Jan Hennings

Contact information

Building: 
Budapest, Nador u. 11
Room: 
109
Phone: 
+36 1 327-3000 x 2632
Jan Hennings' work has focused on Russian-European diplomatic encounters in the early modern period. He is interested in the connections between ritual and politics in early modern societies, particularly in cross-cultural contexts. He has used the evolution of Russian diplomatic culture in the second half of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries as a basis for exploring how seemingly circumstantial aspects of diplomacy - ceremonial formalities, protocol, and etiquette - shaped foreign relations and how ritual impacted on concrete action in early modern political life. His current project shifts the focus to include diplomatic exchanges between the Russian and Ottoman empires, concentrating on the first Russian resident embassy in Constantinople at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Before moving to Budapest, he had held a Junior Research Fellowship at St John's College Oxford and taught history as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Gerda Henkel Fellow at Sabanci University in Istanbul. At CEU, he offers courses centred around comparative approaches to the history of diplomacy and early modern empires as well as on broader topics on European history, Russia and the Ottoman world. He also coordinates CEU's Early Modern Studies consortium.

Jan Hennings would welcome enquiries from prospective students interested in working on research topics in:

  • Early modern Europe
  • Muscovy and Imperial Russia
  • History of diplomacy and international relations
  • Russian-Ottoman relations
  • Travel literature and cultural encounter

MA theses by students who have worked with Jan as supervisor or co-supervisor include:

  • 'Ceremonial Representation in Cross-Confessional Diplomacy: The Ottoman Embassy of a Christian Ambassador to Moscow in 1621', Maria Telegina
  • 'Diplomatic Intermediaries During Rákóczi’s War of Independence, 1703–1711', Ewelina Sikora
  • 'Official Physicians Within the Medical Landscape of the Russian Empire (1760s)', Kateryna Pasichnyk
  • 'The Temperance Movement: Alcohol and Politics in Fin-de-Siècle Russia', Anna Smelova
  • 'Mapping a City in Motion: European Visitors' Perceptions of Edirne During the Reign of Mehmet IV', Nicholas Crummey
  • 'Austro-Hungarian Consuls in Late Ottoman Kosovo (1867-1913)', Sven Mörsdorf (current)
  • 'The Role of Sixteenth-Century Travel Literature Collectors in Constructing the Image of the Ottomans: Francesco Sansovino and Richard Hakluyt', Oana Avram (current)
  • 'Ethnic Charitiy Associations in Fin-de-Siècle Saint-Petersburg: Categories of Difference  in Change', Kseniya Venediktova (current)
  • 'Implementations of the Concept of “Russianness” into European Cultural and Social Constructs Through the Exhibitions of Vasily Vereshchagin', Lydia Kotlyar (current)
  • 'Russian Muslims and the Bureaucracy of the Hajj in Russian-Ottoman Contexts at the Turn of the Twentieth Century', Ulzhan Rojik (current)
  • 'Muscovite Diplomacy and the 1682 Moscow Uprising', Konstantin Meftakhudinov

Doctoral supervision

'Table Set for Diplomats: Food, Drink, and Politics in Polish-Lithuanian Diplomatic Relations, 1674–1696', Ewelina Sikora (current)

Courses taught in previous years: 

  • The Perfect Ambassador? International Relations and the Origins of Diplomacy, 1500-1800
  • Global Comparisons: Russia and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1839 (together with Tijana Krstic)
  • Grand Debates in Russian and Eurasian History (together with Charles Shaw)
  • Interdisciplinary Methods of Comparative History
  • Barbarians, Infidels, and Noble Savages: Stereotypes and Inter-cultural Perception in the Early Modern Period and Beyond

Key Publications 

Books

Russia and Courtly Europe: Ritual and the Culture of Diplomacy, 1648-1725New Studies in European History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Reissued in paperback, 2018).

Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c. 1410-1800Routledge Research in Early Modern History (London and New York: Routledge, 2017. Reissued in paperback, 2019). Co-edited with T. Sowerby.

Recent Articles

'Andrew Marvell in Russia: Secretaries, Rhetoric, and Public Diplomacy', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 50 (2020). In press. Co-authored with E. Holberton.

‘Information and Confusion: Russian Resident Diplomacy and Peter A. Tolstoi’s Arrival in the Ottoman Empire (1702–1703)’, International History Review, 41 (2019), 1003-1019.

 ‘Textual Ambassadors and Ambassadorial Texts: Literary Representation and Diplomatic Practice in George Turberville’s and Thomas Randolph’s accounts of Russia (1568-9)’, in T. Sowerby, J. Craigwood, (eds.), Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 175-189.

Awards

ESSA Book Prize 2017 'for most outstanding recent scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom'. Awarded by the Early Slavic Studies Association | ASEEES for Russia and Courtly Europe

Hedwig Hintze-Preis 2012. Dissertation prize, awarded by the German Historical Association

Fritz Theodor Epstein-Preis 2012. Dissertation prize, awarded by the German Association of Historians of Eastern European History

Fellowships

Junge Akademie at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Member, 2016-21

Gerda Henkel Foundation, Research Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Sabanci University Istanbul, 2013-15

St John's College, Oxford, Junior Research Fellow, 2009-13

Qualification

PhD in History, University of Cambridge, Clare College
MPhil in Modern European History, University of Cambridge, Clare College
BA in History and German Studies, Universität Rostock