CEU’s 2021 Best Dissertation Awards Honor Outstanding Writing and Research

Each year CEU's University Doctoral Committee has the distinct pleasure of presenting the Best Dissertation Award to three graduate students. This year Helena Miton, Adam Mezes and Victoria Fomina join the illustrious list of previous dissertation award recipients.

Helena Miton, COGS 2020
Supervised by Christophe Heintz and Dan Sperber, Miton's project analyzed the cognitive bases of cultural phenomena, namely how heraldry, portraits, and musical rhythms are shaped by cognitive and ecological factors. Miton is the author of 10 articles and she finished her PhD in 4 years.

Adam Mezes, HIST 2020
Supervised by Laszlo Kontler and Gabor Klaniczay, Mezes's dissertation offers a comprehensive treatment of the confrontation of metropolitan-trained medical experts with the phenomenon of the "preter-" and "super-" natural in connection with cases of "vampirism" ("revenantism") in the 18th-century southeastern Habsburg military frontier region.

Victoria Fomina, SOCA 2020
Supervised by Vlad Naumescu, Fomina's dissertation demonstrates, with anthropological methods in the case of Russia and Cyprus, how religious communities can accrete and mobilize around violent killings, leading to calls for greater nationalism, greater militarism, and a return to (or reform of) social order.

The annual Best Dissertation Awards are intended to recognize important scholarly contributions by graduate students from one of the university's doctoral programs. Dissertations from any discipline that are based on significant original research, raise thought-provoking questions in the field, and open new perspectives are recognized. The University Doctoral Committee aims to reward imaginative research that takes an innovative approach in terms of sources, methodology, and/or research questions.