CEU's Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, heir to the Center for Hellenic Traditions (2004/5–2009/10), promotes the study of the eastern Mediterranean and its hinterlands from antiquity, especially the Hellenistic oikoumene (323–30 BCE), to the end of the Ottoman period (1923).

CEMS faculty provides expertise on the ancient – philosophy & Hellenistic traditions –, medieval – the late antique & Byzantine commonwealths, Islamic & Crusader studies – and modern – Ottoman, Jewish & Eastern Christian studies – eastern Mediterranean in an internationally unique configuration, interconnected by common interest in themes such as: imperial legacies and discontinuities; ancient and medieval philosophical traditions and the cross-cultural transmission of knowledge; multi-religious societies; east-west interactions; economic and cultural exchanges ('Mediterraneans'). Along these trajectories the center encourages the constant rethinking and provocative transgression of existing disciplinary, and established or perceived spatial/chronological, boundaries and classifications, questioning transmitted orthodoxies and heterodoxies and actively working to privilege hitherto marginalized texts and sources.

Building upon CEU's location on the fringes of the formerly Byzantine and Ottoman worlds (and imperial Habsburg and Russia for that matter), CEMS is ideally placed to connect the shared pasts of those peoples and cultural spheres to which CEU's mission is directed with the contemporary world.

Advanced Certificate in Eastern Mediterranean Studies (EMS)

The advance certificate Eastern Mediterranean Studies (EMS), issued by CEMS, is a non-degree program launched in 2015 for MA students of History and Medieval Studies. Students in Eastern Mediterranean Studies will focus on continuing as well as competing tradition(s) connecting the Byzantine, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Ottoman empires and explore their manifold ramifications to the post-Ottoman present.

The certificate consciously breaks with current standard periodization. It offers students 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).

The advanced certificate puts emphasis on transnational/trans-imperial history and actively engages in, among others, the ongoing debate on the relationship between macro and micro historical studies. It encourages reflection on how various coterminous, successive or otherwise connected imperial formations and cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean and adjacent areas interacted, influenced one another or competed at a macro level.

For more information about applying to participate in the CEU Advanced Certificate in Eastern Mediterranean Studies, please write to the coordinator Sona Grigoryan, at grigoryans@ceu.edu

Contact us:

CEMS Coordinator: Sona Grigoryan
CEMS Director: Brett Wilson