Medieval Studies Department Celebrates 20th Anniversary

July 16, 2013

Since its founding in 1993, the Department of Medieval Studies has graduated 402 MA students and 72 PhD students and has tapped the skills of several dozen visiting faculty members from around the world. On June 14 and 15, the department celebrated its 20th anniversary with three exhibitions, seven roundtables, a concert, various field trips, and a public lecture including the recollections of five current and past department heads. Before the lectures President and Rector John Shattuck reflected on the series of events, which involved numerous alumni and non-departmental colleagues as well as its own faculty, staff, and students.

The three exhibitions featured:
• a poster-presentation contest focusing on past and current research projects conducted by faculty members or alumni since their graduation from CEU (see the 25 best at;
• a display of books publications by departmental alumni (see list of 80+ books and other publications at; and
• a renewed version of the 2005 OSA exhibit on “Contagious Middle Ages in Post-Communist East-Central Europe.”

On June 14, a day-long series of roundtables was delivered on “New Challenges to Medieval Studies.” For each theme, several alumni and faculty members discussed historiographical issues, new trends, and questions of interdisciplinarity. The seven topics were Physical and Cultural Space; Material Culture and Social Context; Byzantine & Caucasian Studies; Early Modern Medievalisms; Cult of Saints and Other Cults; Philosophy, Patristics and Eastern Christianities; and Images and Visual Culture. For the names and institutions of all participants, see

That evening, the Pecs-based Sator Quartet (directed by alumnus Gyorgy Heidl) performed “A Modern Approach to Early Medieval Latin Hymns.”

On the morning of June 15, CEU alumni employed at local museums and collections offered guided tours of their facilities for viewing “hidden treasures of Budapest museums and libraries,” not ordinarily accessible to the public. The five venues were the Museum of Applied Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian National Museum, the Szechenyi National Library, and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. For names of the alumni tour guides, see

Concluding activities that afternoon included remarks by President and Rector John Shattuck; short recollections of former and current department heads Gabor Klaniczay, Janos Bak, Jozsef Laszlovszky, Gyorgy Gereby, and Katalin Szende; and a “two-voice” public lecture by Patrick Geary (Princeton, Institute for Advanced Study) and Claudia Rapp (University of Vienna), who spoke on “Twenty Years in Medieval Studies: Voices from the Greek East and the Latin West.”

For images and photos, visit