ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius generously partnered with Central European University (CEU) to fund joint scholarships offered to students who wish to pursue a one-year or two-year Master’s degree at CEU’s Department of History. Incoming student Dmitry Zharov is the first recipient of the Gerd Bucerius History Scholarship. The award is based on academic merit and covers tuition, accommodation in Vienna, a monthly stipend and a research allowance. The Gerd Bucerius History Scholarship is open to all applicants in any field of history.
We spoke with Zharov as he begins his studies at CEU this fall. This is an edited interview conducted on September 29, 2021.
What does this honor mean for you?
The scholarship gives me the ability to pursue my studies in a place where the sources and professors are ideal for my research area - the history of Central Europe. Given my topic it’s crucial to be here and be in communication with scholars who address issues of Central European history. It is an important progression from my previous studies in Moscow.
What is the focus of your research?
In general, I focus on the history of the early Habsburg monarchy, particularly the history of education within the Jesuit school system in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. My primary interest is to investigate the life of students in the Jesuit educational institutions, both how they lived and how Jesuits spread ideas through these colleges, and how this affected Habsburg history.
What was your route to CEU?
Starting my studies in Moscow, I knew that I would want to expand and develop my skills. For history, CEU was one of the ideal institutions. I was drawn to the professors, the courses, as well as the support that was available because without financial aid I would not have been able to study here. With all of these things combined, CEU was the right choice for me.
Is there a particular book that has influenced your pursuit of historical scholarship?
The book that comes to mind is called, “The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy” by Robert John Weston Evans. It was written in 1979 and became a foundational text for Habsburg studies. It was inspiring to me as a student, and it is a significant scholarly contribution because the author’s proposed perspectives on the course of Habsburg history are different from those of his predecessors. I read this book when I studied in Moscow, and it crystallized my interest in my research topic.
What are you excited about as you begin your studies at CEU?
I'm looking forward to enhancing my professional skills with sources and historiography – developing the capacities that make me a historian. I look forward to considering history and related issues from an angle that is different from the Russian historical tradition with which I was brought up. It will be interesting to experience how courses are taught here and to learn about different approaches, methodologies, research tools, themes and topics at a university based in Central Europe.
The next call for applications for the Gerd Bucerius History Scholarship will open in November 2021.