Pasts Inc., Center for Historical Studies

Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies was established in 2002 as a core of a transnational, interdisciplinary, intercultural network of scholars. Its mission has been to contribute to the training and career development of emerging scholars, in connection with specific research projects. Thus, the Center initiates, supports, and hosts a variety of research, educational, and training activities, as well as publications. The Center was founded by Sorin Antohi. Started with seed money granted by Yehuda Elkana, CEU's Rector and President (1999-2009), the Institute functions on the basis of private donations as well as by means of resources contributed for various specific projects by its institutional partners and by various funding agencies.

As an interface between the university and the external research environment, Pasts, Inc., thus fills an important function as a vehicle for the academic socialization of PhD students and graduates. It serves as the academic gateway to Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the place to generate research on these areas comparatively, from a global and transnational perspective, mostly in relation to Western Europe, but also with references to the Mediterranean, to Central Asia and to the Middle East. It fosters research in the comparative history of "the region" over the past five centuries or so, in a curriculum and a research agenda that is committed to interdisciplinarity, transcends spatial and temporal boundaries, and challenges canons by means of thorough empirical inquiry and cutting-edge methodological and theoretical reflection. Its aim is to maintain the status of history, in this complex sense – better put as "historical studies" – as a fundamental frame of reference for the transmission of knowledge in the university system, a precondition of political, anthropological, social etc. discourse.

The research projects hosted by Pasts Inc. relate directly to elements of the teaching program and student research of the History Department, several related CEU units, and external partners. The Center hosts visiting scholars funded mainly or totally by third parties, including the Volkswagen Stiftung, and the Higher Education Support Program. The Center also hosts a journal, East Central Europe/L'Europe du Centre Est. Eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift, www.ece.ceu.hu). It supports other publishing projects as well, the most important of which being a book series with CEU Press, Pasts Incorporated. CEU Studies in the Humanities, and a series of documents and research reports.

In accordance with its policy of supporting research centers "near departments" (in this case, the History Department), CEU's central administration secures the basic operational budget of the Center, which also receives funding from public and private sponsors worldwide. Close cooperation with a number of institutional strategic partners ensures the sharing and pooling of resources to be invested in joint projects.

 

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