CEU Advanced Certificate Programs in Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Political Thought Registered by NYSED

June 30, 2016

The New York State Education Department has registered two new Advanced Certificate Programs at CEU:  the Advanced Certificate in Eastern Mediterranean Studies and the Advanced Certificate in Political Thought.

The Advanced Certificate in Eastern Mediterranean Studies (EMS) offers MA students from the Departments of History and Medieval Studies an innovative diachronic approach, from late antiquity to the modern age, focusing on a geographical area at the crossroads of cultures and thereby unusually rich in its intellectual, social, institutional, and cultural heritage. At the same time, however, it encourages the synchronic – both comparative and connected – approaches to the imperial polities that lay claim to the Roman inheritance (or rivaled them). Just as the rise of the Roman-Byzantine imperial order was coterminous with the Sasanian and, later, with the rise of Islamic Caliphate as well as Eurasian Steppe Empires, the subsequent rise of the Ottoman Empire was likewise coterminous to the rise of the Habsburg, Safavid, Qajar and Russian empires – all of which fashioned themselves as universalist orders and claimed similar Roman-Byzantine traditions, institutions, and imperial trappings. By cutting through traditional chronological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries, EMS presents students with a unique opportunity to explore how various and successive traditions were appropriated by and adjusted to the realities of medieval, early modern and modern polities in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Conceived as a connected and comparative history of the empires in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond, the Advanced Certificate in EMS builds on the already existing CEU faculty research and expertise, consolidates the innovative curriculum developed in the last five years, and brings the departments of History and Medieval Studies even closer together while simultaneously opening up current historiographic, thematic and historical issues to students and faculty from other departments.

The Advanced Certificate in Political Thought (ACPT) focuses on the comparative, historical and contextual exploration of Political Thought. The ACPT works between the Departments of Gender Studies, History, International Relations, Medieval Studies, and Political Science. The program pursues, however, to enlarge the number of courses and faculty, most notably from the departments of Nationalism Studies, Legal Studies, and Philosophy.  Students pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Political Thought as part of their MA studies in the participating departments will engage in the comparative study of political thought from a variety of perspectives. Special attention will be given to the historicity of diverse political traditions but also to recurring themes and questions. The curriculum introduces the students to political thought both within and outside the Western canon. Further, the ACPT aims to provide a specific professional framework for the participating students and faculty, by linking the program to transnational networks, generating faculty interaction, research and co-teaching. Each fall term the program with offer a core course “Introduction to Political Thought”, where members of different CEU departments will introduce their various perspectives on political thought.