One-Year Academic Program in Jewish Studies at Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, in 2013. She worked in the Jewish Theological Seminary of Budapest's Library Restoration Project between 2013-2015. Her primary research interest is Jewish-Christian interrelations, especially the status of Jewish tradition and the attitude toward the Talmud in the Church. Her current research focuses on Talmud-debates in Paris and Barcelona in the thirteenth century.

Patrik Pastrnak | Slovakia
Topic at CEU: The Wedding of Sigismund the Old and Bona Sforza: Diplomacy, Celebrations, Cultural Transfer
Supervisors: Katalin Szende, Balazs Nagy

Patrik graduated with a BA in History and Latin Philology from the Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, in 2015. In 2016, he finished the first year of two-year MA programme at the same university in the same field of study. Previously, in 2013 Patrick was an Erasmus student for one semester at the University of Florence. His previous research interests include didactical literature for queens. He is interested in medieval literature, queenship and auxiliary historical disciplines and enjoys translating Latin. He is currently working on translating brief Latin texts connected with the court of Matthias Corvinus to Czech.

Iurii Rudnev | Russia
Topic at CEU: Senses and Passions in Benvenuto Cellini’s “Vita”: The Life of a Neoplatonic Mannerist
Supervisors: Gyorgy E. Szonyi, Bela Zsolt Szakacs

Iurii Rudnev obtained his BA in philosophy and MA in history of knowledge from the National Research University, Higher School of Economics (Moscow). His research interests lie in the fields of Renaissance intellectual history and historical epistemology. He participated in academic projects on the history of autobiographical writing and history of medicine. Iurii currently studies medical, alchemical and magical motives in Benvenuto Cellini’s vita of to reappraise this Renaissance sculptor, painter, jeweler and medalist as a sixteenth-century humanist.

Virag Somogyvari | Hungary
Topic at CEU: The Art of Love in Late Medieval Bone Saddles
Supervisors: Bela Zsolt Szakacs, Alice M. Choyke

Virag obtained first her BA and subsequently her MA degree in art history from Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, where she graduated in 2016. During her master’s course in 2014/15, she spent one semester in Paris as an Erasmus student at the École Pratique des Hautes Études. In autumn 2015 she served her internship at the Art Object Department of the Musée du Louvre. In her BA thesis she focused on medieval dresses in manuscript illustrations which remains one of her main field of interest, focusing on fifteenth century bone saddles in her current research.

Eszter Tarjan | Hungary
Topic at CEU: The Representation of Central and Eastern Europe in Heraldic Aspects during the 13th-14th Century in England
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Gerhard Jaritz

Eszter obtained her BA degree in classical philology and history from Eötvös Loránd University Budapest (ELTE) in 2011. She also obtained her MA degree from Eötvös Loránd University in history, with medieval specialization in 2013. Eszter is currently completing her PhD program at ELTE in parallel with the one-year Medieval Studies at CEU. She is also member of Auxiliary Studies Department at ELTE and works in a research group supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Found. Her wider research topic is the early period of heraldry in Western Europe, with a special focus on the English and French armorials from the thirteenth and fourteenth century. More specifically, she is interested in the royal blazons of the Roll of Arms in England and France.

Rebecca Taylor | USA
Topic at CEU: 'Es tu de paenisme u de crestïenté?' Representations of Religious Difference in the Earliest Chansons de geste
Supervisor: Marianne Saghy, Tivadar Palagyi (ELTE)

Rebecca received her BA with a double major in Comparative Literature and French from the University of California, Irvine in 2015 and AA degrees in English, French Language, Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts and Humanities, and Music from San Joaquin Delta College in 2013. She is also an alumna of the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), having taught English for one year in La Côte-Saint-André, France. Her previous research centered on the Old French chansons de geste, specifically on the representations of Christians and pagans in La Chanson de Roland. Her MA thesis will focus on the development of medieval chant traditions from its fourth-century renewal to the beginning of Gregorian standardization in the ninth century, looking at how chants from this period vary across (or are absent from) particular liturgical traditions and how patristic and other early Christian writers write about contemporaneous chant practices. In addition to her present research, her broader interests include medieval and Renaissance sacred music and medieval languages and literature.

Orsolya Varro | Hungary
Topic at CEU: Uses and Abuses of Power in the 11th-Century Poitou
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Gabor Klaniczay

Orsolya obtained her BA degree in history in 2014 and is currently completing her MA at Eötvös Loránd University. Her previous research topics include the social network of landholders in eleventh-century Aquitaine, as well as the cult of saints and the Peace of God as instruments of exercising power. Her master’s thesis focuses on perceptions and representation of authority in eleventh-century Poitou and La Marche.

Mihaela Vucic | Croatia
Topic at CEU:  The Apocalyptic Identity of St. Michael in the 11th century Istria
Supervisors: Bela Zsolt Szakacs, Gabor Klaniczay

Mihaela Vucic was born in Rijeka, Croatia in 1989. She received her BA in 2013 in Spanish Language and Literature and Art History from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb and continued her studies as a graduate student. She is currently working on her thesis entitled The Cult of Michael the Archangel in the Middle Ages on the Eastern Adriatic covering roughly the time frame between the seventhand the twelfthcenturies, dealing with topography, architecture, epigraphic inscriptions and visual representations of St Michael. She is interested in the history of St Michael's saintly cult, its spread, identity and the changes it underwent due to political and ecclesiastical influences.

Two-Year MA in Comparative History: Late Antique, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Year One (2016/17-2017/18)

Levente Bajan | Hungary
Topic at CEU: The Political and Economic Effects of the Templar Province in the Kingdom of Hungary on the Local and Crusading Communities in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Century
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Floris Bernard

Levente received a BA in History from the University of South Florida in 2015, where he studied the political relations between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire in the twelfth century. Continued interests in the economic status of the Crusading States and the Byzantine Empire led him to take part in a GIS Coin Research Project, in which a database was built of coin hordes that were plotted on a map with various details. His current research interests focus on the Templar holdings in the Kingdom of Hungary, and the economic and political roles it had on the local and crusading communities.

Melinda Boyd | USA
Topic at CEU: East/West Contact During the Crusades and How it Affected Church Decoration in the Former Kingdom of Hungary
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Bela Zsolt Szakacs

Melinda Boyd earned her BA in art history and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995. She has worked at UNC as manager of software acquisition, and as project and data manager for the Carolina Mammography Registry, a federally funded breast cancer research study at UNC. Since 2010 she has worked as an art historian, creative writing instructor, and English language editor. Research interests include the crusades, East/West contact and its effect on the visual arts during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, medieval art in the former Kingdom of Hungary, particularly Transylvania, and medieval folklore.

Kelsey Brunasso | USA
Topic at CEU: The archaeology of extramural churches in Early Byzantium: revisiting the Palikura basilica complex outside Stobi, Macedonia
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Bela Zsolt Szakacs, Floris Bernard

Kelsey spent the last two years working as an Archivist and Museum Technician with the National Park Service in Sitka, Alaska. Previously, she received her BA in Cultural Anthropology from Wells College and her MLitt in Archaeological Studies from the University of Glasgow. Her previous research explored archaeological theory, specifically the different approaches archaeologists use to study material cultural. Her current research interests include Byzantine archaeology and architecture, the archaeology of buildings, and the application of archaeological theory to the study of medieval architecture.

Fatma Deniz | Turkey
Topic at CEU: A Study of Everyday Life in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire Based on the First Ottoman Diary
Supervisors: Tijana Krstic, Gerhard Jaritz, Marcell Sebok

Fatma Deniz graduated in history, political science and international relations from Istanbul Şehir University. She was involved in the Taha Toros Archieve Project describing Ottoman Turkish documents and assisted an Ottoman Turkish course at the same university. Her research interests include daily life, as well as religious and cultural life in the Ottoman Empire in the early modern era.

Dyese Elliott-Newton | USA
Topic at CEU: Reforming Spouses and Spousals on Stage:  A Shakespearean Look at Gender Roles and Marriage Practice after the Protestant Reformation
Supervisor: Gyorgy Endre Szonyi

Dyese received her B.A. in English Literature and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her undergraduate thesis used Shakespearean literature to look at the clash between religious and civil authorities concerning the requisites for valid marriage contracts in Early Modern England. Her current research interests involve looking at the transformation(s) in marriage vows and contracts and gender roles following major religious movements in Europe--particularly the Protestant Reformation.

Tamas Juhasz | Hungary
Topic at CEU: “Let`s Ban Applause!” How Music Gained Political Importance in the 9th-10th Century Iraq?
Supervisors: Aziz Al-Azmeh

Tamas obtained his BA in Arabic Studies from Pazmany Peter Catholic University. During his BA studies he was involved in an archaeological excavation in Syria and completed a ten-month Arabic language program at Kuwait University. He is currently taking time out from completing his MA program in Islamic Studies at Eotvos Lorand University Budapest (ELTE). His current research focuses on the sociopolitical changes in eleventh-century Iraq and how these affected the adjudication of music and musicians. 

Chloe Miller | USA
Topic at CEU: Examining Changes in Medieval ‘Székely’ Cemetery Formation and Mortuary Practices (Harghita County)
Supervisors: Alice M. Choyke, Jozsef Laszlvoszky

Chloé graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 2015. In 2014, her interests in bioarchaeology took her to Transylvania, Romania to work on a medieval church site. She returned to Transylvania in 2015 to continue working with the human remains excavated from medieval church sites in the region. Her MA thesis at CEU is a continuation of her work in Transylvania. Chloe's goal is to continue assisting communal Székely archaeological projects and to increase awareness of Central European archaeology within the United States.

Jose Osorio | Peru
Topic at CEU: Alain de Lille's Trinitarian Theology
Supervisors: Gyorgy Gereby, Istvan Perczel

Jose Osorio was born in Lima, Perú. He received his BA and MA in philosophy from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. He was an Erasmus Mundus student at the University of Bologna. Before coming to CEU, he worked as a college professor teaching undergraduate courses on ethics and history of philosophy in Lima. His dissertation will be about Nicholas of Cusa's trinitarian theology.

Krisztina Peter | Hungary
Topic at CEU: The Circulation and Transmission of News between Print and Manuscript
Supervisors: Gerhard Jaritz, Katalin Szende, Zsuzsanna Reed

Krisztina completed her MA degrees in History (2010), Ethnography (2012) and Geography (2013) at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, and she is currently taking time off from completing her PhD program at ELTE. Her primary research interests lie in the cultural and social history of the sixteenth century, especially in the history of news and pamphleteering. Her current research at CEU will focus on the circulation and transmission of news between print and manuscript. She is also involved in a publication project at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, working with the correspondence of nineteenth-century Hungarian writer and politician József Eötvös.

Lev Shadrin | Russia
Topic at CEU: tba

Lev Shadrin graduated in art history from Ilya Glazunov Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow. His undergraduate thesis focused on the iconography and imagery of St. George, their development in Byzantine tradition and Russian culture between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. His academic interests include manuscript research; Byzantine paleography, epigraphy and codicology; comparative analysis of late antique and early Christian art; hagiography and cults of warrior saints. He participated in archaeological excavations of Graeco-Scythian settlements at the Belyaus and Kulchuk sites on the Black Sea shore for several seasons.

Ante Vucic | Croatia
Topic at CEU: Christianity on the territory between the rivers Neretva and Cetina from the 4th to the 11th centuries
Supervisors: Jozsef Laszlovszky, Bela Zsolt Szakacs

Ante Vucic was born in Metkovic in 1987. He finished elementary school in Metkovic and high school in Ploce, Croatia. In 2013 he graduated in History from the Department of  History at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. His fields of interest are late antiquity, the early middle ages, the transformation of Roman world, identity formation in early medieval Europe, and the process of christianization.

Arina Zaytseva | Russia
Topic at CEU: The Text and the Visual: Shaping the Literary Image of the Devil through Performative and Visual Art of the 13-15th Centuries Italy.
Supervisors: Gabor Klaniczay, Gyorgy E. Szonyi, Gerhard Jaritz

Arina obtained her BA degree in Cultural Studies from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow in 2016. Her BA thesis focused on the literary tradition of the “devil’s lawsuit”, specifically the treatise Processus Satanae contra genus humanum and its reception in late medieval Italy. Arina's research interests include medieval demonology, medieval literature, as well as visual and performing arts.

Year Two
(2015/16-2016/17)

BOYARINTSEVA, Uliana | Russia
Thesis topic: Philological and Historical Context of the Treatise “On Paradise” by Niketas Stethatos
Supervisors: Floris Bernard; Istvan Perczel

Uliana got her BA degree in the history of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Times from Moscow State University (MSU). She participated in archeological excavations of the Graeco-Scythian site "Chaika" in Yevpatoria (2012, 2013) and the Graeco-Sindic settlement "Hermonassa" in 2015. She is mostly interested in the history of Byzantine culture, focusing on relations between image and text, between secular and sacred elements in art, and on theological literature. Her BA thesis dealt with a philological analysis (translation) of the treatise "On Paradise" by Niketas Stethatos, the Byzantine theologian of the 11st century. Now she studies perceptions of Paradise in Byzantine art and theology.

CHOLEWICKI, Pawel | Poland
Thesis topic: The King, the Papacy and the Friars: The Role of the Franciscans in the Kingdom of Bosnia during the Reign of King Stephen Thomas, 1443-1461
Supervisor: Klaniczay, Gabor

Background and research: Paweł studied archeology as an undergraduate and graduate, and participated in several archeological excavations. He was an exchange student and participated in the Ohrid Summer University in 2013 and there he became interested in the history of Southeastern Europe, and late Medieval Bosnia in particular. Paweł will focus on the religious aspects of the Kingdom of Bosnia in the period that precedes the Ottoman conquest, particularly the role of the Franciscans during that time. His research interests include the Bosnian Church, Bosnian Franciscans, the reign of King Stephen Thomas, Medieval monastic movements, social archeology, and historical narratives in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Paweł has written several articles for Polish websites and newspapers.

Relevance: Since the Franciscans were always such an important and active part of the Bosnian society, and because today they are still, studies on their participation in the important events of Bosnian history from new perspectives is a contribution to our understanding of the present day situation in Bosnia.

EICHERT, David | USA
Thesis topic: Corippus' Road to Contantinople in Laudem Iustini minori
Supervisors: Perczel, Istvan; Bernard, Floris

Background and research: David studied classical literature as an undergraduate. He is looking at continuity and change through literature, especially through history writing through philosophy. David will study the translation movements of the Late Antique and the Early Medieval period. His MA Thesis will deal with some aspects of continuity surviving on the margins of the Roman world into the early Islamic period. His research interests include Classical and Byzantine literature and rhetoric; Classical and Byzantine historians; Procopius; translations of Greek into Latin, Syriac and Arabic; late Antiquity; Neoplatonism; and the emergence of Islam.

Relevance: This thesis will help readers to better understand the ways public figures responded to the imperial regime and how they expressed their dissatisfaction with it in highly stylized and covert ways.

GALSTYAN, Anahit | Armenia
Thesis topic: The Armenian Influences on the Architecture of Seljuk and Turkmen Tombs in Medieval Anatolia from the Twelfth to the Fourteenth Century
Supervisors: Szakacs, Bela Zsolt; Perczel, Istvan; Krstic, Tijana

Background and research: Anahit graduated from the Department of Armenian Art History and Theory at Yerevan State University, Armenia. She is interested in Armenian Medieval ecclesiastical architecture, as well as in Seljuk architecture. After receiving her BA degree, she attended courses on restoration and conservation of mural paintings organized in Armenia by the Polytechnic University of Milan, learning from and working with highly qualified restorers on Medieval as well as 20th century murals. She has worked at the Scientific Research Center for Conservation and Restoration of Mural Paintings; and participated in the Armenian-American archaeological expedition, organized by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS RA, and Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA in the Neolithic site in Masis Blur, Armenia, as an assistant to the field archaeologist. Additionally, since 2009, Anahit has been an active member of the elections observation mission organized by Transparency International Anticorruption Center.

Relevance: Anahit states: “From my own point of view, the exploration of the cultural interactions of the Armenians and Turks in Medieval times is very important for developing cultural relations among our peoples nowadays. Though my research is a humble attempt to reconstruct the process of the cultural encounter in the larger frame of the history of Christian minorities in Muslim Anatolia, it is still a step forward the development of the new scholarship devoid of nationalism and racism.”

GHAZARYAN, Flora | Armenia
Thesis topic:
The Iconology of the Armenian Silver Book Bindings from Ottoman Constantinople (17-19th Centuries)
Supervisors: Krstic, Tijana; Szakacs, Bela Zsolt

Background and research: Flora studied at Yerevan State University. Before coming to CEU, she received a BA and MA in Art History. The topic of her defended thesis in her BA was “The Silver Works of Constantinople”, then, in her MA, she continued the topic and concentrated on one particular object: “One Example of Armenian Silversmithing from Constantinople: No 879 Twin Binding from the Holy Mother See of Etchmiadzin”.  As a student, Flora also volunteered in different archaeological excavations. The most significant excavations were organized and led by the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography. The volunteering students worked together with invited professors and students from abroad.  Thus, the excavations of the “Shengavit” settlement and “Erebouni” fortress were her first experiences working and studying in an English-speaking environment. She also worked as a volunteer in different tourist companies and organizations, helping people from various countries discover Armenia. In her MA thesis at CEU, she is developing her previous topic by showing iconographic similarities and differences of the Armenian silversmithing of Constantinople from western iconography, engravings in printed books, and Armenian silversmithing of other cities.

Relevance: Flora believes her topic is relevant because it “brings one more stone to a huge field of Ottoman Studies by researching the history of Ottoman confessional and ethnic minorities and trying to show the role they played in the art and trade of Ottoman Turkey.”

HLACA, Tea | Croatia
Thesis topic: The Living Cross, the Dance and Personifications of Death, and the Wheel of Fortune: Symbolic and Allegoric Motives in Late Medieval Istrian Wall Paintings
Supervisors: Szakacs, Bela Zsolt; Jaritz, Gerhard

Research and background: Tea received her BA in art history and Italian language and literature from the University of Zagreb. Her current research focuses on iconography, as well as the perception and interpretation of late medieval wall paintings in Istria. In addition to her present research, her interests include late medieval art and visual culture, medieval image theory, late medieval macabre, medieval concepts of emotion and affectivity, and issues of memory and perception.

Relevance: Tea’s interdisciplinary study of the late medieval mural painting in Istria will contribute to the research of visual culture in medieval North Adriatic scholarship, which is also indispensible for the safeguarding and promotion of medieval cultural heritage, especially regarding the region’s booming cultural tourism.

 

KOMORI, Tunde | Hungary
Thesis topic: Comparative Study of the Chinese Porcelain Finds from Ottoman Buda and the Castle of Eger
Supervisors: Laszlovszky, Jozsef

Background and research: Tünde earned a BA in Chinese Studies and in Archaeology from ELTE. She spent eleven months in a Chinese language program in Shanghai with the joint scholarship of the Hungarian Scholarship Council and the China Scholarship Council between 2011–12. Apart from Hungarian excavation projects, Tünde also participated in the 2nd Central European Summer School of Archaeology as an assistant archaeologist in the Deserted Castle of Zvolen, Slovakia, during the summer of 2011, and as an assistant archaeologist at Čabrad’ský Castle, Čabrad-Vrbok, Slovakia during the summers of 2013, 2014, and 2015. In the spring of 2013, she assisted in the extension of the permanent exhibition “Collectors and Treasures” of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest with the cabinet of the Magda Bácsi Collection. Her current research focuses on Chinese porcelain finds unearthed in Hungary, and their archaeological analysis and identification. As Chinese porcelain is strongly connected to the Ottoman occupation in Hungary, Tünde is also interested in the Ottoman context and cultural-historical background that the occupation brought to the country.

Relevance: The comparison of the Chinese porcelain fragments unearthed in Ottoman era Buda (1541-1689) and the Eger Castle (1596-1687) in Hungary, can reveal the connection between the Ottoman Empire and the late Ming and early Qing China. Learning more about the presence – including origin, means of arrival, function, and status in society – of a foreign object type such as Chinese porcelain in the marginal territory of the Ottoman Empire that Hungary was, can deepen our understanding of the widespread connections of the early modern world. Chinese porcelain of this time period is well researched in general, but less well known in Hungary. The main object of this research is to provide more information about from where and in what ways these objects could have ended up in the territory of modern day Hungary, and what significance they had and how they were used in the Ottoman era society in this part of the Ottoman empire.

MEMIS, Huseyin | Turkey
Thesis topic:The Intellectual and Spiritual Journey of a Priest-Turned-Sufi: Papasname (The Priest’s Story)
Supervisor: Krstic, Tijana; Borekci, Gunhan

Background and research: Hüseyin received his BA in European Studies and his MA in Early Ottoman History from Bahçeşehir University, İstanbul. Between 2012-14, he had the opportunity to work in the Ottoman Archives for the project “Northern Aegean Islands from Empire to Republic: İmroz, Limni, Semadirek, Taşöz”. He is primarily interested in the social and economic changes experienced in the Balkans and Anatolia during the transformation from Byzantine to Ottoman hegemony, the conversions, and state-society relations.

MILENKOVIC, Dunja | Serbia
Thesis topic: Derision and Abuse of a Byzantine Intellectual: Two Prose Invectives by Theodore Prodromos
Supervisors: Bernard, Floris; Perczel, Istvan

Background and research: Dunja received her BA degree (2013) and MA degree (2014) from the History Department at the Faculty of Philosophy (Belgrade University, Serbia). Her BA thesis entitled Byzantine Emperors in Serbian Medieval Hagiographies was named one of the two best BA theses in the History Department in 2014 by Belgrade University and the Fund in honor of Prof. Dr. Radmila Milentijević (Professor Emeritus at The City College of New York). During her studies, Dunja volunteered as a Library Assistant at the Pedagogical Museum in Belgrade where she worked on classification, registration and digitization of old and rare books, school reports and legal regulations. Her research focus is on the Byzantine Empire, primarily on Byzantine literature, literary analysis and history of ideas.

MILLER, Dane | USA
Thesis topic: Sing a New Song: The Spirit  of Cistercian Liturgical Reform and the 1147 Hymnal
Supervisors: Klaniczay, Gabor

Background and research: Dane received his BA in French Language and Literature from Boston University (BU), where he had a particular focus on the musical performance of Medieval troubadour lyric. He also studied Turkish and other languages during his time at BU. He has taught languages for several years in the US, France (through the Teaching Assistant Program in France), and in Turkey (as a US Fulbright Fellow). Before moving to Budapest to continue his studies, he was working for The Episcopal Church of America (a member of the Anglican Communion) in disaster recovery and preparedness. His research is focused on Cistercian monastic community practice, with a particular emphasis on liturgical reform and musical manuscripts.

Relevance: Dane studies the reformed hymnal of the Cistercian Order and its manuscript tradition. He is interested in how religious groups define and create a sense of shared identity across regional and linguistic boundaries through the use of liturgical practices and the challenges that exist in balancing uniformity with local expression. This question is not only relevant within religious settings, but also in various institutional contexts that expand beyond the local level.

Read about Dane's CEU experience

NAGY, Eszter | Hungary
Thesis topic: The Judgment of Paris in the Rouen Books of Hours from the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century
Supervisors: Szakacs, Bela Zsolt

Eszter obtained her MA degree in art history at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest in 2015. During her MA studies, she spent a semester at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre as an Erasmus student. As mandatory internship, she participated in registering the watermarks of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian prints in the Prints and Drawings Department of the Museum of Fine Arts, where she also contributed to building an online catalogue of the seventeenth-century Italian prints. In September 2015, she started working as assistant research fellow in the Institute of Art History of the Hungarian Academy of Science. Her research focuses on manuscript illumination, text and image relations, and provenance of codices.

NEGOITA, Octavian Adrian | Romania
Thesis topic: Combating Superstitions and Conversion to Islam: Pachomios Rousanos (1508-1553) and His Apologetic Works for the Orthodox Church
Supervisor: Krstic, Tijana

Background and research: Prior to CEU, Octavian studied at the University of Bucharest, where he earned his first BA degree in 2013 at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology (BA in Pastoral Theology). He earned his second BA degree in 2015 at the Department of Classical Philology and Modern Greek, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and in the same year he earned his first MA degree at the Faculty of History (MA in Medieval Studies). In 2013 Octavian attended the Byzantine Greek Summer School of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (University of Birmingham) and in 2014 he was a member of the Byzantine Greek Summer School of Dumbarton Oaks. His research interest is anchored in the field of Christian-Muslim relations in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Medieval and Early Modern periods, with special emphasis on political history, intercultural exchanges, polemical literature and confessional relations.

Relevance: Octavian states: “The relevance of my thesis is given by the fact that its analysis addresses as a unit two important socio-religious themes of the period (i.e. the practice of superstitions and conversion to Islam), focusing especially on the ‘diagnosis’ and the ‘remedies’ that Rousanos emphasizes for combating them. In this thesis I will create both a conceptual framework and a contextualized narrative in which these two main themes have been perceived by Rousanos. The purpose of this thesis is to understand these two intertwined socio-religious themes in the context of both early modern Ottoman history and post-Byzantine intellectual history, as so far scholars have dealt with them in a decontextualized and separate manner. Last but not least, I think that this thesis will also contribute to a better understanding of what conversion to Islam and the practice of superstitions meant in a certain period and geographical space (i.e. Eastern Mediterranean) for a specific religious group (i.e. the Orthodox people from the Ottoman lands) and an ecclesiastical authority, how these themes have been perceived in relation with the official Orthodox religious tenets, and how these perceptions developed in later periods.”

SKINNER, Jordan | USA
Thesis topic: The Concept of Change in Aquinas's Ontology: An Attempt at ta Philosophcal Interpretation
Supervisors: Gereby, Gyorgy

Background and research: Jordan's research fields are philosophy, conceptual history, religion, and political theology and politics. He is completing a thesis on the concept of change and its genealogical development from antiquity through the late antique period.

Relevance:  Jordan's research seeks to pinpoint—from Ancient Greece through to Latin Scholasticism—a fundamental principle which is still being debated in contemporary philosophy and used to direct debates in contemporary physics: the principle of change. It goes without saying that such a principle has changed dramatically throughout history, and yet its persistent fundamental role continues to direct contemporary discussions and inspire new theories.

Future plans: Jordan will begin a PhD in philosophy in order to bridge his historical knowledge with contemporary philosophical debates.

TELEGINA, Mariia | Russia
Thesis topic: Political Economy of Gift Exchange Between Istanbul and Moscow in 1621-1631
Supervisors: Krstic, Tijana; Hennings, Jan

Background and research: Maria obtained her BA in History from the Perm State University (Russia). Her research interests include Ottoman–Russian relations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Early Modern diplomatic history, and Orthodox Greek mediation in relations between the Ottoman Empire and its Christian neighbors. In her thesis she focuses on the networks constructed between Istanbul/Constantinople and Moscow by the intermediary Thomas Kantakouzenos, exploring how political and religious engagement, together with personal interest, are interwoven in his missions.

Relevance: Recent changes in Ottoman and Russian historiographies together with current political situation have revived interest to the shared past of these empires. Focusing on a specific moment when a precarious alliance was forged between Istanbul and Moscow in 1630s, Maria’s research aims to deepen understanding of cultural exchange between the Ottoman Empire and Muscovite Tsardom. In order to do so, it places the ambassadorial exchange within the framework of gift giving theories provided in the writings of modern anthropologists and historians. The chosen case study is thus relevant for the broader discussions of Muslim-Christian relations in the seventeenth century and gifting practices.  

All of the above two-year MA students will receive funding for their second year of studies.

Erasmus Students

Susi Bogen | Germany
(Fall, Winter, Spring terms 2016-17)
Current Institution: Chemnitz University Of Technology, Chemnitz, Germany
Topic of research: Local historical and cultural heritage perception with focus on the composer Philipp Dulichius and Christian Gottlob Neefe

Anna-Maria Frisch | Germany
(Fall term, 2016)
Current Institution:
Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Jan Nowicki | Poland
(Fall, Winter terms, 2016-17)
Current Institution: University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Pavel Stuj | Czech Republic(Winter, Spring terms, 2016-17)
Current Institution: Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic
Topic of research: Infanticide: Women criminality in early modern Bohemia