How I Embarked on Studying History

April 29, 2021

by Lumi Beqiri, Alumni Scholarship Recipient and MA student in the Department of History

Even though my previous degree was in something else – literature – I have always possessed a great interest in history. Literature itself is very much linked to and associated with history and they coexist in a very interesting way. Consequently, I was working on different historical projects and participating in different historical seminars and workshops even during my literature studies. As part of these workshops, I learned more and more about history and showed a greater interest. Luckily, we had many courses that were linked with history in my literature studies. 

That said, I never wanted to study a national history. History has intrigued me since a young age, but not the national (or nationalist) histories that are obsessed with grand narratives and the big events of a nation and glorify those big important men. Coming from a part of Europe where such histories are the norm, especially in the education system (elementary and high schools), one may not really want to study history in their native country. On the other hand, having the opportunity to learn history with the methodologies and perspectives offered by CEU in very transnational and interdisciplinary ways makes it much more enjoyable. 

I believe that we cannot build a brighter future without dealing with the past. And the starting point to deal with the past is to learn it. To learn from its mistakes and obstacles. To learn all the positive examples, but also the negative ones. To learn to see different perspectives. To learn how does the past affect our own reality. To learn from the past how to build a future for democracy and open society values.