Master of Arts in Comparative History (2 years)

As of 2008, a two-year MA degree in Comparative History was introduced at CEU as a joint initiative of the Department of Medieval Studies and the History Department. It consists of two tracks: Late Antique, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies and the Comparative History from 1500 till present time. In November 2007, this new program was registered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York (US) for and on behalf of the New York State Education Department, and in July 2008 by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee.

By joining forces, the departments of Medieval Studies and History are able to offer a multifaceted degree program, strongly underpinned by a systematic introduction to theories, methods and research skills in history and related disciplines, focusing on Central, Eastern, Southeastern, and Western Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity to contemporary times, aimed at the understanding of persistent themes in the experience of these regions in a longue durée (historical) perspective. The two-year option does not affect the integrity of the accredited one-year MA programs currently offered by both departments separately, and it extensively relies on their curricula.

Who should apply?

The two-year MA program is as demanding as its one-year alternative, but its pace and substance are designed to meet the interests of students who may need more work on the basics of historical scholarship. It is specifically intended for applicants with a three-year BA (“Bologna type”) degree in history, archaeology, literary history, Classical languages, art history or other related disciplines or students who may have completed four or even five years of undergraduate education, but in a social science or humanities discipline other than history. Holders of four- or five-year undergraduate degrees in history are advised to apply to the one-year program (although they may be directed to the two-year program upon the examination of their individual backgrounds).

Program Structure

In accordance with the CEU academic calendar, the program offerings are divided into a Pre-Session and Zero Week (3 weeks in September), the Fall term (12 weeks from late September to December), the Winter term (12 weeks from January to the end of March) and a Spring Session (10 weeks in April and June).

The first year of the two-year program is integrated to a considerable extent between the Departments of History and Medieval Studies. It is intended to ensure good training in methods and theoretical basics as well as languages and other skills.

The Pre-Session and Zero Week are designed to accommodate students to the CEU environment. The program includes an excursion, introductory sessions for students about resources both within CEU, course introductions, and getting acquainted with the archival and library resources in Budapest.

The first term comprises several mandatory courses, while other courses are selected from a set number of mandatory fields (“elective” or “topical survey” courses).  Some courses are separate electives for medievalists and modernists.

In the second term the number of common courses decreases and the choice of electives increases (but they are still open for both Medieval Studies and History students). The number of special courses for each group is larger and preparations begin for the second year. A thesis prospectus is submitted and defended at the end of the academic year. Students start to work on the prospectus  under the guidance of a supervisor in the MA thesis planning seminar during the winter term, to be continued in the thesis workshops offered in the month of May. The three-week research break in April serves for students to explore possible archival and other sources at home or elsewhere. The university provides modest grants to assist students in conducting their research. Information is made available about the application procedure for these grants in early February.

The year ends with a spring session starting in the last week of April. Medievalists have a one-week field trip (prepared for during the Winter Term by a field trip seminar) to sites and areas offering insights into the medieval civilization of the region, and "modernists" go on an educational trip either in the Spring term or alternatively in September in the first year of their studies. This is followed by the Spring Session that provides further guidance towards authoring the MA prospectus.

At the History Department students present and discuss the results of their research done in April with their peers and faculty members in the above mentioned thesis workshops. At the Medieval Studies Department the Spring Session primarily consists of a 3-week seminar period when elective courses provide further guidance towards writing the MA theses. 2 single-credit seminars have to be selected from 4 offered options.

In June, the prospectus defenses of the first-year students take place in the same period as the MA Thesis defenses of the second-year students. Approval of the prospectus by a committee of the relevant department is a condition for continuing studies. Specific research tasks for the summer break are also planned.

In the third term (the fall term of the second year) students take specialized seminars and advanced research methods courses. The fourth term and the spring session of the second year are almost fully devoted to thesis-related tasks (writing the thesis, attending thesis-writing workshops, and supplementing research results when needed).

Workload and Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, two-year MA students must earn 66 credit points, out of which 12 are obtained for a successfully defended thesis. The remaining 54 are course credits (including thesis-planning seminars and thesis-writing workshops). One course credit equals one hour (50 minutes) of classroom attendance per week over a 12-week academic term.

Students have significant flexibility to select courses. Supervisors and other faculty assist them in making selections that are best suited for both their specific field of research and the program’s aim of interdisciplinary training. A tentative program for the entire year is discussed and designed individually with each student in each September. Naturally, minor changes, due to, for example, new interests on the part of a student, are possible.


Title Instructor Credit
From Kahal to Party: 18th-20th Century Jewish Society in Eastern Europe Israel Bartal 4.0
A Disintegrated Integration: The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1848-1918) András Gerő 4.0
Academic Field Trip Seminar József Laszlovszky
Béla Zsolt Szakács
Academic Latin: An Introduction to Research Methodology Radu Mustata 0.0
Advanced German Source Reading in Historiography Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
Advanced Hungarian Source Reading in Historiography Gabor Szegedi 2.0
Advanced Reading Seminar (Latin) - Narrative Past(s): Miracles and Forgeries in Early-Medieval Rome Cristian-Nicolae Gaşpar 2.0
Advanced Readings in German Historiography Max Trecker 2.0
Advanced Russian Source Reading in Historiography Anna Mazanik 2.0
Advanced Russian Source Reading in Historiography Mikhail V. Dmitriev 2.0
Advanced Russian Source Reading in Historiography Mikhail V. Dmitriev 2.0
Advanced Source Reading Class in Arabic Historiography Nadia Al-Bagdadi 2.0
Advanced Source Reading Class in Ottoman Historiography (16th-17th Centuries) Günhan Börekci 2.0
Advanced Source Reading Class in Ottoman Historiography (16th-17th centuries) Gunhan Borekci 2.0
Advanced Source Reading Class in Ottoman Historiography II Günhan Börekçi 2.0
Advanced Text Reading Seminar - Syriac: The Book of the Holy Hierotheus István Perczel 2.0
Ancient Atomism and its Critics Georgina White 2.0
Angevin Europe and the Late Crusades Marianne Sághy 2.0
Animal Entanglements in the Middle Ages: From Meat to Metaphor Alice Mathea Choyke
Gerhard Jaritz
Anonymity in the Medieval History of Thought Edit Lukacs 1.0
Archives, Evidence and Human Rights Iván Székely
Csaba Szilágyi
András Mink
Art in the Service of the Nation: 1750-2000 Robyn Radway 2.0
Ascension on High: Occult Theories and Practice from Antiquity to the Renaissance Gyorgy E. Szonyi 2.0
ATRS - Greek: Hagiographic and Historiographic Texts from the Sixth-Seventh centuries István Perczel 2.0
ATRS Greek: Byzantine Liturgical Poetry: The Early Hymnographers Floris Bernard 2.0
ATRS Greek: Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, excerpts from the Corpus István Perczel 2.0
ATRS Latin: Life, Love, and Death in Latin Inscriptions Cristian-Nicolae Gaşpar 2.0
Beyond Illustration: New Approaches to Research and Teaching with the Digital Humanities Marcell Sebők
Jessie Labov
Bible for Medievalists György Geréby 2.0
Borderlands in Islamic and Ottoman History Tolga U. Esmer 4.0
Building narratives: Self-expression through literature, art and performance Sanjay Kumar 2.0
Byzantine Art in the West Béla Zsolt Szakács 2.0
Byzantine spiritual theories 3. De oratione of Evagrius of Pontus (Advanced Greek reading seminar) György Geréby 2.0
CC + tutorial: Allies of the Devil: Pagans, Heretics, Magicians, Antichrists and Witches Gábor Klaniczay 4.0
CC + tutorial: Dynastic States and Royal Courts in Early Modern Eurasian History (1450-1700) Günhan Börekçi 4.0
CC + tutorial: Early Christianity: from Messianic Sect to State Religion György Geréby
Volker Menze
CC + tutorial: Great Themes of Late Antique, Byzantine and Medieval Philosophy György Geréby
István Perczel
CC + tutorial: History of Daily Life Gerhard Jaritz 4.0
CC + tutorial: The Eastern Mediterranean World: from Justinian to Muhammad Volker Menze 4.0
CC + tutorial: The Holy Roman Empire (900 – 1400 A.D.) Daniel Ziemann
Teaching Assistant: Iliana Kandzha
CC + tutorial: The “Seventeenth-century Crisis” in Comparative Perspective: European and Ottoman Experiences Gunhan Borekci 4.0
Communism and Gender: Historical and Global Perspectives (2017/18) Francisca de Haan 2.0
Consumption and Consumer Culture under Capitalism and Socialism Oana Adelina Stefan 2.0
Core Class + tutorial: Art and Liturgy Béla Zsolt Szakács 4.0
Core Class + Tutorial: Global Comparisons: Russia and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1839 Tijana Krstić
Jan Hennings
Core Class + Tutorial: History of Material Culture Alice Mathea Choyke
Gerhard Jaritz
Core Class + tutorial: Mongol Empire in Eurasia and its Impact on Central Europe József Laszlovszky
Balázs Nagy
Stephen Pow (contributor)
Core Class + tutorial: Saints and Society: Late Antique and Medieval Hagiography Marianne Sághy 4.0
Core Class + tutorial: Sources, Methods and New Perspectives in Ottoman History (15th to 18th centuries) Gunhan Borekci 4.0
Core Class + Tutorial: Texts and Communities in Byzantium Floris Bernard 4.0
Crusades - Ideology and Practice (11th-13th Century) Daniel Ziemann
Igor Razum
Eastern Christians in the Ottoman Empire, 14th-18th Centuries Tijana Krstić 2.0
Empire and Nationalism in Russia and the Soviet Union Alexei Miller 4.0
Empires and Nationalisms: Comparisons and Entanglements Alexei Miller 1.0
European Labor History in Global Context from the 18th Century to the Present Marsha Siefert 4.0
European Postwar Orders, 1919-1991. European and American Perspectives Patrick Cohrs 1.0
Everyday Life History In Empire and Beyond (lecture and seminar) Tolga U. Esmer
Peter Becker
Examining the Theatocracy: Drama and Politics in the Ancient World Georgina White 2.0
Faculty Research Seminar II István Perczel 1.0
Faculty Research Seminar II. Katalin Szende
Balázs Nagy
Food and Religion: the Byzantine Food Culture Beatrice Caseau 1.0
Foundations Course II: Religion and Secularism Nadia Al-Bagdadi 2.0
Foundations I: Religion and State (Lecture) Aziz Al-Azmeh 2.0
Foundations I: Scripture and Authority in Book Religions Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
Foundations II: The Historical Anthropology of Religion András Máté-Tóth 2.0
From Atatürk to Erdoğan: Political History of Modern Turkey Brett Wilson 4.0
Frontiers of Democracy: East-Central Europe in Comparison András Bozóki 2.0
Gender under State Socialism Eszter Bartha 2.0
Gender, Medicine and Science Emese Lafferton 2.0
Geospatial Humanities and Mapping Technologies Viktor Lagutov 2.0
Global Comparisons: Russia and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1839. Jan Hennings
Tijana Krstić
Greek Paleography Floris Bernard 2.0
HIST 5076 - Academic Writing II, for both 1YMA and 2YMA students Sanjay Kumar
Borbála Faragó
HIST 5094 MA Thesis Writing Tutorial (Spring) Zsuzsanna Reed 0.0
HIST 5128 MA Academic Writing Tutorial (Winter) Zsuzsanna Reed 1.0
Historical Credibility of Self-Accusatory Practices Istvan Rev 2.0
Historical Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Viktor Lagutov 2.0
Historical Narratives and the Moving Image: Theory and Practice Oksana Sarkisova
Jeremy Braverman
Historiography II: Grand Debates in Central European History Balázs Trencsényi
Marcell Sebők
Historiography II: Grand Debates in Central European History 2017 Marcell Sebők
Maciej Janowski
Historiography II: Grand Debates in Mediterranean History Brett Wilson
Volker Menze
Historiography II: Grand Debates in Russian and Eurasian History Charles Shaw
Jan Hennings
Historiography: Themes in Its History and Approaches to Its Theory Carsten L. Wilke
Daniel Ziemann
History on film / Film on History – Medieval and Renaissance Themes György Szőnyi 2.0
How to Read Medieval Maps: A neglected source for answers on many different questions (12th to 16th c.) Felicitas Schmieder 2.0
Icono/Graphy: Interactions of Image and Text Ulrich Meurer 2.0
Independent Study (MA) Supervisors 2.0
Intellectual and Cultural History of Late Ottoman and Modern Turkey Brett Wilson 2.0
Intellectual Approaches to Filmmaking (scripted and unscripted) Dylan Mohan Gray 1.0
Intellectuals and World War I Karl Hall 4.0
Intelligentsia and Peasantry in Modern East European History: Social Processes and Cultural Constructions (19th-20th Centuries) Ostap Sereda 4.0
Interdisciplinary Methods of Comparative History Jan Hennings 2.0
Introduction to History and Sociology of Science Karl Hall 2.0
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies Volker Menze
József Laszlovszky
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies Balázs Nagy
Katalin Szende
Introduction to Medieval Philosophy György Geréby 2.0
Introduction to Research Resources for Medievalists Balázs Nagy
József Laszlovszky
Introduction to Research Resources for Medievalists Balázs Nagy
József Laszlovszky
Introductory Academic Writing (2YMA History Students), Group 2 Robin Bellers 2.0
Introductory Academic Writing (2YMA Medieval Studies Students) Vera Eliasova 2.0
Jewish Cultural Heritage Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
Jewish politics and Jewish political culture (1897-1950) Laura Almagor 2.0
Jews And Roma In Comparative Perspective Michael Laurence Miller
Iulius Rostas
Journalism and Social Change in Historical Perspective Constantin Iordachi
Dean Starkman
Judaism and Christianity Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
JustData - University Wide Course Miklós Koren
Arieda Muço
Chrys Margaritidis
Jozsef Martin, Transparency International Hungary)
Roberta Sinatra
Karoly Boroczky
Labor History: Global Trajectories, East European and Eurasian Dynamics Adrian Grama 2.0
Late Ancient and Medieval Science (5th-15th c.) Anna Somfai 2.0
Late Ancient and Medieval Science (5th-15th c.) Anna Somfai 2.0
Late Antique and Medieval Political Theology György Geréby 2.0
Latin Palaeography, Book hand (4th-15th c.) Anna Somfai 2.0
Laws of War: Making and Breaking, Judging and Showing Vladimir Petrovic 2.0
Living and dying in/on the Mediterranean: Medicine, healthcare, and mortality from Late Antiquity to the Late medieval period Volker Menze 2.0
Local History, Local Heritage Katalin Szende 2.0
MA Academic Writing Tutorial - Winter Zsuzsanna Reed 0.0
MA Academic Writing Tutorial I-II Zsuzsanna Reed 1.0
MA Thesis Planning Seminar Gábor Klaniczay
Jan Hennings
MA Thesis Planning Seminar Carsten L. Wilke
József Laszlovszky
MA Thesis Prospectus Writing Seminar Balázs Nagy
Jan Hennings
MA Thesis Seminar I Zsuzsanna Reed
Marcell Sebők
György Geréby
MA Thesis Seminar I Charles Shaw 0.0
MA Thesis Seminar I Marcell Sebők
Volker Menze
Zsuzsanna Reed
MA Thesis Seminar II Marcell Sebők
Zsuzsanna Reed
Gábor Klaniczay
MA Thesis Seminar II Marianne Sághy
Zsuzsanna Reed
Marcell Sebők
MA Thesis Seminar II. Brett Wilson 0.0
MA Thesis Workshop Marsha Siefert 2.0
Master Class in Historiography: Medals and Shells - On Morphology and History, Once Again Carlo Ginzburg 1.0
Master Class in Historiography: The Russian Revolution as History Sheila Fitzpatrick 1.0
Media, Communication and Communism in International Context Marsha Siefert 4.0
Medieval Architecture Béla Zsolt Szakács 2.0
Medieval Codicology Anna Somfai 2.0
Medieval Codicology: The Physical and Intellectual Production and Use of Manuscripts (8th-15th c.) Anna Somfai 2.0
Medieval Heritage of Budapest József Laszlovszky 1.0
Medieval Latin Literature and Modern Critical Theory: An Introduction Cristian-Nicolae Gaşpar 2.0
Medieval Latin Philosophical Text Reading: Cusanus György Geréby 2.0
Memory and Oblivion - Medieval and Contemporary Concepts Daniel Ziemann
Teaching Assistant: Petăr Părvanov
Migration and Migrants (12th-16th c.) Gerhard Jaritz 2.0
Mining History: Digital Practices in Humanities Research Marcell Sebők
Tamás Kiss
Jessie Labov
Miracles: From Wonder-workers to Canonized Saints Ildiko Csepregi 2.0
Mobility, Exchange, and Revolution: Introduction to Modern Central Asian Historiography Charles Shaw 4.0
Monasticism in Late Antiquity Marianne Sághy 2.0
National Projects and Public Sphere in East Central Europe, 1772-1989 Ostap Sereda
Maciej Janowski
Orthodox Traditions in the East of Europe and beyond. Middle Ages – XXIst century. Mikhail V. Dmitriev 4.0
Passages to Nationhood from Below: the peasantry of East-Central and South-eastern Europe in the nineteenth century Agoston Berecz 2.0
Philosophical and Theological Traditions at the Universities of Central Europe (1370–1420) Edit Anna Lukács 1.0
Political Modernities and Nation-Building in Central and Southeast Europe: Texts and Contexts Balázs Trencsényi 4.0
Political Radicalism in Global Perspective Constantin Iordachi
Don Kalb
Political Radicalism in Global Perspective Don Kalb
Constantin Iordachi
Political Visions in Literature Zsolt Czigányik 2.0
Populism in Historical-Comparative Perspective Constantin Iordachi
Erin Kristin Jenne
Problems and Paradigms in Jewish Studies Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
Proclus Abrahamicus? The Fate of Proclus' Elements of Theology in Christianity, Islam and Judaism István Perczel 1.0
Projections of Polemic: Muslim-Christian Encounters in the Early Islamic World David Thomas 1.0
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite: The History of a Literary Fiction from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century in East and West István Perczel 2.0
Qualitative Methods: Oral History Andrea Peto 2.0
Race and Science Emese Lafferton 4.0
Re-imagining Pasts: Post-colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia (1945-2015) Sanjay Kumar 2.0
Reading Medieval Latin Charters (Palaeography) Katalin Szende 2.0
Reading Medieval Latin Charters (Palaeography) II Katalin Szende 2.0
Reading Medieval Latin Charters (Paleography I) Katalin Szende 2.0
Reading Middle English and Early Modern English Sources: A Beginner’s Course Tamás Karath 1.0
Reading the Sources of Justinian’s Age – Introduction to the Political, Ecclesiastic and Intellectual History of the Sixth Century István Perczel 2.0
Reassessing the Great Patriotic War: World War II in Soviet History Charles Shaw 2.0
Religion and Political Thought: Europe 1200-1700 - lecture Matthias Riedl 2.0
Religion and Political Thought: Europe 1200-1700 - Reading Seminar Matthias Riedl 2.0
Religious and Political Thought in the Age of Reformation – Source Reading Seminar Matthias Riedl 2.0
Religious and Political Thought in the Reformation (lecture) Matthias Riedl 2.0
Revolutions and Civil Wars in the Twentieth Century: a Comparative Analysis 2017 Julián Casanova 4.0
Russian Jewry’s Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 Mihály Kálmán 2.0
Schisms and Divisions in Jewish History Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
Science and Religion - Topical Survey Karl Hall 2.0
Scientific Revolution and the Republic of Letters Marcell Sebők 2.0
Sex, Gender, and their Social Contexts in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium Cristian-Nicolae Gaşpar 2.0
Social and Cultural History of the European Cities, 19th and 20th c. Gabor Gyani 2.0
Social History of European Jewry in Comparative Perspective Carsten L. Wilke 2.0
Socialist Intermediaries: the Institutions and Practice of Transnational Communism Constantin Iordachi
Charles Shaw
Sufism in Islamic History Brett Wilson 2.0
Text Analysis Across Disciplines - Data Collection and Curation Jessie Labov, Center for Media, Data and Society
Tamas Kiss, Department of Medieval Studies
Texts and Objects. Inscription and Description in Byzantine Literature Floris Bernard 2.0
The Art of Memory in China and the West Curie Virag 2.0
The Artist as an Agent of History. From Symbolic Politics to Visual Activism Edit Andras 4.0
The Atomic Age Karl Hall 4.0
The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1848-1918). History and Memory András Gerő 4.0
The Bible for Medievalists György Geréby 2.0
The Birth of Medieval Communes: Urban Communal Movement in Comparative Perspective (Italy and Central Europe) Katalin Szende
Josip Banic
The Diffusion of Renaissance Humanism: The Case of Venetian Dalmatia Luka Spoljaric 1.0
The Early Modern Habsburg Monarchy: Dynastic Agglomeration, Composite Monarchy, Fiscal-Military State Petr Maťa 4.0
The Interface of Religious Orality and Scripturality: Verbal and Written Charms in the Middle East Eszter Spat 1.0
The Jewish Revival From A Global Perspective Daniel Monterescu
Zsofia Vincze
The Mediality of Culture, Cultural Iconology, and Visual Studies Gyorgy E. Szonyi 2.0
The Middle East in the Age of Nationalism & Imperialism Dr. Hazal Papuccular 4.0
The Ottoman Balkans and Its Legacies in Comparative Perspectives Tolga U. Esmer 4.0
The perfect ambassador: International Relations and the origins of Diplomacy (1500-1800) Jan Hennings 4.0
The Political Languages of Anti-Modernism Balázs Trencsényi 4.0
The Power of Ruins. Memory and Monuments. József Laszlovszky 2.0
The Renaissance: Culture, Institutions, Representations Gyorgy E. Szonyi 2.0
The Soviet Empire: National and Transnational Perspectives Charles Shaw 2.0
The Soviet Experiment From Lenin to Stalin: Comparative and Entangled Perspectives Alexandr Voronovici 2.0
Topics in Medieval Philosophy: Logic and Semantic Theory György Geréby 2.0
Totalitarianism and Mass Politics: Comparative Perspectives on Fascism and Communism Constantin Iordachi 4.0
TS: Ethnogenesis and Nation-Building Balázs Trencsényi
Daniel Ziemann
TS: Gender History Emese Lafferton
Gerhard Jaritz
TS: Urban History and Culture Katalin Szende
Anna Mazanik
Visual Culture - Topical Survey Gyorgy E. Szonyi
Gerhard Jaritz
Witchcraft and Magic in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe - Theory, Religion, and Practice Gábor Klaniczay 2.0
Women's and Gender History: An Introduction to Theory, Methodology and Archives (M) (2017/18) Francisca de Haan 2.0
Yugoslavia: Wars, Crimes, Trials Vladimir Petrovic 4.0